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Powering EVs with wood-fired gasifiers

Germany-based biomass gasification plant manufacturer Spanner Re² GmbH notes an increased interest amongst its "wood-power plant” operators to make themselves totally energy-independent. Not only for space heating and electric power but also mobility by using the electricity generated to power an electric vehicle.

Wood-fired power plants from Spanner Re² generate electricity and heat from wood according to the principle of cogeneration. Among other things, the electricity generated from renewable sources can be used to supply electric vehicles (EVs) such as the company’s own BMW i3 (photo courtesy Spanner Re²).

According to Spanner Re², the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy regards electromobility as a global “key to climate-friendly mobility” – especially if the required electricity is generated using renewable energy sources. The number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Germany is rising, albeit below expectations and there is a noticeable change in attitude towards EVs from major automakers.

In business for over a decade, the Lower Bavarian plant manufacturer develops and sells wood-based combined heat and power (CHP) plants. These generate electricity and heat from carbon dioxide (CO2) neutral woodchips, pellets or briquettes. There are over 700 Spanner Re² wood-fired power plants in operation worldwide.

Our technology has proven itself with over 20 million operating hours and delivers energy reliably and independently, regardless of the weather, said Thomas Bleul, Managing Director of Spanner Re².

The electricity produced by the wood-fired power plants can be fed into the public grid for a fee. It also be used for the supplying the power for electric vehicles. The heat can be used for heating buildings, providing hot water, in local heating networks or for wood or wood-fired heating systems and grain drying.

Many of our customers would like their homes and vehicles to be energy self-sufficient, without the use of fossil raw materials. We supply them with environmentally friendly technology, which they use to turn their own wood into electricity and heat for their home and electric vehicles, Bleul explained.

Significant CO2 savings with “wood-powered” EVs

According to Bleul, around 25 m3 of dry woodchips is sufficient to power an electric car for one year with mileage calculated at 30 000 km and consumption of 20 kWh per 100 km. Compared to a newly registered conventional car with an average of 130 g CO2 per km, this translates into around 3.5 tonnes less of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents annually.

With Germany having approximately 9.1 tonnes of CO2eq per capita per year, this corresponds to a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

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