The University of Missouri-Columbia is testing a mixture of corn cobs and coal in the University’s Power Plant, which could reduce emissions, lower fuel costs and create additional income for farmers. The power plant, which burns up to 170,000 tons of coal each year, is conducting the first of several tests of a blended fuel in which up to 10 percent of the mixture is made of corn cobs.
According to a university release, because corn cobs are a by-product of Missouri’s expanding corn industry, their use is ideal. Corn cobs are clean burning and have a higher heating value, or more energy to release, than most other biomass fuels, such as grass. The heating value of corn cobs is about 75 percent of the heating value of coal.