EcoMow is a small self-fueled mower and grass pellet harvester. The product was started by a group of six engineering and business students from George Mason University. This group of students has created a small lawnmower that uses the grassy biomass that it harvests as fuel, and processes the extra biomass into a dried pellet form. This pellet material can be used for as fuel for heating or power generation. This technology will be attractive to multiple market segments, and the value will be different for each segment.
The group hopes that by lowering the cost barrier to using biomass fuel sources, they will provide an eco-friendly renewable solid fuel technology that can be retrofitted into existing vehicles. The goal of shifting the public to biomass fuels is to shift away from fossil fuels and also to lower energy costs. The team believes that commercial mowing operations will realize an immediate benefit in reduction of labor and eliminating of fuel costs, and a higher profit margin from resale of processed biomass.
The gasifier is modeled after an imbert downdraft design with its top sealed to prevent oxygen from getting in. Very wet biomass can be processed as long as the material is dry by the time it reaches the pyrolysis zone, this is when the biomass decomposes in the presence of heat and lack of oxygen. The output is highly flammable gas.
This self-powered lawn mower could be a part of our changing future of fuel.
Written by Elise Mazur, 8/20/2015