Pharmachem Finds Alternative to Diesel-Produced Steam at Botanical Extraction Facility

November 14, 2011

The system can consume up to 10 tons of biomass per hour and subsequently produce 30,000 lb of steam per hour.

Pharmachem (Kearny, NJ) is marking an environmental milestone with the installation of a biomass-to-energy system at its Avoca extraction facility in Merry Hill, NC. The company says the $6 million system is one of the first such installations in the United States and the first to be installed on the East Coast.

The system can consume up to 10 tons of biomass per hour and subsequently produce 30,000 lb of steam per hour. The Avoca facility is one of the largest extraction facilities in North America, the company says, relying on steam for processing a variety of ingredients-especially clary sage for the fragrance industry.

Previously, the facility had relied on three diesel-powered boilers to generate steam. The new biomass boilers are a more-sustainable option, as well as more cost efficient.

“With the biomass-to-energy system, we’ve reduced our steam costs by 90%,” stated David Peele, Avoca president, in a press release.

“The new system enables us to utilize the biomass byproduct of our facility, and at the same time, meet our long-term energy needs very cost efficiently,” he added.