You are on page 1of 5

Deepak Paliwal et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol.

2(10), 2010, 5457-5461

BIOMASS AS AN ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGY IN INDIA


DEEPAK PALIWAL
Lecturer Department of Mechanical Engineering Sir Padampat Singhania University Udaipur 313601, Rajasthan.

NILANJAN SARKAR
Lecturer Department of Civil Engineering Sir Padampat Singhania University Udaipur 313601, Rajasthan.

RANJAN BASAK
Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Sir Padampat Singhania University Udaipur 313601, Rajasthan.

DEBOJYOTI MITRA
Associate Professor & Head Department of Mechanical Engineering Sir Padampat Singhania University Udaipur 313601, Rajasthan. Abstract : The fossil fuel is a main source of energy for generation of electricity in India. Overall, about 80% of greenhouse gas (GHS) emissions are related to the production and use of energy, and particularly, burning of fossils fuels. The environmental problems are associated with the generation of conventional sources of energy. The Kyoto protocol has established flexible mechanisms for developing countries to meet there GHG reduction commitment. Therefore, renewable source of energy is an alternative to conserve the natural resources and reduce the pollution burden. At present renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower provide small fraction of energy need. The most prevalent source is biomass, which accounts around 12% of total energy requirement. This source of energy includes wood, logging waste, sawdust, animal dung and vegetables consisting of grass, leaves, grass residues and agricultural waste. The biomass is abundant in nature which can be trapped as source of energy for generation of electricity for the rural as well as urban population. The technology needs to be developed for use of biomass as a source of energy. This paper discusses about its prospects in Asia and particularly in India. The recent developments and projects in India are discussed. A note on pollution control strategies has also been added. Keywords: Sustainable energy source, Fossil fuel, Biomass, pollution control. 1. Introduction India, in the early 1970s recognized the importance of increasing use of renewable energy sources for achieving a sustainable. Indian scientists have developed solar cooker and water heaters in the fifties. Thereafter Indian scientists have been making efforts to design, develop and induct on large scale, variety of renewable source of energy devices. The commission for additional sources of energy set up in 1981 and the Department of Non-

ISSN: 0975-5462

5457

Deepak Paliwal et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5457-5461 convectional energy sources (DNES) set up in 1982. Thus, India earned the distinction of being the only country to have and exclusive Ministry for non-conventional energy sources (MEES). The MNES now has sect oral groups of (a) rural energy, (b) urban/industrial energy, and (c) power generation. Through the restructuring, emphasis shifted towards policies, planning and institutional linkages to promote Renewable energy technologys (RETs within each sector). Each such sector now consists of integrated programs to serve different energy needs; for instance, cooking energy is now comprehensively dealt with, under the rural energy group that individual technologies being implemented separately. The change in the structure has resulted in significant changes in the focus of the programs. In recent years, the rationale has been further by the environmental imperative. Local and regional environmental problems associated with the generation of conventional energy have provided a strong argument for enhancing the role of renewable within the broad energy development plans of the country. More recently, the Kyoto Protocol, agreed at the conference of parties to the framework convention to climate change, in December, 1997, adds a global perspective to the environmental imperative. It has been directed, last decadeand-a half, for promotion of wind, biomass, and solar energy technologies (and of other RETs) in the Indian energy-economy. This has provided a great deal of empirical knowledge about strategies for successful commercialized. Future of biomass-sustainable energy: Unlike coal, oil and natural gas, whose reserves are limited, sources like the sun, wind, and vegetative waste can be used to generate energy in a sustainable way. The suns energy can be used to generate electricity, and heat as well as cool building cheaply over a long period of time without creating pollution. The wind energy is also used to generate electricity. Biogas plants can utilize human and animal waste to produce fuel for cooking and other uses, reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. It is estimated that the country has potential of 100,000 MW renewable energy (Padmanabhan, 1999). However, the share of renewable energy sources is 1378 MW, a mere 1.5% (exclusive of Hydro-power) of the total grid power generating capacity in the country (90,00 MW). It has often been pointed out that an important reason for the slow rate of diffusion of renewable energy technologies is the high front-end cost. This will no longer be there as the fossil fuel is expected to reach their maximum potential and their prices will become higher than the renewable energy options. It is expected that the setting of clean technology in the coming years will facilitate channeling of funds from the developed countries to support renewable energy sources development in development in developing countries due to issues, such as, climate change becoming urgent. Thus finance is no longer a constraint. Renewable source of energy other than hydropower e.g. solar, wind and geothermal sources, currently provide only a small fraction of global energy use. The most prevalent source of energy is biomass. Biomass furls include wood, logging wastes and sawdust, animal dung, and vegetable matter consisting of glass, leave, crop residues and agricultural waste. Globally, biomass fuels accounts for 12 % of total energy requirements. In developing countries, however, biomass accounts for 36% of all energy used smith (1987) and De Coninth et al. (1985). In India, the biomass programmes are mainly targeted to meet the needs of rural and remote areas and have helped in reaching electricity to the interior un-reached section of the population. One of the reasons for slowdown in installation/commissioning of biomass-renewable energy generation is due to inadequacy of the input material. To overcome this, attempts are being made to use alternatives to cattle dung like poultry dropping, sericulture waste, press mud, wastes from sago industry, bagasse from sugar mills and like wise. Since biomass based energy system can help to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, a project on carbon emission reduction through biomass energy for rural India, prepared by the center for application of science and technology in rural areas, in the Indian Institute of Science, is proposed to be posed to UNDP/GEF for multilateral funding. Estimates indicates that if all forms of biomass were taken into account, their carbon dioxide emission reduction potential would be equivalent to about 50 million tones by the year 2010 (Sharma, 1999). But this will only be possible once biomass is used as a source of energy. Mere afforestation may not balance out excess carbon for an extended period of time. Because uncontrolled burning and decay of the mature plantations will bring back a

ISSN: 0975-5462

5458

Deepak Paliwal et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5457-5461 sustainable quantity of carbon, back into circulation. The increased production of carbon dioxide in developing countries should be offset by greater energy conservation. Efforts to make renewable sources of energy less costly and more widely available should continue: practicable methods should be developed for waste incineration as a energy ( Table 1 ).
Table 1. Biomass Programmes

2. Modernisation of Biomass Technology in India Biomass as a technology has slowly built up in India in recent times. A decade of experience with modern biomass technologies for thermal, motive power and electricity generation applications exists in India. Gasifier technology has penetrated the applications such as village electrification, captive power generation and process heat generation in industries producing biomass waste. Over 1600 gasifier systems, having 16 MW total capacity, have generated 42 million Kilo Watt hour (KWh) of electricity, replacing 8.8 million litres of oil annually (CMIE, 1996). An important aspect of small gasifier technology in India is the development of local manufacturing base. The large sized gasifier based power technologies are at R&D and pilot demonstration stage. The thrust of the biomass power programme is now on the grid connected megawatt scale power generation with multiple biomass materials such as rice straw, rice husk, bagasse, wood waste, wood, wild bushes and paper mill waste. Nearly 55 MW of grid connected biomass power capacity is commissioned and another 90 MW capacity is under construction. Enhanced scale has improved economics as well as the technology of biomass power generation. Technology improvement is also derived from joint ventures of Indian firms with leading international manufacturers of turbines and electronic governors. Four gasifier Action Research Centers (ARCs) located within different national institutions and supported by the MNES have developed twelve gasifier models, ranging from 3.5 to 100 KW. Two co-generation projects (3 MW surplus power capacity) in sugar mills and one rice paddy straw based power project (10 MW) were commissioned. While the co-generation projects are successfully operated, the 10 MW rice straw based power project completed in 1992 ran into technological problems and is closed since last two years due to want of suitable raw material. A rice husk based co-generation plant of 10.5 MW capacity installed by a private rice processing firm in Punjab and commissioned in 1991 faced problems such as unavailability of critical spares of an imported turbine and uneconomical tariffs from the state utility despite power shortage in the state (Ravindranath and Hall, 1995). The rapid escalation in the price of rice husk and low capacity utilization added to the cost making the operation uneconomical. The experiences with R&D and pilot project suggest the need for considerable technological and institutional improvements to make biomass energy competitive. The future of modern biomass power programme rests on its competitive ability vis--vis other centralized electricity generation technologies. Policies for realizing biomass electric power potential through modern technologies under competitive dynamics has a recent origin in India. The biomass electricity programme took shape after MNES appointed the task force in 1993 and recommended the thrust on bagasse based cogeneration. The focus of modern biomass programme is on the cogeneration, especially in sugar industry. A cogeneration potential of 17,000 MW power is identified, with 6000 MW in sugar industry alone (Rajan, 1995). Programme for biomass combustion based power has even more recent origin. It began in late 1994 as a Pilot Programme launched with approval of two 5 MW projects. Interest subsidy programmes on the lines of that for the bagasse based co-generation was extended in 1995. The programme also initiated a grid connected biomass

ISSN: 0975-5462

5459

Deepak Paliwal et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5457-5461 gasification R&D-cum-Demonstration project of 500 Kilo Watt (KW) capacity. A decentralized electricity generation programme initiated in 1995 provided support for total of 10 to 15 MW of small decentralized projects aimed at energy self sufficiency in electricity deficient rural locales. The programme aims to utilize some of the 350 million tons of agricultural and agro-industrial residues produced annually in India. The cost of electricity generation from these plants are anticipated to be quite competitive at Rs. 1.8 per KWh. Modern biomass supply has to be driven by the dynamics of energy market. Supply of biomass at a competitive cost can be ensured only with a highly efficient biomass production system. Productivity of crops and trees depend critically on agroclimatic factors. To enhance biomass productivity, the MNES is supporting nine Biomass Research Centers (BRCs) in nine (of the fourteen) different agroclimatic zones in India with an aim to develop packages of practices of fast growing, high yielding and short rotation (5-6 years) fuelwood tree species for the degraded waste lands in these zones. Some centers have existed for over a decade. Packages of practices for 36 promising species are prepared. Biomass yield of up to 36.8 tons per hectare per year is reported (Chaturvedi, 1993) from some promising fuel-wood species. Since the knowledge of these package of practices has remained limited within the research circles, their benefits remains to be realized. The mean productivity of farm forestry nationally is very low at 4.2 tons per hectare per year (Ravindranath and Hall, 1995). Exploitation of bioenergy potential is vitally linked to the adequate land supply. While the use of cultivable crop land for fuel remains controversial under the "food versus fuel" debate, there exists a vast supply of degraded land which is available cheaply for fuel-wood plantations. The estimates of degraded land vary from 66 million hectares (Ministry of Agriculture, 1992) to 130 million hectares (SPDW, 1984). With improved biomass productivity and efficient energy conversion, it is feasible to sustain a significant share of biomass in total energy use in India by utilizing a fraction of this degraded land for biomass plantation. 3. Biomass Pollution Control Strategies The combusting of unprocessed biomass dominates rural energy combustion in the developing world and may also be important in urban communities. As many as two billion people, particularly women and children, may be exposed to indoor pollution resulting from the use of an open fire for cooking and heating, with inadequate ventilation. Concentration of particulates and oxides of sulphur and nitrogen substantially exceed proposed health norms. The most important effects are respiratory, ranging from predisposition to acute infections in children to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults. As many as 700 million women in developing countries may be at risk of developing such as serious disease. In addition to these direct effects on health, the environmental degradation resulting from the unsustainable use of biomass may compromise the food producing capabilities of rural communities (WHO, 1992). Mitigation of indoor air-pollution can be achieved by the use of processed biomass (charcoal), biogas, or methanol and the adoption of simple ventilation measures and improved stoves. Hopefully, there will be a discernible trend in developing countries together with the extension of local processing technologies. The introduction of appropriate species of vegetation, to provide a renewable source of biomass should be planned as a part of environmentally sound development Kazuhisa Miyamoto (1997). 4. Conclusions & Recommendations Wider uses of improved technologies for the local conversion of raw biomass into better, more efficient types of fuel, such as biogas, are needed through out the developing world. This results in little pollution if equipment is properly maintained, and contributes to a cleaner indoor environment. It will also be necessary to promote renewal of biomass vegetation, in order to prevent environmental degradation with loss of agricultural land essential for the survival of the rural communities. Renewal of biomass also promotes a balance between carbon dioxide productions during fuel combustion and its uptake by the biomass vegetation during photosynthesis. References
[1] [2] [3] [4] AFPRO. 1999. Resourceful Waste-Technology. Rural Energy Journal. Vol. 8. De Koning, H. W. (1985) Biomass fuel combustion and health Bull. World Health. Organization. Vol. 63. Kazuhisa, Miyamoto. 1997. Renewable biological system for alternative sustainable energy production. FAO Agriculture Services Bulletin, Rome. Vol.128. Padmanabhan, B.S. 1999. Renewable energy into the reckoning. The Hindu-Survey of Indian Industry.

ISSN: 0975-5462

5460

Deepak Paliwal et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5457-5461
[5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] Sharma, S. 1999. Biomass The Burning Issue. Rural Energy Journal, Vol.8. Smith, K.R. 1987. Biofuels air pollution and health a global review. New York, Plenum Press. WHO. 1992. commission, Health and Environment Report of the Panel on Energy. WHO/EHE/92.3, Geneva. Chaturvedi P. (1993). Bioenergy Production and Utilization in India- Expert Consultation on Biofuels for Sustainable Development; Their Potential as Suitable to Fossil Fuels and CO2 Emission Reduction. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome. CMIE (1996), India's Energy Sector. Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, Bombay. Dixon R K, Brown S, Houghton, R A, Solomon A M, Trexler M C and Wisniewski J (1994), Carbon Pools and Flix of Global Ecosystems. Science. Vol. 263. FAO (1981), FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1979, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, Rome. FAO (1996), FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1994, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, Rome. FAO (1997), Review of Wood Energy Data in RWEDP Member Countries, Field Document No. 47, Bangkok. Houghton, R.A (1996), Converting Terrestrial Ecosystems from Sources to Sinks of Carbon, AMBIO, Vol. 25, No. 4. Ministry of Agriculture (1992), Land Use Statistics, Government of India, New Delhi. Naidu, B.S.K (1997), Wind Power Development in India, in Rural and renewable energy: perspectives from developing countries - Ed. Ramana P.V, TERI, New Delhi, India. Rai S.N. and Chakrabarti S.K. (1996). Demand and Supply of Fuelwood, Timber and Fodder in India, Report, Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi. Rajan, T.P.S (1995), Eco-friendly fuels from perennial and renewable resources Indian Scene, Chemical Weekly, Vol. 40, No. 11. Ravindranath N.H. and Hall D.O (1995), Biomass Energy and Environment- A Developing Country Perspective from India, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Sinha C.S, Ramana P.V. and Joshi V. (1994). Rural Energy Planning in India: Designing Effective Intervention Strategies, Energy Policy, Vol. 22 No.5. SPWD (1984). Developing India's waste Lands, Society for the Promotion of Waste Land Development, New Delhi.

ISSN: 0975-5462

5461