Biogas Technology Anaerobic Digestion Digester Technology Types of Anaerobic Digesters The Process of Anaerobic Digestion Manure Digesters

Wastewater Landfill Gas Anaerobic Digestion In recent years, increasing awareness that anaerobic digesters can help control the disposal and odor of animal waste has stimulated renewed interest in the technology. Dairy farmers faced with increasing federal and state regulation of the waste their animals produce are looking for ways to comply. New digesters now are being built because they effectively eliminate the environmental hazards of dairy farms and other animal feedlots. It is often the environmental reasons - rather than the digester´s electrical and thermal energy generation potential - that motivate farmers to use digester technology. This is especially true in areas where electric power costs are low. Anaerobic digester systems can reduce fecal coliform bacteria in manure by more than 99 percent, virtually eliminating a major source of water pollution. Separation of the solids during the digester process removes about 25 percent of the nutrients from manure, and the solids can be sold out of the drainage basin where nutrient loading may be a problem. In addition, the digester´s ability to produce and capture methane from the manure reduces the amount of methane that otherwise would enter the atmosphere. Scientists have targeted methane gas in the atmosphere as a contributor to global climate change.

Digester Technology Biomass that is high in moisture content, such as animal manure and food-processing wastes, is suitable for producing biogas using anaerobic digester technology. Anaerobic digestion is a biochemical process in which particular kinds of bacteria digest

biomass in an oxygen-free environment. Several different types of bacteria work together to break down complex organic wastes in stages, resulting in the production of "biogas." Symbiotic groups of bacteria perform different functions at different stages of the digestion process. There are four basic types of microorganisms involved. Hydrolytic bacteria break down complex organic wastes into sugars and amino acids. Fermentative bacteria then convert those products into organic acids. Acidogenic microorganisms convert the acids into hydrogen, carbon dioxide and acetate. Finally, the methanogenic bacteria produce biogas from acetic acid, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Controlled anaerobic digestion requires an airtight chamber, called a digester. To promote bacterial activity, the digester must maintain a temperature of at least 68° F. Using higher temperatures, up to 150° F, shortens processing time and reduces the required volume of the tank by 25 percent to 40 percent. However, there are more species of anaerobic bacteria that thrive in the temperature range of a standard design (mesophillic bacteria) than there are species that thrive at higher temperatures (thermophillic bacteria). High-temperature digesters also are more prone to upset because of temperature fluctuations and their successful operation requires close monitoring and diligent maintenance. The biogas produced in a digester (also known as "digester gas") is actually a mixture of gases, with methane and carbon dioxide making up more than 90 percent of the total. Biogas typically contains smaller amounts of hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, hydrogen, methylmercaptans and oxygen. Methane is a combustible gas. The energy content of digester gas depends on the amount of methane it contains. Methane content varies from about 55 percent to 80 percent. Typical digester gas, with a methane concentration of 65 percent, contains about 600 Btu of energy per cubic foot. For individual farms, small-scale plug-flow or covered lagoon digesters of simple design can produce biogas for on-site electricity and heat generation. For example, a plug-flow digester could process 8,000 gallons of manure per day, the amount produced by a herd of 500 dairy cows. By using digester gas to fuel an engine-generator, a digester of this size would produce more electricity and hot water than the dairy consumes. Larger scale digesters are suitable for manure volumes of 25,000 to 100,000 gallons per day. In Denmark and in several other European countries, central digester facilities use manure and other organic wastes collected from individual farms and transported to the facility.

Types of Anaerobic Digesters There are three basic digester designs. All of them can trap methane and reduce fecal coliform bacteria, but they differ in cost, climate suitability and the concentration of manure solids they can digest.

A covered lagoon digester, as the name suggests, consists of a manure storage lagoon with a cover. The cover traps gas produced during decomposition of the manure. This type of digester is the least expensive of the three. Covering a manure storage lagoon is a simple form of digester technology suitable for liquid manure with less than 3-percent solids. For this type of digester, an impermeable floating cover of industrial fabric covers all or part of the lagoon. A concrete footing along the edge of the lagoon holds the cover in place with an airtight seal. Methane produced in the lagoon collects under the cover. A suction pipe extracts the gas for use. Covered lagoon digesters require large lagoon volumes and a warm climate. Covered lagoons have low capital cost, but these systems are not suitable for locations in cooler climates or locations where a high water table exists. A complete mix digester converts organic waste to biogas in a heated tank above or below ground. A mechanical or gas mixer keeps the solids in suspension. Complete mix digesters are expensive to construct and cost more than plug-flow digesters to operate and maintain. Complete mix digesters are suitable for larger manure volumes having solids concentration of 3 percent to 10 percent. The reactor is a circular steel or poured concrete container. During the digestion process, the manure slurry is continuously mixed to keep the solids in suspension. Biogas accumulates at the top of the digester. The biogas can be used as fuel for an engine-generator to produce electricity or as boiler fuel to produce steam. Using waste heat from the engine or boiler to warm the slurry in the digester reduces retention time to less than 20 days. Plug-flow digesters are suitable for ruminant animal manure that has a solids concentration of 11 percent to 13 percent. A typical design for a plug-flow system includes a manure collection system, a mixing pit and the digester itself. In the mixing pit, the addition of water adjusts the proportion of solids in the manure slurry to the optimal consistency. The digester is a long, rectangular container, usually built below-grade, with an airtight, expandable cover. New material added to the tank at one end pushes older material to the opposite end. Coarse solids in ruminant manure form a viscous material as they are digested, limiting solids separation in the digester tank. As a result, the material flows through the tank in a "plug." Average retention time (the time a manure "plug" remains in the digester) is 20 to 30 days. Anaerobic digestion of the manure slurry releases biogas as the material flows through the digester. A flexible, impermeable cover on the digester traps the gas. Pipes beneath the cover carry the biogas from the digester to an engine-generator set. A plug-flow digester requires minimal maintenance. Waste heat from the engine-generator can be used to heat the digester. Inside the digester, suspended heating pipes allow hot water to circulate. The hot water heats the digester to keep the slurry at 25°C to 40°C (77°F to 104°F), a temperature range suitable for methane-producing bacteria. The hot water can

come from recovered waste heat from an engine generator fueled with digester gas or from burning digester gas directly in a boiler.

The Process of Anaerobic Digestion The process of anaerobic digestion occurs in a sequence of stages involving distinct types of bacteria. Hydrolytic and fermentative bacteria first break down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats present in biomass feedstock into fatty acids, alcohol, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, ammonia and sulfides. This stage is called "hydrolysis" (or "liquefaction"). Next, acetogenic (acid-forming) bacteria further digest the products of hydrolysis into acetic acid, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Methanogenic (methane-forming) bacteria then convert these products into biogas. The combustion of digester gas can supply useful energy in the form of hot air, hot water or steam. After filtering and drying, digester gas is suitable as fuel for an internal combustion engine, which, combined with a generator, can produce electricity. Future applications of digester gas may include electric power production from gas turbines or fuel cells. Digester gas can substitute for natural gas or propane in space heaters, refrigeration equipment, cooking stoves or other equipment. Compressed digester gas can be used as an alternative transportation fuel.

Manure Digesters Anaerobic digestion and power generation at the farm level began in the United States in the early 1970s. Several universities conducted basic digester research. In 1978, Cornell University built an early plug-flow digester designed with a capacity to digest the manure from 60 cows. In the 1980s, new federal tax credits spurred the construction of about 120 plug-flow digesters in the United States. However, many of these systems failed because of poor design or faulty construction. Adverse publicity about system failures and operational problems meant that fewer anaerobic digesters were being built by the end of the decade. High digester cost and declining farm land values reduced the digester industry to a small number of suppliers. The Tillamook Digester Facility (MEAD Project) began operation in 2003. The facility is located on a site once occupled by a Navy blimp hanger on property owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay. The facility consists of two 400,000-gallon digester cells. The facility uses the biogas to run two Caterpillar engines, each coupled to a 200 kilowatt generator. The facility sells its electric output to the Tillamook PUD. Manure is brought to the facility by truck from participating dairy farms in the Tillamook area.

Wastewater Municipal sewage contains organic biomass solids, and many wastewater treatment plants use anaerobic digestion to reduce the volume of these solids. Anaerobic digestion stabilizes sewage sludge and destroys pathogens. Sludge digestion produces biogas containing 60percent to 70-percent methane, with an energy content of about 600 Btu per cubic foot. Most wastewater treatment plants that use anaerobic digesters burn the gas for heat to maintain digester temperatures and to heat building space. Unused gas is burned off as waste but could be used for fuel in an engine-generator or fuel cell to produce electric power. A fuel cell at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant in Portland, Oregon, converts digester gas into electricity. The fuel cell began producing power in July 1999. The Columbia Boulevard fuel cell will produce an estimated 1,500,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year

Landfill Gas The same anaerobic digestion process that produces biogas from animal manure and wastewater occurs naturally underground in landfills. Most landfill gas results from the decomposition of cellulose contained in municipal and industrial solid waste. Unlike animal manure digesters, which control the anaerobic digestion process, the digestion occurring in landfills is an uncontrolled process of biomass decay. The efficiency of the process depends on the waste composition and moisture content of the landfill, cover material, temperature and other factors. The biogas released from landfills, commonly called "landfill gas," is typically 50-percent methane, 45-percent carbon dioxide and 5-percent other gases. The energy content of landfill gas is 400 to 550 Btu per cubic foot. Capturing landfill gas before it escapes to the atmosphere allows for conversion to useful energy. A landfill must be at least 40 feet deep and have at least one million tons of waste in place for landfill gas collection and power production to be technically feasible. A landfill gas-to-energy system consists of a series of wells drilled into the landfill. A piping system connects the wells and collects the gas. Dryers remove moisture from the gas, and filters remove impurities. The gas typically fuels an engine-generator set or gas turbine to produce electricity. The gas also can fuel a boiler to produce heat or steam. Further gas cleanup improves biogas to pipeline quality, the equivalent of natural gas. Reforming the gas to hydrogen would make possible the production of electricity using fuel cell technology.

Combined cycle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search A combined cycle is characteristic of a power producing engine or plant that employs more than one thermodynamic cycle. Heat engines are only able to use a portion of the energy their fuel generates (usually less than 50%). The remaining heat (e.g., hot exhaust fumes) from combustion is generally wasted. Combining two or more thermodynamic cycles, such as the Brayton cycle and Rankine cycle, results in improved overall efficiency. It can also work with the Otto, Diesel, and Crower cycles which may allow it to be suited to automotive use. Aside from the Rankine cycle, the Stirling cycle could also be used to re-use waste heat in automotive or aeronautical applications, for the simple reason that there is less weight (water) to carry and that Stirling engines or turbines can be made to operate with low temperature differences. In a combined cycle power plant (CCPP), or combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant, a gas turbine generator generates electricity and the waste heat is used to make steam to generate additional electricity via a steam turbine; this last step enhances the efficiency of electricity generation. Most new gas power plants in North America and Europe are of this type. In a thermal power plant, high-temperature heat as input to the power plant, usually from burning of fuel, is converted to electricity as one of the outputs and lowtemperature heat as another output. As a rule, in order to achieve high efficiency, the temperature difference between the input and output heat levels should be as high as possible (see Carnot efficiency). This is achieved by combining the Rankine (steam) and Brayton (gas) thermodynamic cycles. Such an arrangement used for marine propulsion is called combined gas (turbine) and steam (turbine) (COGAS).

Fuel for combined cycle power plants
Combined cycle plants are usually powered by natural gas, although fuel oil, synthesis gas or other fuels can be used. The supplementary fuel may be natural gas, fuel oil, or coal. Biofuels can also be used. Integrated solar combined cycle power stations are currently under construction at Hassi R'mel, Algeria and Ain Beni Mathar, Morocco [5]. Next generation nuclear power plants are also on the drawing board which will take advantage of the higher temperature range made available by the Brayton top cycle, as well as the increase in thermal efficiency offered by a Rankine bottoming cycle.

iomass: Biofuels
Biofuels are an incredibly popular topic of conversation these days and it's no surprise why - fuel prices are soaring and as a global community we are becoming increasingly aware of the effect our fossil-fuel consumption is having on the environment. Many believe strongly that biofuels are the solution to this crisis as they are harvested and produced from renewable sources - plant matter, wood, algae, even garbage and sewage can be utilized for their incredible energy potential. The resultant products of the

and then the siphoning off of glycerine. biodiesel. therefore reducing supply and raising food prices. Debate Over Use All can be used to generate energy in some form. bioalcohol (bioethanol and biomethanol) and solid biofuel. It is important to note that while these forms of energy generation are certainly renewable. such as plant oil. biodiesel can also be used in trucks. they do still emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Popular crops for this use include those with high sugar or starch content such as sugar cane. waste products and alcohol. The process for converting the oil into biodiesel is relatively simple and can be done in a non-industrial setting . . Aside from being used in diesel-fuelled cars. amongst other gases) it is better to harvest the biomass' energy potential and channel the emission of the gases towards energy production. should be suitable for use almost straight away. sorghum and corn. The end product. buses and involves heating the oil to remove any water. adding a base (commonly sodium hydroxide) to neutralize the free fatty acids contained in the oil. Biodiesel is manufactured from vegetable oil. It is important to note that biodiesel fuel is different to straight vegetable oil used as fuel. biogas. Vegetable oil is the most common biomass source (it is cheapest and most readily available). heating to instigate transesterification. be it heat. engines with suitable modifications can certainly take straight vegetable oil (SVO. but is less likely to affect the adoptiuon of biofuel solutions by individuals. the mixing in of a condensing agent. biodiesel. Biodiesel Generally the most popular biofuel. families and small business. In the long term this may lead to governments turning away from large-scale biofuel projects. or sometimes PPO . biodiesel is used all over the world for engine fuel and to a lesser extent for fuelling boilers and stoves (sometimes referred to as bioheat).processing of these biomass materials are generally referred to as 'biofuel' though this broad description can be broken down into further distinctions. whilst biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine. Supporters argue that as the biomass used would have died and decomposed naturally anyway (and thus released carbon dioxide and methane.pure plant oil). Experimental use of the fuel in aircraft is also under way. There is also controversy over the effect of biofuel production on food prices: with increasing amounts of agricultural land being given over to producing biofuels. algae and animal fats through the process of transesterification. and usually comes from plants that have been grown specifically for the production of biodiesel. it has been claimed that this has had the effect of reducing the space available for food production. electricity or motion (such as for powering a car).

As supporters of biofuelbased electricity will argue. second and third generation biofuels will continue to gain prominence in the fuel market. These generators take . coal and gas are used . Though not entirely environmentally friendly. it is expected that first. electricity generation » biomass » biodiesel electricity . are those which have been manufactured from left-over parts of plants that have already been used for food (stalks. Second generation biofuels. Biomass: Biodiesel Electricity Most forms of biofuel can be used for generating electricity in much the same way that oil. it involves the growth of algae for manufacturing into algal fuel and biobutanol. please use our sitemap.Other Biofuels Biodiesel is one of several first generation biofuels. meaning that it has been produced from plant products that have been grown solely for the purpose of creating fuel. biofuel-generated electricity is certainly preferable to using precious fossil fuel resources which are rapidly diminishing. which states that by 2010 5% of road vehicle fuel must be supplied from renewable sources. In order to make the most of biodiesel's potential many users have installed combined heat and power generators. the use of biofuels for electricity also results in carbon emissions. This menu requires javascript to be enabled. Because the British government has introduced the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. Third generation biofuel is perhaps the most interesting of all the biofuels as it is an up and coming area of scientific research. the difference is that these fuels are renewable whilst the standard fuels of oil. coal and gas are not. As with fossil-fuel electricity generation. Moreover.through burning. shells. for instance). many of the biofuels generated are taken from sources such as garbage. sewage and waste vegetable oil and are in effect recycling matter which would otherwise have been left to decompose in landfill. If it isn't.Key points of using biodiesel to generate electricity. While such generators would once have been powered by standard diesel it is now possible to use biodiesel or to purchase biodiesel-specific generators. such as biohydrogen and biomethanol. Other examples of first generation biofuels include bioalcohols such as biobutanol (generated through the fermentation of sugar or starch and believed to be suitable for use in normal petrol-fuelled car engines) and biogas (created through the anaerobic digestion of any biological matter). Homes And Businesses Back-up and small scale electricity generators are becoming increasingly popular in remote areas or in districts where power outages are common. husks and roots which are not edible.

VAT reductions and exemptions from the Climate Change Levy. In doing so they have also established incentives. as it is known. Second. Biomass: Worm Farms Known for being tasty fishing bait and for helping to keep garden soils healthy. such as grants. are springing up all over the globe as people become more aware of the differences between recyclable garbage. and land-fill refuse. Worm farms. Sometimes referred to as micro co-generators or mini co-generators. Biodiesel presents two key problems in terms of the fuelling of industrial-scale power-plants however. these machines can be called upon to produce between 5 and 500 kWe and are suitable for installation in houses and small businesses. and this in turn decreases the burden on land-fill and garbage processing facilities. for instance. both private and commercial. Firstly. Large-Scale Generation Large-scale production of biofuel generated electricity for inclusion into the mains grid is a possibility that has been discussed by a number of governments. The British government has acknowledged the usefulness of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and has set down a target of at least 10. Biogas can be purified to the quality of natural gas and can be fed through gas lines without the need for extra infrastructure. .000 MWe of installed CHP by the year 2010.biodiesel as the fuel for the engine which not only powers a generator for electricity but which also uses an exhaust gas heat exchanger and heat recovery system to heat internal spaces. It also has the potential to be produced in much larger quantities without significant strain on the environment (it can be obtained from garbage and sewage. Worm composting. Whilst they can't solve all of our garbage disposal problems worm farms do at least allow us to process biodegradable waste and reuse it in our gardens. The solution that many large businesses and governments are investigating is the use of biogas. worms are gaining popularity as an environmentally-friendly solution for garbage disposal and compost-manufacturing. or from algae). biodiesel is predominately used for automobile fuel and the growing petrol prices will only serve to increase demand for this renewable alternative. biodiesel is presently more expensive than fossil fuels such as oil and coal and cannot be produced in large enough quantities to supply industrial-scale power-plants for undetermined periods. is becoming increasingly widespread as more and more people turn to growing their own produce. kitchen and garden waste. Whilst biodiesel presents an ideal solution for small-scale electricity generation it would appear that the future for powerplant generation is with biogas.

but without the chemicals that fertilizers rely upon. sometimes known as vermicomposting systems. the worms can die. Different Types Worm farms come in several shapes and sizes and can be built from scratch or bought ready to use. whilst food waste from the kitchen tends to be high in nitrogen. Whilst non-continuous flow chambers are much easier to construct initially they will be harder to harvest as the worms will remain in the single level of compost rather than vacating it in favour of another tray. This 'worm water' can be used as plant fertilizer. or from specially manufactured worm-farm kits or worm bins. All systems should also have a tap or drainage system (such as holes drilled in the bottom of the container) included to allow the liquefied worm waste to drain.Basic Principles And Benefits Worm farms. It is also important to make sure your worm farm receives small amounts of protein usually through sparing use of meat scraps. used styrofoam boxes. There are three styles of small-scale farms: non-continuous (all of the organic waste matter. as well as enriching the soil with enzymes and plant hormones. can be used to enrich soils much in the same way as a fertilizer might. Effective Maintenance The most important aspect of creating and caring for a worm farm is the balance of foods that you give the worms to digest.soil contains grit which helps the worms to digest. The final result. worms and bedding are held in a single chamber. Paper products like newspaper are high in carbon. known as vermicompost or worm casting. Vermicompost is known to help soil retain water for longer periods. Maintaining the moisture and soil levels of the farm is also vital . healthier yields. making it harder to harvest but easier to build). rely upon a simple premise . . plastic or metal containers. particularly that which has come from kitchen scraps and clippings from the garden. and they will also need to be stirred regularly to allow for oxygenation. continuous horizontal flow (the worms are held in one chamber. for these reasons it may be worth investing in a continuous flow system.worms (usually red earthworms or red wrigglers) are good digesters of biodegradable waste. whilst the right level of water helps the microbes in the waste to break down the food for the worms to digest further. slowly migrating their way horizontally towards new food sources as they are added into adjoining chambers) and continuous vertical flow (the worms are encased in the bottom chamber and work their way up the bin as they process). Worms need both nitrogen and carbon to survive and without the correct amounts of both the vermicompost system can putrefy or worse. Crops fertilized with vermicompost are reported to have higher. For home use worm farms can be constructed from bricks.

heavy petroleum residues and biomass. The plant is called integrated because its syngas is produced in a gasification unit in the plant which has been optimized for the plant's combined cycle. coal is used for about 50 percent of U. electricity needs. In this example the syngas produced is used as fuel in a gas turbine which produces electrical power. this then also results in improved efficiency compared to conventional pulverized coal. This results in lower emissions of sulfur dioxide. Excess heat from the primary combustion and generation is then passed to a steam cycle. search An integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) is a technology that turns coal into gas—synthesis gas (syngas).S. Both because it can be found in abundance in America and many other countries and because the price of it has remained relatively constant in recent years.ntegrated gasification combined cycle From Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. To improve the overall process efficiency heat is recovered from both the gasification . particulates and mercury. similarly to a combined cycle gas turbine. It then removes impurities from the coal gas before it is combusted.[1] Below is a schematic flow diagram of an IGCC plant: Block diagram of IGCC power plant.[1] Thus the lower emissions that IGCC technology allows may be important in the future as emission regulations tighten due to growing concern for the impacts of pollutants on the environment and the globe. which utilizes the HRSG The gasification process can produce syngas from high-sulfur coal.

in the 20122020 time frame. selenium and cyanide. The Wabash River Generating Station is now wholly owned and operated by the Wabash River Power Association.491/kW installed capacity (2005 dollars) v. [3] Poland's Kędzierzyn will soon host a Zero-Emission Power & Chemical Plant that combines coal gasification technology with Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS).[citation needed] however. The plant failed. In the Reno demonstration project.593/kW[7]. The first generation of IGCC plants polluted less than contemporary coal-based technology.process and also the gas turbine exhaust in 'Waste Heat Boilers' producing steam. but also polluted water. Contents [hide] • • • • • 1 Cost and reliability 2 Recent Emerging IGCC Emission Controversy 3 See Also 4 References 5 External links [edit] Cost and reliability The main problem for IGCC is its extremely high capital cost. In 2007 there were only two IGCC plants generating power in the U. for example. $1. researchers found that then-current IGCC technology would not work more than 300 feet (100m) above sea level[2]. . This steam is then used in steam turbines to produce additional electrical power. and Pinon Pine in Reno.[5] (See FutureGen) There are several advantages and disadvantages when compared to conventional post combustion carbon capture and various variations and these are fully discussed at [6]. Indiana. several new IGCC plants are expected to come online in the U. IGCC is now touted as capture ready and could potentially capture and store carbon dioxide. Florida (online 1996). The supplement of up to 10% biomass in the combustion process will make this plant even more environmentally-friendly. Official US government figures give more optimistic estimates [8] of $1. the Wabash River Plant was out of compliance with its water permit during 1998–2001[4] because it emitted arsenic. these cost estimates have been demonstrated to be incorrect..S. but in light of current applications. Nevada.S. upwards of $3. The DOE Clean Coal Demonstration Project helped construct 3 IGCC plants: Wabash River Power Station in West Terre Haute.290 for a conventional clean coal facility. Polk Power Station in Tampa.

a fortune 500 company. GE's model features advanced turbines optimized for the coal syngas. All refinery-based plants use refinery residues. The gasifer design was originally done in Italy for a gasifier smaller by 2 x what was built at Polk. with availability comparable to or better than other technologies. and it is claimed that IGCC becomes even more attractive when you include the costs of carbon capture and sequestration. The Polk County IGCC has design problems. Unpublished paper. [13][14] There are several refinery-based IGCC plants in Europe that have demonstrated good availability (90-95%) after initial shakedown periods. built the facility in 1983 without any state or federal subsidies and turns a profit. as the feedstock. The gasifer was designed to also handle lower rank lignites.[12] Wabash River was down repeatedly for long stretches due to gasifier problems.) Keim. K. have a third gasifier and train built in. 2. [10][11] That's before addition of carbon capture and sequestration (sequestration has been a mature technology at both Weyburn in the US (for enhanced oil recovery) and Sleipner in the North Sea at a commercial scale for the past ten years)—capture at a 90% rate is expected to have a $30/MWh additional cost.Outdated per megawatt-hour cost of an IGCC plant vs a pulverized coal plant coming online in 2010 would be $56 vs $52. and those problems were expensive to repair.. the project was initially shut down because of corrosion in the slurry pipeline that fed slurried coal from the rail cars into the gasifier. Newer cermanic materials may assist in improving gasifier performance and longevity. $95 per megawatt-hour for pulverized coal. and the gasifier problems have not been remedied—subsequent [9] Recent testimony in regulatory proceedings show the cost of IGCC to be twice that predicted by Goddell. (Polk IGCC Power Plant. Eastman. Eastman's industrial gasification plant in Kingsport. . First. from $96 to 104/MWhr. None of these facilities use advanced technology (F type) gas turbines. an indication that the gasifier had problems with a variety of feedstocks. rather than coal. IGCC A Project on Sustainability Management Systmes for Plant Re-Design and Re-Image. the thermocoupler was replaced in less than two years. http://www. the past year has seen Wabash River running reliably. TN uses a GE Energy solid-fed gasifier. Second. Several factors help this performance: 1. from bituminous to sub-bituminous coal. 2009. unplanned down time on the gasifer because of refractory liner problems. Third. Harvard University) General Electric is currently designing an IGCC model plant that should introduce greater reliability. such as Excelsior's Mesaba Project. IGCC becoming $79 per megawatt-hour vs. A new coating for the pipe was developed. Understanding the operating problems of the built IGCC is necessary to design the IGCC of the future. However. This eliminates coal handling and coal preparation equipment and its problems.cleanenergy.

however.)[16] also speaks to the likelihood of future carbon regulations coming sooner. In Delaware. which reduces cleanup and downtime in its gas cooling and cleaning stages.ON and RWE (both Germany) and NUON (Netherlands). and Southern Company in the US. The Nuon Magnum IGCC power plant will be commissioned in 2011. Another IGCC success story has been the 250 MW Buggenum plant in The Netherlands. NUON. electric power companies. the Delmarva and state consultant analysis had essentially the same results. rather than later. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has been awarded to construct the power plant. This potential for less expensive carbon capture makes IGCC an attractive choice for keeping low cost coal an available fuel source in a carbon constrained link below) Next generation IGCC plants with CO2 capture technology will be expected to have higher thermal efficiency and to hold the cost down because of simplified systems compared to conventional IGCC. the increase is approximately 33%. E. The high cost of IGCC is the biggest obstacle to its integration in the power market. Duke Energy. they started up a 250 MW demo plant in Nakaso. Bills requiring carbon reduction are being proposed again both the House and the Senate. most energy executives recognize that carbon regulation is coming soon. The owner. For a natural gas CC. the increase is approximately 68%. with an emissions profile not significantly better than pulverized coal.300 MW IGCC plant in the Netherlands. although none is yet under construction. For a pulverized coal plant. and in Europe by ZAK/PKE. The main feature is that instead of using oxygen and nitrogen to gasify coal. (see gasification. In Minnesota. NUON is constructing a 1. there is a much lower level of ash produced in the gasifier. in conjunction with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has been operating a 200 t/d IGCC pilot plant since the early '90s.1% and no detected leaching of trace elements. It burns PRB coal with an unburned carbon content ratio of <0. It employs not only F type turbines but G type as well. Projects are being developed by AEP. The Supreme Court decision requiring the EPA to regulate carbon (Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al. The main advantage is that it is . and with the Democratic majority it seems likely that with the next President there will be a greater push for carbon regulation.[15] A new generation of IGCC-based coal-fired power plants has been proposed.Also. and have reorganized their operating staff accordingly. With carbon capture. they use oxygen and CO2. the state's Dept. Environmental Protection Agency et al. the cost of electricity from an IGCC plant would increase approximately 30%. of Commerce analysis found IGCC to have the highest cost. is paid an incentive fee by the government to use the biomass. In Japan. In September 2007. 3. It runs on air-blown (not oxygen) dry feed coal only. v. It also has good availability. Centrica (UK). These non-utility plants have recognized the need to treat the gasification system as an up-front chemical processing plant. This coal-based IGCC plant currently uses about 30% biomass as a supplemental feedstock.

a 2008 Presidential Candidate. heat. EPA's regulations under the Clean Air Act. or the enactment of federal global warming legislation . and value-added chemicals from biomass.[citation needed] The CO2 extracted from gas turbine exhaust gas is utilized in this system.S."[20] What is Biorefinery? A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels. Senator Hillary Clinton from New York. Senator Harry Reid (Majority Leader of the 2007/2008 U. which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum. but there is no clean coal technology. "I'm going to do everything I can to stop these plants.including state carbon controls. Reid wants Nevada utility companies to invest in solar energy. —[17] [edit] Recent Emerging IGCC Emission Controversy In 2007. it is only possible to achieve just over 30% efficiency with a 1300 degree gas turbine. and just one proposed coal-fired plant would contribute to it by burning seven million tons of coal a year. Using a closed gas turbine system capable of capturing the CO2 by direct compression and liquefication obviates the need for a separation and capture system. There is cleaner coal technology.possible to improve the performance of cold gas efficiency and to reduce the unburned carbon (char). wind energy and geothermal energy instead of coal technologies. In case of conventional IGCC systems. With a 1300 degrees C class gas turbine it is possible to achieve 42% net thermal efficiency. power. "Any one of the several new or likely regulatory initiatives for CO2 emissions from power plants . Senate) told the 2007 Clean Energy Summit that he will do everything he can to stop construction of proposed new IGCC coal-fired electric power plants in Nevada. with CO2 capture. including IGCC. has proposed that this full risk disclosure be required of all publicly-traded power companies nationwide. he said.". the New York State Attorney General's office demanded full disclosure of "financial risks from greenhouse gases" to the shareholders of electric power companies proposing the development of IGCC coal-fired power plants.[1] . The long-term healthcare costs would be far too high.S.would add a significant cost to carbon-intensive coal generation"[18]. "There is no clean coal technology. The biorefinery concept is analogous to today's petroleum refinery. Reid stated that global warming is a reality. rising to 45% with a 1500 degree class gas turbine. U.[19] This honest disclosure has begun to reduce investor interest in all types of existing-technology coal-fired power plant development.

materials) and bioenergy (biofuels. A biorefinery could. chemical or nutraceutical products and a low-value. the bio-refinery has yet to be fully realized. the high-volume fuel helps meet energy needs. for its own use and perhaps enough for sale of electricity to the local utility. but high-value. and the power production helps to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional power plant facilities. Future biorefineries may play a major role in producing chemicals and materials that are traditionally produced from petroleum. produce one or several low-volume. The high-value products increase profitability. starting from feedstocks such as tobacco. power and/or heat) . for example. feed.The IEA Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefineries has defined Biorefining as the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of bio-based products (food. chemicals. Several potential biorefinery examples have been proposed. through combined heat and power (CHP) technology. a biorefinery takes advantage of the various components in biomass and their intermediates therefore maximizing the value derived from the biomass feedstock. Although some facilities exist that can be called bio-refineries. but high-volume liquid transportation fuel such as biodiesel or bioethanol (see also alcohol fuel). By producing multiple products. flax straw and the residues from the production of bioetha . At the same time generating electricity and process heat.

Volume 2. carbon is turned to carbon dioxide and "released" to the atmosphere. in consumption. the biorefinery converts plant biomass to energy. chemicals and materials.Biomass Conversion Processes The biorefinery overall is carbon neutral. A special issue on Biorefinery on Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy. . in that carbon dioxide is "caught" from the atmosphere by plants. Number 2. 2008.

global consumption of wood energy has continued to grow. 1988). wood fuels are the most prominent. Until the middle of 19th century. global wood . With rapid increase in fossil fuel use.Biomass Refinery Flow Chart © 2008 The Biorefinery Research Institute Design by Jimmy Liu STATUS OF BIOMASS ENERGY Biomass materials are used since millennia for meeting myriad human needs including energy. Despite its declining share in energy. Main sources of biomass energy are trees. biomass dominated the global energy supply with a seventy percent share (Grubler and Nakicenovic. Among the biomass energy sources. crops and animal waste. the share of biomass in total energy declined steadily through substitution by coal in the nineteenth century and later by refined oil and gas during the twentieth century. During 1974 to 1994.

Improvements in soil preparation. Steady increase in the size of biomass technologies has contributed to declining fixed unit costs.1 to 50 MW. the energy content of biomass residues in agriculture based industries annually is estimated at 56 exajoules. http://www. cultivation methods. Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) are efficient and flexible in accepting varied types of fuels. planting. For electricity generation. the biomass sources contribute 14% of global energy and 38% of energy in developing countries (Woods and Hall. Gasifiers first convert solid biomass into gaseous fuels which is then used through a steam cycle or directly through gas turbine/engine.consumption for energy grew annually by over 2 percent rate (Figure 1). improved fuel processing technologies and enhanced efficiency of end-use technologies. nearly a quarter of global primary energy use of 230 exajoules (WEC. Johansson et al. Presently. ADVANCEMENTS IN BIOMASS ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES Technological advancement in biomass energy is derived from two spheres .e2analytics. Small economic size and co-firing with other fuels has also opened up additional application. 1994).biomass energy production practices and energy conversion technologies. . 1993). Development of improved harvesting and post harvesting technologies have also contributed to reduction in production cost of biomass energy. Versatility of modern biomass technologies to use variety of biomass feedstock has enhanced the supply potential. bio-genetics and pest. 1994).com 2 Biomass integrated gasifier/ combined cycle (BIG/CC) technology has potential to be competitive (Reddy et al. disease and fire control have led to enhanced yields. Typical plant sizes at present range from 0. Co-generation applications are very efficient and economical. species matching. 1996) since biomass as a feedstock is more promising than coal for gasification due to its low sulfur content and less reactive character. Technological advancements in biomass energy conversion comes from three sources . 1997.enhanced efficiency of biomass energy conversion technologies. A rich experience of managing commercial energy plantations in varied climatic conditions has emerged during the past two decades (Hall et al. The biomass fuels are suitable for the highly efficient power generation cycles based on gasification and pyrolysis processes. two most competitive technologies are direct combustion and gasification. Globally.

com 3 tropics far exceeded afforestation (by a ratio of 8. . In the wake of rapid industrialization and marketization during past two decades. The increasing pressure on existing forests has already lead to considerable deforestation. growing at an annual rate of over 2 percent (FAO. BIOMASS ENERGY IN ASIAN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Biomass remains the primary energy source in the developing countries in Asia. as well as by traditional and artisan industries. Despite policy interventions by many Asian governments. Various factors like rising population and shortages or unaffordability of commercial fuels in rural and traditional sectors have sustained the growing biomass use. nearly a third in India and Indonesia. The absolute consumption of biomass energy has however risen unabatedly during past two decades. Sri Lanka and Myanmar.Gas turbines are commercially available in sizes ranging from 20 to 50 MW. 1981. Pakistan and Philippines. Biomass delivers most energy for the domestic use (rural . Bhutan. 1986. to a low 10 percent in China and 7 percent in Malaysia (FAO. 1996). 1994). BIOMASS ENERGY IN INDIA: STATUS Biomass contributes over a third of primary energy in India. Technology development indicates that a 40 MW combined cycle gasification plant with efficiency of 42 percent is feasible at a capital cost of 1. many Asian countries have initiated such programs. Consumption of wood has grown annually at 2 percent rate over past two decades (FAO. The deforestation and land degradation has made tropical Asian forests the net emitters of atmospheric CO2 (Dixon et al. the higher penetration of commercial fossil fuels in most Asian developing nations has caused decline in the share of biomass energy. FAO. 1997). Cambodia.5:1) during the 1980’s (Houghton. 1992). FAO.e2analytics. 1993).7 million US dollars with electricity generation cots of 4 cents/ KWh (Frisch. Share of biomass in energy varies .90% and urban 40%) in India (NCAER. 1994). al. nearly half in Vietnam. 1997). Biomass fuels are predominantly used in rural households for cooking and water heating. The sustainable growth of biomass energy in Asia therefore would require augmenting existing biomass resources with modern plantations and energy crops and by introducing efficient biomass energy conversion technologies. Wood fuels contribute 56 percent of total biomass energy (Sinha et. 1996).from a very high over three quarters in percent in Nepal Laos. the deforestation in http://www. Lately.

e2analytics. A recent study (Rai and Chakrabarti. formaldehyde.. In the absence of an energy market. http://www. Three .5 million tons (dry). and cattle dung cake. 1996) estimates demand in India for fuelwood at 201 million tons (Table 1). Supply of biomass is primarily from fuels that are home grown or collected by households for own needs. due to excess labour. most biomass fuels are not traded nor do they compete with commercial energy resources. aromatics and respirable particulate matter. al. especially of women and children who are exposed to indoor 4 Problems of Traditional Biomass Energy Use Most biomass energy in India is derived from owned sources like farm trees or cattle. 1997). growing energy needs from rural industry and commerce and penetration of logistics infrastructure into remote biomass rich areas have now led to an unsustainable exploitation of biomass. methane. Supply-side estimates (Ravindranath and Hall. or is collected by households from common property lands.Estimates of biomass consumption remain highly variable (Ravindranath and Hall. biomass acquires no resource value so long as it is not scarce. Exploitation of abundant biomass resources from common lands sustained the traditional biomass consumption since millennia. 1993. benzene. Absence of market thus acts as a barrier to the penetration of efficient and clean energy resources and technologies.96 million tons (estimate for 1985). 1995). The incomplete combustion of biomass in traditional stoves releases pollutants like carbon monoxide. 1995) of biomass energy are reported as: fuelwood for domestic sector. In absence of a developed energy market in rural areas. The biomass energy consumption is primarily limited to meet cooking needs of households and traditional industries and services in rural areas. 1992) since most biomass is not transacted on the market. benzo(a)pyrene. Smith. 1987. nitrogen oxides.218. The twin problems of traditional biomass use are the energy inefficiency and excessive pollution. In developing 5 pollution for long duration (Smith. These pollutants cause considerable damage to health. An additional problem with the traditional biomass use is the social costs associated with excessive pollution. 1995.37 million tons. Joshi et. the traditional biomass fails to acquire exchange value in substitution. Increasing pressure from growing population. crop residue.e2analytics. Patel and Raiyani. The Government sponsored social forestry programme has added to fuel-wood supply to the tune of 40 million tons annually (Ravindranath and Hall.

was potentially the most suitable to alleviate macro and micro concerns raised by the rural energy crisis. oil imports became the major cause of growing trade deficit and balance of http://www.inefficient combustion technologies. . which was 8 percent in 1970. India's oil imports rose rapidly during 1970’s with kerosene and diesel contributing most to the rising oil imports bill. A decade before the oil crisis of 1973. Biomass. Share of oil in imports. India appointed the Energy Survey Committee. iii) trading of wood in rural areas and urban peripheries to meet demand of growing industries like brick making and services like highway restaurants in the wake of sustained shortages of commercial energy. improved cook-stove programme). The crisis called for a national policy response to find economically viable and sustainable energy resources to meet growing rural energy needs. environmental hazards from indoor pollution and unsustainable harvesting practices. Rural energy crisis in the mid-1970s arose from four factors . programmes for promoting renewable energy technologies (RETs) were initiated in late 1970s. Programmes for promoting biogas and improved cook-stoves began as early as in 1940’s. being a local. Biomass Energy Policies and Programmes India has a long history of energy planning and programme interventions. To ameliorate increasing oil import burden and to diffuse the deepening rural energy crisis. ii) improving the supply of biomass (e. increased to 24 percent in 1975 and 46 percent in 1980 (Shukla. The oil import was neither a viable solution at micro economy level.main problems associated with the traditional biomass are . The national biomass policy originated later. In following decade. widely accessible and renewable resource. ii) rising rural household energy demand (following the population growth). Biomass policies followed a multi-pronged strategy: i) improving efficiency of the traditional biomass use (e. A vast section of poor households had little disposable income to buy commercial fuels. and iv) over exploitation of common property biomass resources. The aim of modern biomass programmes are to overcome these problems.g. 1997).e2analytics. Afforestation and rural electrification programmes are pursued since 1950’s. A short term response resorted to was of importing kerosene and LPG to meet cooking needs and diesel for irrigation pumping. as a component of rural and renewable energy policies as a response to rural energy crisis and oil imports. in the decade of 1970’s.g.i) increased oil 6 payment crisis.

their overall impact on rural energy remains marginal (Ramana et al. improved cook-stoves). 1997). Some of the progrmme achievements include introduction of efficient and clean technologies for household energy use like improved cook-stoves (22.The Technology Push Strategy The RETs programmes received enhanced support with the establishment of DNES which emphasized decentralized and direct use renewable technologies. wasteland development). iii) technologies for improving the quality of biomass use (e. in locations and applications where the conventional technology was unavailable or as stop gap supply options where commercial energy could not be supplied.g. Perspective Shift Towards Market Pull Policies . The renewable energy sources were viewed primarily as the solution to rural and remote area energy needs.4 million) and community biogas plants (1623) have http://www. The institutional response resulted in establishment of DNES (Department of Non-Conventional Energy Sources) in 1982 and state level nodal energy agencies during the early 1980s decade. The energy projects were thus pushed by the government. neither the modern plantation practices for augmenting the biomass supply nor the growing pool of advanced biomass energy conversion technologies could penetrate the Indian energy market.5 million). Under the circumstance. family sized biogas plants of 2 to 4 cubic meter per day capacity (2. biogas. Secondly.e2analytics. biomass electricity generation) to deliver services provided by conventional energy sources. Early Policy Perspective . Direct subsidy to the user and supply orientation were the major element of the Renewable Energy forestry. iv) introduction of biomass based technologies (wood gasifiers for irrigation. Although. the policies primarily focused on the supply-side push. the biogas and improved cook-stove programmes have been moderately successful. and v) establishing institutional support for programme formulation and implementation. In other words. Two deficiencies in policy perspectives contributed to the slow progress in the penetration of biomass technology. Market instruments had little role in biomass 7 been added (till March 1996) to the technology stock (CMIE. the biomass was viewed solely as a traditional fuel for meeting rural energy needs. Firstly. 1996). RETs were never viewed as viable competitive options.

having 16 MW total capacity. the MNES’s policy shift towards market based incentives and http://www. The timing of the change in the perspective coincided with the development of several advanced biomass technologies. As a result. Since early 1990s. led to the enhanced status of RET programmes. motive power and electricity generation applications exists in India. the policy shift towards market oriented economic reforms by the Government of India has shifted the perspective towards allowing a greater role by market 8 institutional support has led to introduction of modern biomass technologies such as bagasse based co-generation and large scale gasification and combustion technologies for electricity generation using a variety of biomass. MODERN BIOMASS TECHNOLOGY IN INDIA: EXPERIENCES A decade of experience with modern biomass technologies for thermal. the use of which had to be improved through a push by government programmes. government’s role is not to push programmes but to enact policies which internalize social benefits and costs of competing fuels. captive power generation and process heat generation in industries producing biomass waste. ii) reorientation from technology push to market pull. replacing 8.e2analytics.It was increasingly realized that a limiting factor to the success of programmes was the restrictive perception of biomass as a traditional fuel for meeting rural energy needs and focus on the supply-side push. The policy shift is characterized by: i) higher emphasis on market based instruments compared to regulatory controls. have generated 42 million Kilo Watt hour (KWh) of electricity. the alleviation of DNES in 1992 to a full fledged ministry. The new perspective views biomass as a competitive energy resource which can be pulled through energy markets.8 million litres of oil annually (CMIE. Besides. 1996). and iii) enhanced role of private sector. An important aspect of small gasifier technology . the traditional approach did not consider any role for market in promoting biomass supply or efficient use. Since energy markets were non-existent or weak in rural areas. Gasifier technology has penetrated the applications such as village electrification. MNES (Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources). biomass was viewed as a non-commercial rural resource (a poor man's fuel). Under the old perspective. Over 1600 gasifier systems. Under this view.

The large sized gasifier based power technologies are at R&D and pilot demonstration stage.5 to 100 KW. The biomass electricity programme took shape after MNES appointed the task force . Nearly 55 MW of grid connected biomass power capacity is commissioned and another 90 MW capacity is under construction. Policies for realizing biomass electric power potential through modern technologies under competitive dynamics has a recent origin in India. R&D and Pilot Project Experiences Four gasifier Action Research Centers (ARCs) located within different national institutions and supported by the MNES have developed twelve gasifier models. ranging from 9 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. wood waste. rice husk. A rice husk based co-generation plant of 10. While the co-generation projects are successfully operated. 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. wild bushes and paper mill waste. 1995). wood. Large Scale Electricity Generation Programmes The future of modern biomass power programme rests on its competitive ability vis-à-vis other centralized electricity generation technologies. 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.e2analytics. bagasse. The experiences with R&D and pilot project suggests the need for considerable technological and institutional improvements to make biomass energy competitive. Two co-generation projects (3 MW surplus power capacity) in sugar mills and one rice paddy straw based power project (10 MW) were India is the development of local manufacturing base. Technology improvement is also derived from joint ventures of Indian firms with leading international manufacturers of turbines and electronic governors. The rapid escalation in the price of rice husk and low capacity utilization added to the cost making the operation uneconomical.5 MW capacity installed by http://www. Enhanced scale has improved economics as well as the technology of biomass power generation.

Packages of practices for 36 promising species are prepared. It began in late 1994 as a Pilot Programme launched with approval of two 5 MW projects. Supply of biomass at a competitive cost can be ensured only with a highly efficient biomass production system. 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. high yielding and short rotation (5-6 years) fuelwood tree species for the degraded waste lands in these zones. The focus of modern biomass programme is on the cogeneration. http://www. 1995). 1. especially in sugar 1993 and recommended the thrust on bagasse based co-generation. 1995).8 tons per hectare per year is reported (Chaturvedi.e2analytics. 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 gasification R&D-cumDemonstration project of 500 Kilo Watt (KW) capacity. 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. While the use of cultivable . A cogeneration potential of 17.2 tons per hectare per year (Ravindranath and Hall. The cost of electricity generation from these plants are anticipated to be quite competitive at Rs. To enhance biomass productivity. Exploitation of bioenergy potential is vitally linked to the adequate land supply. their benefits remains to be realized. The programme aims to utilize some of the 350 million tons of agricultural and agro-industrial residues produced annually in India.000 MW power is identified. 1993) from some promising fuel-wood species. Productivity of crops and trees depend critically on agroclimatic factors. Biomass yield of up to 36. Since the knowledge of these package of practices has remained limited within the research circles. The mean productivity of farm forestry nationally is very low at 4. Some centers have existed for over a 10 Technology for Production of Biomass Modern biomass supply has to be driven by the dynamics of energy market.8 per KWh. Programme for biomass combustion based power has even more recent origin. with 6000 MW in sugar industry alone (Rajan.

1997). 1992) to 130 million hectares (SPDW. 1995). The programme led to raising energy efficiency of cookstoves to 20 percent. where 44% of energy is contributed by biomass. 1997). In 1995. These developments have opened new avenues for biomass energy in several Asian nations. and iii) penetration of biomass based electricity generation technologies. pyrolysis technology and gasification of agriculture residue and wood.crop land for fuel remains controversial under the "food versus fuel" debate. were in use for treating waste water for 2 million urban population (Keyun. Two hundred small biogas based power plants. 1984). ii) process development for conversion of raw biomass to superior fuels (such as liquid fuels. with a penetration of 483 MW and 323 MW respectively in sugar industry in two major sugar cane producing provinces Guandong and Guangxi (Baofen and Xiangjun. in early 1980’s.{PRIVATE } Research and development (R&D) in China has focused on a process for converting a high quality Chinese sorghum breed into liquid fuel. The policy support points to a promising future for modern biomass in China. gas and briquettes). there exists a vast supply of degraded land which is available cheaply for fuel-wood plantations.5 MW. The estimates of degraded land vary from 66 million hectares (Ministry of Agriculture. with a capacity of 1 million m3. produced 3 GWh of electricity annually (Ravindranath and 11 China. nearly 6 million biogas digesters produced 1. 1995).5 billion m3 gas annually (Baofen and Xiangjun. . adding to a capacity of 3.e2analytics. With improved biomass productivity and efficient energy conversion. Another 24. Philippines is a major biomass using nation. 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. Biomass based electricity generation technologies have penetrated the Chinese market lately. http://www.000 biogas purification digesters. initiated a nationwide programmes to disseminate improved cookstove and biogas technologies. besides India.i) improvement of technologies in traditional biomass applications such as for cooking and rural industries. saving nearly a ton of wood fuel per household (Shuhua et al. MODERNIZATION OF BIOMASS ENERGY IN ASIA Modernization in biomass energy use in Asia has happened in the last two decades along three routes . 1997).

Programme met with failure inn 1980’s due to myriad circumstances . Indonesia has immense biomass resource endowment. The policy of purchase of power from Small Power Producers SSP announced in 1992 by Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) can be favourble to biomass electricity producers (Verapong. 1986). 1997).like political instability. cost of biomass energy is not yet competitive (Martosudirjo. there were 328 rice mills producing 430 thousand tons of rice husk (Ang. 9 million hectares of land is under wood plantation. Thailand is a large user of biomass energy. Nearly sixty percent land is under forests and fifteen percent under cultivation. The saw mill waste is adequate to support another 800 MW. In 1995. Biomass contributes over a third of energy. inappropriate technology. A third of biomass energy is consumed in industry. 1997). In 1970’s. The recent policy of facilitating the small scale private producers (30 MW) is expected to be beneficial for biomass electricity applications. and a third of the imported oil in 1979 was used for electricity generation (Bawagan and Semana. agroprocessing and textile industries (Verapong. 1997). over reliance on a single tree species. The wood waste from over a hundred plywood plants has potential to fuel 200 MW power. which contributes a quarter of total 12 is still slow. Wood briquettes from saw dust has grown around domestic and export demand. with 109 million hectares forest area covering sixty percent of land mass. Malaysia also has considerable biomass resource base. A cogeneration potential of 3100 MW biomass based power is identified in chemical. Several fishmeal manufacturers . inadequate institutional support and lack of functioning biomass energy market. The response on the SSP policy http://www.Philippines was among the first nations to initiate the modern biomass programme. Besides. The forest and agriculture industry generate substantial quantities of wastes and residues which are available cheaply. 1997). Although a large potential exists. 1980). declining oil prices. 1997) and penetration has remained marginal. A biomass combustion based (dendrothermal) power programme was launched in 1979 with aims to reduce the share of imported oil fired electricity plants to 30% (Durst.e2analytics. Palm oil industry is a major source of residues. a three quarters of electricity in Philippines was generated from oil and diesel fired power plants. Bagasse is used in sugar mills as a boiler feedstock (Panyatanya. Another vast biomass source is rice husk.

using biomass to produce energy is often a way to dispose of biomass waste materials that otherwise would create environmental risks. Methane released from decomposition of livestock and poultry manure generates about 9 percent of all human-caused methane emissions in the United States. In contrast. using biomass for energy can deliver unique environmental dividends as well as useful energy. Natural decomposition of organic material. coal and petroleum fuels for energy adds CO2 to the atmosphere without a balancing cycle to remove it. human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are having an effect on regional climate and weather patterns. Reducing Greenhouse Gases: Methane Compared to CO2. releases methane. Microorganisms such as salmonella. solid waste landfills. Reducing Greenhouse Gases: Carbon Dioxide Carbon dioxide (CO2). This cycle makes it possible for biomass energy to avoid increasing the net amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. When biomass is burned. carbon returns to the atmosphere in the form of CO2. methane has 21 times the global warming potential. The regulations allow operators to use landfill methane for energy production or burn off the gas to avoid the release of methane into the atmosphere.Biomass Energy and the Environment Unlike any other energy resource. Carbon is stored in biomass. Using biomass-derived methane to produce useful energy consumes methane and reduces the risk to the environment that would otherwise result from natural decomposition. generating electricity with biomass-derived methane fuel can offset power produced from fossil fuels and reduce the net CO2 emissions from electric power generation. It has been estimated that 60 to 80 percent of methane emissions are the result of human activity. if the collection or processing of biomass consumes any fossil fuel. Protecting Clean Water Livestock manure generated at feedlots and dairies poses a risk of surface and ground water contamination from runoff. Because human-caused emissions. nitrous oxide and certain other gases are called greenhouse gases because they trap heat in the Earth´s atmosphere. The global concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is increasing. the global atmospheric concentration of methane increased 6 percent from 1984 to 1994. uncontrolled landfill gas emissions cause odor problems and a risk of explosion and fire. In the following ways. Anaerobic digestion of manure destroys most of these microorganisms. especially in wetlands. additional biomass would need to be grown to offset the carbon released from the fossil fuel. . forming new biomass as they grow. Using biomass fuels instead of fossil fuels may reduce the risk of adverse climate change from greenhouse gas emissions. For example. However. A natural greenhouse effect of trace gases and water vapor warms the atmosphere and makes the Earth habitable. the combustion of natural gas. Federal Clean Air Act regulations require collection of methane produced in landfills. There is no net increase in atmospheric CO2 if the new growth of plants and trees fully replaces the supply of biomass consumed for energy. In addition. Trees and plants remove carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Processing manure through anaerobic digesters can make the methane available for conversion to useful energy and avoid methane emissions to the atmosphere. The process produces environmentally stable liquid and fiber residue. methane. cattle feedlots and dairies are sources of human-caused methane emissions. brucella and coliforms in manure can transmit disease to humans and animals. The rate and magnitude of climate change effects are not yet clear. However. Besides the potential effect of methane emissions on climate.

In this form. Keeping Waste Out of Landfills Using urban wood waste for fuel reduces the volume of waste that otherwise would be buried in landfills. the health of large areas of forestland has deteriorated. The ash residue that remains after combustion of waste wood is less than 1 percent of the volume of the wood waste consumed. Acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints. Removing biomass from forested areas where an excess of dead wood has accumulated reduces forest fire risk. steam or electric power. state regulations have reduced the amount of open field burning of grass seed straw in Oregon's Willamette Valley. SO2 and NOx gases and their particulate matter derivatives (sulfates and nitrates) contribute to smog and endanger public health. Co-firing biomass with coal can reduce SO2 and NOx emissions at coal-fired power plants. The level of NOx emissions from biomass combustion facilities depends on the design of the facility and the nitrogen content of the feedstock. Tighter control of these emissions is desirable in areas with frequent smog problems and in areas protected for their pristine qualities. Aside from their contribution to acid rain. 39 million acres (about 30 percent) of National Forest land in the West is threatened by unnatural fuel accumulations. Because of air quality concerns. Industrial combustion boilers with pollution control equipment in place burn more efficiently and cleanly than open fires. In many areas the natural ecosystem has been significantly altered. Residential woodstoves can be a major source of particulate air pollution. Acid rain increases acidity of lakes and streams and damages trees at high elevations. the emissions from using wood fuel for energy are far less harmful. Smoke emissions from forest fires and slash burning adversely affect air quality. Efficient combustion of biomass results in low emissions of SO2 and production of fewer organic compounds that cause smog compared to emissions from facilities that burn coal or oil. Similar conditions exist in forests throughout the Western United States. Protecting Forests Dense growth has limited the size and resiliency of trees in some forested areas of the state. Grass seed straw and other agricultural residues are potential biomass fuels. According to Western Forest Health and Biomass Energy Potential. Oregon became the first state to enact regulations restricting woodstove emissions. Reducing Acid Rain and Smog Air pollution from burning fossil fuels is the major cause of acid rain. Some of these compounds fall to earth in the form of acid rain. Environmental Protection Agency. Selective thinning would improve the general health of the remaining trees and reduce the risk of fire. the filtrate should be applied as close to the ground as possible to avoid volatile ammonia emissions. oxygen and oxidants to form acidic compounds (sulfuric acid and nitric acid). New woodstoves currently must meet certification standards of the U. for example. Reducing Air Pollution Field burning of agricultural residue emits particulate matter and other air pollutants. The condition of the forest in these overgrown areas is not natural. They are also potential feedstock for conver-sion to ethanol. It is largely the result of fire suppression and past logging practices.S. creating a high risk of intense wildfire. Emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) react in the atmosphere with water. With less competition for nutrients and water. In 1983. Improvements in stove technology have made woodstoves more efficient and have reduced particulate matter emissions by as much as 90 percent over older woodstoves and fireplaces. Compared to the smoke emitted from forest fires and slash burning. Uncontaminated ash can be used as a soil amendment to add minerals and to adjust soil acidity. a study prepared for the Department of Energy. However. Pollution control equipment can further reduce NOx and particulate emissions.The liquid portion of digester residue (called filtrate) contains approximately 75 percent of the nitrogen present in raw manure but in a more soluble form. These materials are suitable as fuel for appropriately designed combustion boilers to produce heat. In the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. the . Farmers must carefully manage land application of filtrate to avoid overloading the soil with more nutrients than the plants can use. the nitrogen is more available to plants. snow or fog.

In future this gap can be expected to reduce due to three reasons . Delivered cost of coal also varies depending upon the extraction costs and logistic costs which vary with http://www. 72 per GJ. Biomass energy cost is highly variable. depending upon the source. use rice husk for drying. Evidently. with a standard size of 500 MW. COMPETITIVENESS OF MODERN BIOMASS ELECTRICITY Biomass based electric power generation technologies succeeded in niche applications such as supplying electricity in decentralized location and industries generating biomass waste. Seven demonstration plants for cogeneration and efficient biomass combustion are also being promoted (Ang. cost of biomass shall reduce due to improved plantation practices and coal price shall increase since it is an exhaustible resource. Cogeneration systems (350 KW size) using rice husk are established in three rice mills. The large scale penetration of biomass power technologies depends on their delivered cost and reliability in direct competition with conventional electricity sources in centralized electricity supply. the delivered cost of electricity from a 50 MW biomass based power plants is higher compared to coal power plant by 15 percent. Scale of grid based biomass plants vary from a 1 MW to 50 MW. The surplus biomass that could be available from thinning unnaturally overgrown forest areas is a large renewable energy resource. Biomass Power Under Fair Competition: Internalizing the Externalities Associated with conventional electric power plants are some negative social and . the composition of delivered cost of electricity from different plants is as shown in Figure 13 the distance from the mine. location etc.remaining trees would have a better chance of maturing into old growth stands. the principal competing source for electricity supply is the coal based power. In India. 48 per giga joule (GJ) and biomass as Rs. Carefully planned forest thinning activities can preserve wildlife habitat and minimize soil erosion so that the use of forest biomass can be done in a sustainable manner.the scale difference between coal and biomass plants shall narrow. Assuming the base price of coal in India as Rs.e2analytics. Coal power plants are built with large scale technology. 1997).

biomass electricity is far cheaper.e2analytics. Comparative assessment of different models in the U.1 ton of sulfur dioxide per TJ. 1997) from conventional fuel use.. A fair competition requires internalization of the social and environmental externalities of competing sources. regional as well as global hazards. Under a fair competition therefore.environmental externalities. Figure 2 shows the cost structure of delivered electricity with internalized costs of CO2 and SO2 emissions under two plausible tax scenarios . Shukla. IPCC. 1986). 1997). Contrarily. lower marginal costs for carbon mitigation are reported (UNEP.namely CO2 and SO2 emissions. electricity from coal power plant is more expensive than biomass power plant. Biomass plantation is often a best way to reclaim degraded lands and to generate sizable employment (Miller et al. when environmental externalities from fossil fuels are internalized.S. Coal combustion for electricity generation is associated with two negative externalities . and ii) Low Tax scenario: $25 per ton of carbon tax and $200 per ton of sulfur dioxide 14 per tons are reported (Hilring. 1995. Estimates of carbon tax for stabilizing emissions in 2010 at 1990 level are highly variable. by Energy Modelling Forum indicates a range of $20 to 150 (EMF. SO2 tax in the range of $100 to $400 http://www. the biomass produced electricity can be competitive vis-à-vis conventional coal power plants.i) High Tax Scenario: $50 per ton of carbon tax and $400 per ton of sulfur dioxide tax. In developing countries. FUTURE OF BIOMASS ENERGY IN INDIA . Throughout the coal and nuclear fuel cycles. Typical coal used in Indian power plants emits 3. 1993). 1993. however aggregate damage during the fuel cycle is mush less compared to fossil or nuclear fuel cycle (Sorensen. 1996). Fossil fuel plant operations pose local. Governments in countries like Sweden and Denmark have now implemented measures to internalize the externalities (Hilring. Biomass offers most promising future carbon mitigation options. This points to a very promising future for biomass power technologies.A. Biomass combustion also emits pollutants.2 tons of carbon per tera joule (tC/TJ) and 0. With high taxes. biomass energy offers positive environmental and social benefits. there are significant environmental and social damages. 1997). Even with low environmental taxes.

sugar cane as feedstock for ethanol) and wood plantations for meeting growing non-energy needs. Potential availability of agro residues and wood processing waste in India can sustain 10. this will happen only if biomass energy services can compete on a fair market. Despite advancements in biomass energy technologies. The modern technologies offer possibilities to convert biomass into synthetic gaseous or liquid fuels (like ethanol and methanol) and electricity (Johansson et al.Biomass use is growing globally. Economic reforms have opened the doors for competition in energy and electricity sectors in India.. Increasing realization among policy makers about positive externalities of biomass has now created conditions for biomass to make inroads into the energy 15 suggests that biomass energy has significant potential to penetrate the Indian energy market under strong global greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios in future. An analysis under competitive dynamics in energy and electric power markets using the Indian-MARKAL model (Shukla. wood fuel plantations. A primary policy lacuna hampering the growth of modern biomass energy is the implicit environmental subsidy allowed to fossil fuels. most bioenergy consumption in India still remains confined to traditional uses. economic operations of . Sustained supply of biomass shall require production of energy crops (e. ii) cooking energy in domestic and commercial sectors (through charcoal and briquettes).000 MW power. Growing experience with modern biomass technologies in India suggests that technology push policies need to be substituted or augmented by market pull policies. 1993).g. iii) electricity generation and iv) transportation sector with liquid fuels. enhanced biomass productivity. 1997) http://www. 1996. Policy priorities should be to orient biomass energy services towards market and to reform the market towards fair competition by internalizing the externalities of competing energy resources. Biomass waste however shall be inadequate to support the growing demands for biomass resources. Modern biomass has potential to penetrate in four segments i) process heat applications in industries generating biomass waste. Future of biomass energy lies in its use with modern technologies. In India. Loulou et al. Land supply. Most economical option is utilization of waste materials. Lack of biomass energy market has been the primary barrier to the penetration of modern biomass technologies.e2analytics. Future of biomass energy depends on providing reliable energy services at competitive cost.

Global climate change policies shall also have significant influence on future of biomass. iii) institutions and policies for competitive biomass energy service market. iv) scale economy based technologies. technological and institutional barriers remain to be overcome. commercial and efficient biomass energy use in the future. ii) species research to Match agroclimatic conditions. ii) multiple biomass energy products (e. community and NGOs. The government policies in India during the next decade shall play decisive role in penetration of biomass 16 Experience of operating the modern biomass plantations and energy conversion technologies is growing. The learning effects and the shared knowledge from innovations in conventional technologies are rapidly enhancing the efficiency and reliability of biomass production systems and conversion technologies. Realization of biomass potential shall help many developing countries to make a smooth transition from the present inefficient biomass energy use in traditional sectors to a competitive. electricity). iv) technology transfer (e. This will reduce their energy import and conserve scarce finances for national development. liquid. Myriad economic. iii) biomass Plantation. technological developments and policy reforms which propose to eliminate energy subsidies and internalize externalities from fuel cycle is set to be advantageous to biomass technologies. vii) participation of private sector. remote and biomass rich locations). iii) niche applications (e. T&D).g. Future of biomass technologies depends on will and ability to overcome these . Policy support for a transition towards a biomass based civilization in India should consider the following: Short-term Policies (1 to 5 years): i) enhanced utilization of crop residues and wood waste. social.g.plantations and logistics infrastructure are critical areas which shall determine future of biomass in India. v) co-ordination among institutions. high pressure boiler). Medium Term (5 to 20 years): i) R&D of conversion technologies.g. ii) information dissemination. and vi) removal of distortions in fossil energy tariffs. gas. and ix) subsidy to biomass technologies to balance the implicit subsidies to fossil fuels. viii) waste land development. Although present penetrations of modern biomass energy services is little.e2analytics. and iv) land supply for biomass generation http://www. v) Local Institutional Developments. Long term (over 20 years): i) Infrastructure (logistics. vi) demonstration projects.

• False alarm rate can be calculated a priori knowing only a few parameters (WIP) • An estimation of the mass and temperature of the burning material may be possible using the strength of the line (WIP) Paper 13. • Because of high QE and low D*. Italy. Significant social and environmental benefits make biomass a deserving alternative for support from governments committed to sustainable development..barriers. Governments have in the past promoted new energy technologies like nuclear power in France (Johansson et al. A key issue before Indian policy makers is to develop a fair market for biomass energy services. Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory Why study forest fires and build remote sensing fire satellites? • Destruction of ‘exploitable assets’ like timber (wildlife) can be minimized by rapid response of fire-fighting team. these detectors typically do not require cooling. Rome. • Fire towers are undermanned and flight time is expensive. ARKAL Other operational advantages may be possible using potassium detection • The waveband of interest (770 nm) is accessible by Si detectors or photomultipliers. . 1996).

(1 a) 4. CO.• Particulate matter.σ 1 4 Te = 253. methane.622 Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory Can forest fires alter the radiation balance of the earth? • Antarctic ice samples (and other evidence) show long term . • Atmospheric gaseous composition is incredibly important to energy balance .and life on Earth: Radiation Absorbtion 4 π r2 σ Te4 π a2 S(1 a) 2 r Te S. evolved water alter atmospheric transport of solar energy. CO2.

THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF BIOMASS The chemical composition of biomass varies among species. The carbohydrate fraction consists of many sugar molecules linked together in long chains or polymers. paper. In addition to the aesthetic value of the planet’s flora. building materials. Today.1 INTRODUCTION Biomass as the solar energy stored in chemical form in plant and animal materials is among the most precious and versatile resources on earth. More recently. but plants consists of about 25% lignin and 75% carbohydrates or sugars.increase in several greenhouse gases whyreT SOLAR BIOMASS WIND HYDRO UNITS 3 BIOMASS 3. It provides not only food but also energy. The solar energy that drives photosynthesis is stored in the chemical bonds of the structural components of biomass. WHERE DOES BIOMASS COME FROM? Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the earth are combined in the photosynthetic process to produce carbohydrates (sugars) that form the building blocks of biomass. Nature uses the long cellulose polymers to build the fibers that give a plant its strength. For millennia humans have exploited the solar energy stored in the chemical bonds by burning biomass as fuel and eating plants for the nutritional energy of their sugar and starch content. Two larger carbohydrate categories that have significant value are cellulose and hemi-cellulose. in the last few hundred years. biomass represents a useful and valuable resource to man. fabrics. This fossil fuel is the result of very slow chemical transformations that convert the sugar polymer fraction into a chemical . biomass fuels can be utilised for tasks ranging from heating the house to fuelling a car and running a computer. The process is cyclic because the carbon dioxide is then available to produce new biomass. humans have exploited fossilized biomass in the form of coal. The lignin fraction consists of non-sugar type molecules. medicines and chemicals. If we burn biomass efficiently (extract the energy stored in the chemical bonds) oxygen from the atmosphere combines with the carbon in plants to produce carbon dioxide and water. The lignin fraction acts like a “glue” that holds the cellulose fibers together. Biomass has been used for energy purposes ever since man discovered fire.

due to the available land and agricultural infrastructure this country has. now more than 9000 MW electrical power is installed in facilities firing biomass. biomass is being increasingly used. the additional chemical bonds in coal represent a more concentrated source of energy as fuel. it releases most of its chemical matter back into the atmosphere. oil and natural gas . the wood releases the energy the tree captured from the sun’s rays. When burned. they are not considered renewable because they take such a long time to create. energy crops (fast growing trees like poplars. All of the fossil fuels we consume .and large-scale levels. and depletion of fossilfuel resources. municipal waste water treatment. wood waste (e. In the USA . Various biomass resources such as agricultural residues (e. rice straw and hulls. sawdust. corn fiber. in Sweden and Austria 15 % of their primary energy consumption is covered by biomass. and mill scrap). With increases in population and per capita demand. In other words.g. and manure from cattle or poultry. Environmental impacts pose another significant distinction between biomass and fossil fuels.g. the demand for biomass is expected to increase rapidly in developing countries. But biomass could easily supply 20% more than 20 % of US energy consumption.hydrogen and carbon . replace all of the power nuclear plants generate without a major . When a plant decays. fossil fuels are locked away deep in the ground and do not affect the earth’s atmosphere unless they are burned.are simply ancient biomass.g. sustainably. willows. biomass could. can also be used. e. On average. But for three quarters of the world’s population living in developing countries biomass is the most important source of energy. Sweden has plans to increase further use of biomass as it phases down nuclear and fossil-fuel plants into the next century. A number of developed countries use this source quite substantially. Over millions of years. and the methane captured from landfills. the paper trash and urban yard clippings in municipal waste. which derives 4 % of its total energy from biomass (nearly as much as it derives from nuclear power). biomass produces 38 % of the primary energy in developing countries (90 % in some countries). In contrast. It already supplies 14 % of the world’s primary energy consumption. But while fossil fuels contain the same constituents .coal. bagasse from sugarcane. Biomass is likely to remain an important global source in developing countries well into the next century. and nutshells). Thus. Wood may be the best-known example of biomass. Even in developed countries. Biomass is considered to be one of the key renewable resources of the future at both small.composition that resembles the lignin fraction. the earth has buried ages-old plant material and converted it into these valuable fuels. But wood is just one example of biomass. timber those found in fresh biomass. and grasses like switchgrass or elephant grass).

cooking stoves can release particulates.3000 EJ/y (95 TW) * Total consumption of all forms of energy . the traditional uses of biomass. liquid or gaseous fuels. Furthermore.55 EJ/y ( 1. In the early 1980s. CO.e. i.400 EJ/y (12 TW) * Biomass energy consumption . BIOMASS .impact on food prices.3 billion people met their fuelwood needs by depleting wood reserves. Share of biomass on total energy consumption. burning of wood is often associated with the increasing scarcity of hand-gathered wood. The overall efficiency in traditional use is only about 5-15 per cent. NOx formaldehyde. nutrient depletion.2000 billion tonnes * Total mass in land plants . or processed solid fuels). almost 1. biomass used to produce ethanol could reduce also oil imports up to 50%. and other organic compounds in poorly ventilated homes.400 tonnes * Energy stored in terrestrial biomass 25 000 EJ * Net annual production of terrestrial biomass .SOME BASIC DATA * Total mass of living matter (including moisture) .1800 billion tonnes * Total mass in forests -1600 billion tonnes * Per capita terrestrial biomass . Therefore. Bioenergy can be modernized through the application of advanced technology to convert raw biomass into modern. Nepal 95 % Malawi 94 % Kenya 75 % India 50 % China 33 % Brazil 25 % Egypt 20 % There is an enormous biomass potential that can be tapped by improving the utilization of existing resources and by increasing plant productivity. It can also be a health hazard in some circumstances. often far exceeding recommended WHO levels.400 000 million tonnes * Rate of energy storage by land biomass . This could bring very . Furthermore. biomass energy is usually used so inefficiently that only a small percentage of its useful energy is obtained. and the problems of deforestation and desertification.. for example. much more useful energy could be extracted from biomass than at present. 7 TW) BIOMASS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Despite its wide use in developing countries. and biomass is often less convenient to use compared with fossil fuels. easy-to-use carriers (such as electricity.

Of the 55 million ha of land area devoted to primary food crops.”. particularly against largescale fuel production. FOOD OR FUEL? A major criticism often levelled against biomass. the potential for producing food in conjunction with sugarcane appears to be larger than expected and should be explored further. were blamed on the ProAlcool programme. infrastructure. only 4. However. is that it could divert agricultural production away from food crops. especially in developing countries. The basic argument is that energy-crop programmes compete with food crops in a number of ways (agricultural. The present lack of access to convenient sources limits the quality of life of millions of people throughout the world. However. and in 1987 . The argument should be analysed against the background of the world’s (or an individual country’s or region’s) real food situation of food supply and demand (ever-increasing food surpluses in most industrialized and a number of developing countries). water. create jobs in rural areas and help stem rural-to-urban migration. at the same time. therefore. fertilizers. The subject is far more complex than has generally been presented since agricultural and export policy and the politics of food availability are factors of far greater importance.418 kg per capita.1992) believe that “In fact.) and thus cause food shortages and price increases. while some byproducts such as hydrolyzed bagasse and dry yeast are used as animal feed. the increased potential for agricultural productivity. Of this. skilled labour etc. whilst.1 million ha (7. which represents only 0. rural investment. The food shortages and price increases that Brazil suffered a few years ago.7 million ha was used for ethanol production.6 per cent of the total area registered for economic use (or 0.3 per cent of Brazil’s total area). particularly in rural areas of developing countries. so competition between food and crops is not significant. labour-intensive activity. only 1. Food shortages and price . Growing biomass is a rural. the use of food as animal feed. crop rotation in sugarcane areas has led to an increase in certain food crops.significant social and economic benefits to both rural and urban areas. a closer examination does not support the view that bioethanol production has adversely affected food production since Brazil is one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural commodities and agricultural production has kept ahead of population growth: in 1976 the production of cereals was 416 kg per capita. and the advantages and disadvantages of producing biofuels. and can. Some experts (Goldemberg. Furthermore. the under-utilized agricultural production potential. providing convenient carriers to help promote other rural industries. this so-called “food versus fuel” controversy appears to have been exaggerated in many cases.5 per cent) was used for sugarcane.

not the problem. and planting of selected species and clones on appropriate soils to obtain 10 to 15 t/ha/yr.. This has resulted in many biomass project failures in the past. It is now possible with good management. The “multi-uses” approach asks how land can best be used for sustainable development. the site to grow it. High yields are also feasible with herbaceous (non-woody) crops where the agro- . and considers what mixture of land use and cropping patterns will make optimum use of a particular plot of land to meet multiple objectives of food. and by whom. new physiological knowledge of plant growth processes. e. Within this reality. price control of domestic foodstuffs etc. There are basically two main approaches to deciding on land use for biomass.increases in Brazil have resulted from a combination of policies which were biased towards commodity export crops and large acreage increases of such crops. currency devaluation. any negative effects that bioethanol production might have had should be considered as part of the overall problem. Advances have included the identification of fast-growing species. Adoption of agricultural practices should. breeding successes and multiple species opportunities. societal needs etc. and manipulation of plants through biotechnology applications. (dry weight) have been obtained with eucalyptus in Brazil and Ethiopia. being much less than 5 t/ha/yr. fuel. This requires a full understanding of the complexity of land use. LAND AVAILABILITY Biomass differs fundamentally from other forms of fuels since it requires land to grow on and is therefore subject to the range of independent factors which govern how. The “technocratic” approach starts from a need for.g. in tropical countries. fodder. from agroforestry systems. and then considers the possible environmental impacts. It is important to mention that developing countries are facing both food and fuel problems. for woody species without good management. in temperate areas and 15 to 25 t/ha/yr. Increased productivity is the key to both providing competitive costs and better utilisation of available land. that land should be used. research. which could raise productivity 5 to 10 times over natural growth rates in plants or trees. hyper-inflation. Generally it can be said that biomass productivity can be improved since in many place of the world is low. then identifies a biological source. therefore take into account this reality and evolve efficient methods of utilising available land and other resources to meet both food and fuel needs (besides other products). This approach generally had ignored many of the local and more remote side-effects of biomass plantations and also ignored the expertise of the local farmers who know the local conditions. Record yields of 40 t/ha/yr.

in Brazil. sugarcane bagasse to about 20 GJ/tonne for wood.2 ENERGY VALUE Biomass (when considering its energy potential) refers to all forms of plantderived material that can be used for energy: wood.ecological conditions are suitable. ranging from 8 to 20 % for wheat straw. Thus the energy density for the biomass at the point of production are lower than those for coal. It offers considerable flexibility of fuel supply due to the range and diversity of fuels which can be produced. have been achieved without nitrogen fertilizers when eucalyptus is interplanted with nitrogen fixing Albizia trees (De Bell et al. In contrast the moisture content of the most bituminous coals ranges from 2 to 12 %. and the ash is generally free of the toxic metals and other contaminants and can be used as soil fertiliser. The ash content of biomass is much lower than for coals. At the time of its harvest biomass contains considerable amount of moisture. It also has other benign environmental attributes such as lower sulphur and NOx emissions and can help rehabilitate degraded lands. On the other side chemical attributes make it superior in many ways. to 75 to 90 % for animal manure. the average yield of sugarcane has risen from 47 to 65 t/ha (harvested weight) over the last 15 years while over 100t/ha/yr are common in a number of areas such as Hawaii. South Africa.g. On a dry-weight basis.5 GJ per tonne for various herbaceous crops like wheat straw. heating values range from 17. and in many countries rarely finds its way into statistics. For example. However. crop and forest residues. Because biomass is a solid fuel it can be compared to coal. yields of 25 t/ha/yr. or liquid fuels for motor vehicles such as ethanol. Biomass is generally and wrongly regarded as a low-status fuel. via gas turbines). to 30 to 60 % for woods. 3. in trials in Hawaii. There is a growing recognition that the use of biomass in larger commercial systems based on sustainable. It should be possible with various types of biomass production to emulate the three-fold increase in grain yields which have been achieved over the past 45 years although this would require the same high levels of inputs and infrastructure development. ranging from very-small-scale domestic boilers to multi-megawatt size power plants electricity (e. and Queensland in Australia. already . Biomass energy can be used to generate heat and electricity through direct combustion in modern devices. 1989). and to 95 % for water hyacinth. or other alcohol fuels. animal wastes etc. Biomass-energy systems can increase economic development without contributing to the greenhouse effect since biomass is not a net emitter of CO2 to the atmosphere when it is produced and used sustainably. herbaceous plants. The corresponding values for bituminous coals and lignite are 30 GJ/tonne and 20 GJ/tonne respectively (see tables at the end).

3 BENEFITS OF BIOMASS AS ENERGY SOURCE Rural economic development in both developed and developing countries is one of the major benefits of biomass.0 10. Oak.9 10. which is very important in many areas of the world.0-35.S. these new markets diversify and . reduction of agricultural commodity surpluses and derived support payments. The new incomes for farmers and rural population improve the material welfare of rural communities and this might result in a further activation of the local economy. harvesting and use) and the industrial growth (from developing conversion facilities for fuel.9 5. Energy contents comparison table.7 19.0 42. reduction of negative environmental impacts are most important issues related to utilisation of biomass as energy source. The number of jobs created (for production. consumes about 90 quadrillion Btu’s annually).accumulated resources and residues can help improve natural resource management. In the end. and the Electric Power Research Institute has estimated that producing 5 quadrillion Btu’s (British Thermal Units) of electricity on 50 million acres of land would increase overall farm income by $12 billion annually (the U.0-20.9 3.8 14.3 14.S.2 37.1 13. and power) would be enormous.5 11.0 31. Department of Agriculture estimates that 17.1 8. revitalization of retarded rural economies.8 3. By providing farmers with stable income.8 3.000 jobs are created per every million of gallons of ethanol produced.3 8.5 KW/kg 3.4 KWh/Nm3 4.tree Pine-tree Straw Grain Rape oil Hard coal Brown coal Heating oil Bio methanol Content of water % 20 20 15 15 4 20 MJ/Nm3 16.4 6.8 MJ/kg 14.0 22.0 5.3 5. industrial feedstocks. Increase in farm income and market diversification.0 Sewer gas Wood gas Biogas from cattle dung Natural gas Hydrogen 3.1 30. the U. For instance.7 10. enhancement of international competitiveness. this will mean a reduction in the emigration rates to urban environments.9 3.4 1.

Capturing methane from landfills.4 ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS The use of biomass energy has many unique qualities that provide environmental benefits. has released hundreds of millions of tons of so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHGs) into the atmosphere. Improvement in agricultural resource utilisation has been frequently proposed in EU. many of which are at present on surplus production. A much greater amount is planned to remain idled in future. 3.strengthen the local economy by keeping income recycling through the community. providing a carbon sink. disrupting the entire biosphere which currently supports life as we know it. primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels. soil erosion. The development of alternative markets for agricultural products might result in more productive uses of the cropland. and help maintain forest health through better management. The cultivation of energy crops could reduce surpluses. GHGs include such gases as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). In fact.1 CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change is a growing concern world-wide. CH4 is 20 times more potent (though shorter-lived in the atmosphere) than CO2. This is called a closed carbon cycle.4. The concern is that all of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will change the Earth’s climate. New energy crops may be more economically competitive than crops in surplus production. It is clear that reorientation of some of these lands to non-food utilisation (like biomass for energy) might avoid misallocation of agricultural resources. Reduced prices have resulted in low and variable income for many EU farmers. water pollution and pressure on landfills. and manure lagoons prevents the methane from being vented to the atmosphere and allows the energy to be used to generate electricity or power motor vehicles. Although both methane and carbon dioxide pose significant threats. the carbon dioxide released while burning biomass is absorbed by the next crop growing. All crops. provide wildlife habitat. the EU planted 128 million ha of land to crops. Human activity.8 million ha were removed from production under the set aside program. sequester carbon in the plant and roots while they grow. currently under-utilised in many EU countries. Biomass energy technologies can help minimize this concern. It can help mitigate climate change. the amount of carbon sequestered may be greater than that released by combustion because most energy crops are perennials. In other words. In 1991. reduce acid rain. wastewater treatment. European agriculture relies on the production of a limited number of crops. 3. mainly used for human and livestock food. Approximately 0. . including biomass energy crops.

peat and straw for thousands of years. Furthermore. “co-firing” is a very simple way of reducing sulphur emissions and thus. which protects aquatic ecosystems. Acid rain has been implicated in the killing of lakes.they are harvested by cutting rather than uprooting. the crops stabilize the soil.5 BIOMASS FUELS Plants are the most common source of biomass. In all these cases. They have been used in the form of wood. They also reduce nutrient run-off. capture the methane for energy. willows or Eucalyptus) or other high growth rate plants (such as sugar cane or maize or soybean). thus reducing soil erosion. 3. in floodplains. reduce acid rain. Thus the roots remain to stabilize the soil. from manure lagoons on cattle. Energy crops can be grown on more marginal lands.3 SOIL EROSION & WATER POLLUTION Biomass crops can reduce water pollution in a number of ways. Since biomass has no sulphur content. Another way biomass energy can reduce water pollution is by capturing the methane. . Their shade can even enhance the habitat for numerous aquatic organisms like fish. because energy crops tend to be perennials. more efficient and more in keeping with modernisation and technology. as well as impacting humans and wildlife in other ways. or they can be harvested from the natural environment. 3.2 ACID RAIN Acid rain is caused primarily by the release of sulphur and nitrogen oxides from the combustion of fuels. Since farm machinery spends less time going over the field. These enormous lagoons have been responsible for polluting rivers and streams across the country. and create either liquid or semisolid soil fertilisers which can be used on-site or sold. Plants can either be specially grown for energy production. These could be trees (e. they do not have to be planted every year. By utilizing anaerobic digesters. This is because of the general acceptance that coal.4. hog and poultry farms. “Co-firing” refers to burning biomass jointly with coal in a traditionally coal-fired power plant or heating plant.g. However this is not really the right impression. and easily mixes with coal. Today the western world is far less reliant on this high energy fuel. the farmers can reduce odour. through anaerobic digestion. less soil compaction and soil disruption takes place. oil and electricity are cleaner. sequester carbon and to regenerate the following year.4. 3. Plantations tend to use breeds of plant that are to produce a lot of biomass quickly in a sustainable fashion. and in between annual crops areas.

2 AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES Agricultural waste is a potentially huge source of biomass.3 times the total world coal consumption. where biomass already provides nearly 15% of primary energy. but their bulk and high water content makes transporting them for wider use uneconomic. Crop and animal wastes provide significant amounts of energy coming second only to wood as the dominant biomass fuel world-wide.5. that 110 Mt of dung . burning waste wood. In developing countries where charcoal is an important fuel. American electricity utilities have more than 9 000 MW (output of 9 nuclear power plants) of biomass-fired generating plant on line. providing 0. Mechanical harvesters and chippers have been developed in Europe and North America over the last 15 years to produce uniform 30-40 mm wood chips which can be handled. 1991). whether damaged or surplus supplies. The British furniture industry is estimated to use 35 000 tonnes of such residues a year. removed sustainably from existing forests worldwide by using methods such as coppicing. Waste from agriculture includes: the portions of crop plants discarded like straw. forestry residues and wood industries contribute over 200 PJ/yr.5 PJ of space and water heating and process heat (FOE. At present these are often left to rot on site even in countries with fuelwood shortages. Dry sawdust and waste produced during the processing of cut timber make very good fuel. In Sweden. They can be collected. Austria has about 1250 MW of wood-fired heating capacity in the form of domestic stoves and district heating plant.1 WOOD RESIDUES Wood can be.5x109 m3/yr with an content of 182 EJ equivalent to 1.4x 109 m3/yr (equivalent to 40 EJ/yr. The use of forest residues to produce steam for heating and/or power generation is now a growing business in many countries. mainly as fuel for CHP plant. and animal dung.). so some of the unused increment could be recovered for energy purposes while maintaining or possibly even enhancing the productivity of forests. much of it constructed in the last ten years. with a few larger units (around15 MW) and a number of small-scale CHP systems. one third of its production. dried and used as fuel by nearby rural industry and domestic consumers. It was estimated. The estimated global average annual wood harvests in the period 1985-1987 were 3.. Timber processing is a further source of wood residues. bark and wood chips. It is difficult to estimate the mean annual increment (growth) of the world’s forests. Operations such as thinning of plantations and trimming of felled trees generate large volumes of forestry residues.5. One rough estimate is 12. dried and burned easily in chip-fired boilers. and usually is. Most of these district heating systems are of 1-2 MW capacity.3. 3. for example. on-site kilns can reduce transport costs.

and crop residues were used as fuel in India in 1985. ease of propagation. certain species stand out. All these plants can be used as fuels like wood with the main advantage of their short span between plantation and harvesting – typically between three and eight years. Industrial waste that contains biomass may be used to produce energy.5. Other useful waste products include. sugarcane. survival ability under adverse conditions and the yield potential measured as dry matter production per hectare per year (t/ha/y). switchgrass). yields of up to 65 t/ha/y have been reported. Despite the fact that biomass plantation can be of great importance for most .2 times the mass of wood fuel. but in some developed countries environmental legislation which restrict field burning has drawn attention to its potential as an energy resource Effort to remove crop residues from soils and to use them for energy purposes leads to a central question: how much residue should be left and recycled into soil to sustain production of biomass ? According to the experience from developed countries around 35% of crop residues can be removed from soil without adverse effects on future plant production. Every year.3 SHORT ROTATION PLANTS Biomass can be also be produced by so-called short-rotation plantation of trees and other plants like grasses (sorghum. Parameters which are important in evaluating species for short rotation plants include availability of planting stock. waste from food processing and fluff from the cotton and textiles industry. Yield is a measure of a plant’s ability to utilize the site resources. Although reported dry matter production of different tree species varies over a wide range depending on soil types and climate. Some plant communities have shown superiority in dry matter production compared to others grown under similar conditions. For some grasses harvesting is taking place every six to 12 months. Recently there are about 100 million hectares of land utilised for tree plantation world-wide. In many countries this is still being burned in the field or ploughed back into the soil. millions tonnes of straw are produced world-wide with usually half of it surplus to need. Most of these trees are used for forest products markets. High yielding species are therefore preferred for biomass energy systems. For Eucalyptus species. It is the most important factor when considering biomass production due to the need to optimize/maximize yield from a given area of land within a given time frame at the least possible cost. compared with 133 Mt of wood. For example the sludge left after alcohol production (known as vinasse) can produce flammable gas. and in China the mass of available agricultural residues has been estimated at 2. compared to 30 and 43 t/ha/y in Salix and Populus species respectively. 3.

3. therefore. 50-74 %. in poor developing countries: in 22 countries. However. leading to scarcity of and environmental degradation. in particular for domestic purposes. In Sweden. It is estimated that. Fuelwood accounts for about 10 per cent of the total used in the world. In favourable . 75-100 % of their respective national consumption. More than half of the total wood harvested in the world is used as fuelwood. high content (30 MJ/kg as compared with 15 MJ/kg in fuelwood). and in 26 countries. 3. so long as biofuels (particularly wood) can be obtained at zero or near zero cost.6. industrial fuel in many developing countries. fuelwood accounted for 25 to 49 %. It provides about 20 % of all used in Asia and Latin America. for more than a third of the world population. Today charcoal is an important household fuel and to a lesser extent. in 17 countries. For specific countries. charcoal consumption for iron making grew through most of the 19th century. lower levels of smoke emissions. Although fuelwood is the major source of for most rural and lowincome people in the developing world. 3. charcoal accounts for an estimated 90 per cent of biofuels consumed in urban centres. the contribution can be as high as 97% .developed countries experience has shown it is unlikely to be established on a large scale in many developing countries. can. the real crisis is the daily scramble to obtain fuelwood to meet domestic use. It is mainly used in the urban areas where its ease of storage. and about 50 % of total used in Africa. for example in Tanzania. In the United Republic of Tanzania.6. unless appropriate approaches to resource management are undertaken.2 Charcoal The main expansion in the use of charcoal in Europe came with the industrial revolution in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The increase of fuelwood production through efficient techniques. it is the major source of. resistance to insect attacks make it more attractive than fuelwood.3 Residues Agricultural residues have an enormous potential for production.1 Fuelwood The term fuelwood describe all types of fuels derived from forestry and plantation. and was the basis of the good quality tradition of Swedish steel. and. the potential supply of fuelwood is dwindling rapidly.6 BIOMASS FUELS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 3. Several studies on fuelwood supply in developing countries have concluded that fuelwood scarcities are real and will continue to exist. be considered as one of the major pre-requisites for attaining sustainable development in developing countries. especially in poor rural areas.6.

world-wide. and Pakistan.5 MW of electricity from cattle manure. biomass power generation could be significant given the vast quantities of existing forestry and agricultural residues . the northern plains of India. Sugarcane residues (bagasse. revenues from the sale of electricity co-produced with ethanol could be much greater than the alcohol revenues. The calculations assume only 25 per cent of the potentially harvestable residues are likely to be used. There is 54 EJ of biomass energy theoretically available from recoverable residues in developing countries and 42 EJ in industrialized regions. China. but also because of lack of technical and financial capabilities in developing countries. It has been estimated that about 800 million people world-wide rely on agricultural residues and dung for cooking. such as Bangladesh. For each litre of alcohol produced a BIG/STIG unit would be able to produce more than 11 kWh of electricity in excess of the distillery’s needs (about 820 kWh/t). residues are still used very inefficiently for electricity production. in California a commercial plant generates about 17. and a number of plants are operating in the Europe.circumstances. This potential is currently under-utilized in many areas of the world. Revenues from the sale of electricity co-produced with sugar could be comparable with sugar revenues. Contrary to the general belief.g. in many cases deliberately to prevent their accumulation. as much as 90 per cent of household in many villages covers their energy needs with agricultural residues. Developing countries could theoretically derive 15 per cent of present energy consumption from this source and industrialized countries could derive 4 per cent. although reliable figures are difficult to obtain. according to some estimates (Williams 1989) amount of electricity that can be produced from cane residues could be up to 44 times the on-site needs of the sugar factory or alcohol distillery. electricity production from sugarcane residues by the year 2030 could be up to 550 TWh/year (the total electricity production from all sources . Generally. electricity would become the primary product of sugarcane. or alternatively. e. The cost of the generated electricity is estimated to be about $US 0.are particularly important and offer an enormous potential for generation of electricity. In the latter instance. Another estimate of bagasse in condensing-extraction steam turbines puts the surplus electricity values at 20-65 kWh per ton of cane.05/kWh. and alcohol the by-product. In wood-scarce areas. crops and dung.over 2 billion t/yr.. the use of animal manure as an source is not confined to developing countries alone. Depending on the choice of the gas turbine technology and the extent to which cane tops and leaves can be used for off-season generation. and this surplus could be doubled by using barbojo for generation during the off-season. In India alone. and leaves) . The amount of potentially recoverable residues includes the three main sources: forestry.

The theoretical potential of residues in the 80 sugarcane-producing developing countries could be up to 2800 TWh/yr. 1990). they are likely to be rather expensive to transport over appreciable distances. so few are very good long-term energy stores. For other processes the product is a solid.000 MW could be supported by currently produced residues. and because of their relatively low energy densities. or to generate steam for power production. from chicken manure and straw bales to tree . The immediate ‘product. it is possible to order them by the complexity of the processes involved: * Direct combustion of biomass. Combustion systems come in a wide range of shapes and sizes burning virtually any kind of fuel. which is about 70 per cent more than the total electricity production of these countries from all sources in 1987. gasification and liquefaction.1 COMBUSTION The technology of direct combustion as the most obvious way of extracting energy from biomass is well understood.7..) could be generated. Globally. * Thermochemical processing to upgrade the biofuel. these are theoretical calculations with country. Studies of the sugarcane industry indicate a combined power capability in excess of 500 TWh/yr. Assuming that a third of the global residue resources could economically and sustainably be recovered by new energy technology. gas for sale or for power generation using either steam or gas turbines. it has been estimated that about 50. to achieving such goals. 3. for chemical processing or district heating. Natural processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation which lead to a useful gaseous or liquid fuel. liquid or gaseous fuel: charcoal. In considering the methods for extracting the energy.000 TWh/yr. They do however emphasize the potential which many countries have to provide a substantial proportion of their from biomass grown on a sustainable basis. Processes in this category include pyrolysis. of some of these processes is heat . 3.and site specific problems. Obviously.normally used at place of production or at not too great a distance. 10 per cent of the current global electricity demand (10. Recent years have therefore seen considerable effort devoted to the search for the best ways to use these potentially valuable sources of energy. * Biological processing.7 METHODS OF GENERATING ENERGY FROM BIOMASS Nearly all types of raw biomass decompose rather quickly. straightforward and commercially available. liquid fuel as a petrol substitute or 1987 was less than 220 TWh (Ogden et al.

trunks, municipal refuse and scrap tyres. Some of the ways in which heat from burning wastes is currently used include space and water heating, industrial processing and electricity generation. One problem with this method is its very low efficiency. With an open fire most of the heat is wasted and is not used to cook or whatever. Combustion of wood can be divided into four phases: * Water inside the wood boils off. Even wood that has been dried for ages has as much as 15 to 20% of water in its cell structure. * Gas content is freed from the wood. It is vital that these gases should burn and not just disappear up the chimney. * The gases emitted mix with atmospheric air and burn at a high temperature. * The rest of the wood (mostly carbon) burns. In perfect combustion the entire energy is utilised and all that is left is a little pile of ashes. Three things are needed for effective burning: * high enough temperatures; * enough air, and * enough time for full combustion. If not enough air gets in, combustion is incomplete and the smoke is black from the unburned carbon. It smells terrible, and you get soot deposited in the chimney, with the risk of fire. If too much air gets in the temperature drops and the gases escape unburned, taking the heat with them. The right amount of air gives the best utilisation of fuel. No smell, no smoke, and very little risk of chimney fires. Regulation of the air supply depends largely on the chimney and the draught it can put up. Direct combustion is the simplest and most common method of capturing the energy contained within biomass. Boiling a pan of water over a wood fire is a simple process. Unfortunately, it is also very inefficient, as a little elementary calculation reveals. The energy content of a cubic metre dry wood is 10 GJ, which is ten million kJ. To raise the temperature of a litre of water by 1 degree Celsius requires 4,2 kJ of heat energy. Bringing a litre to the boil should therefore require rather less than 400 kJ, equivalent to 40 cubic centimetres of wood - one small stick, perhaps. In practice, with a simple open fire we might need at least fifty times this amount: a conversion efficiency no better than 2%. Designing a stove or boiler which will make rather better use of valuable fuel requires an understanding of the processes involved in the combustion of a solid fuel. The first is one which consumes rather than produces energy: the evaporation of any water in the fuel. With reasonably dry fuel, however, this uses only a few percent of the total energy. In the combustion process itself

there are always two stages, because any solid fuel contains two combustible constituents. The volatile matter is released as a mixture of vapours or vaporised tars and oils by the fuel as its temperature rises. The combustion of these produces the little spurts of pyrolysis. Modern combustion facilities (boilers) usually produce heat, steam (used in industrial process) or electricity. Direct combustion systems vary considerably in their design. The fuel choice makes a difference in the design and efficiency of the combustion system. Direct combustion technology using biomass as the fuel is very similar to that used for coal. Biomass and coal can be handled and burned in essentially the same fashion. In fact, biomass can be “co-fired” with coal in small percentages in existing boilers. The biomass which is co-fired are usually low-cost feedstocks, like wood or agricultural waste, which also help to reduce the emissions typically associated with coal. Coal is simply fossilized biomass heated and compressed over millions of years. The process which coal undergoes as it is heated and compressed deep within the earth, adds elements like sulphur and mercury to the coal. Burning coal for heat or electricity releases these elements, which biomass does not contain. 3.7.2 PYROLYSIS Pyrolysis is the simplest and almost certainly the oldest method of processing one fuel in order to produce a better one. A wide range of energy-rich fuels can be produced by roasting dry wood or even the straw. The process has been used for centuries to produce charcoal. Conventional pyrolysis involves heating the original material (which is often pulverised or shredded then fed into a reactor vessel) in the near-absence of air, typically at 300 - 500 °C, until the volatile matter has been driven off. The residue is then the char - more commonly known as charcoal - a fuel which has about twice the energy density of the original and burns at a much higher temperature. For many centuries, and in much of the world still today, charcoal is produced by pyrolysis of wood. Depending on the moisture content and the efficiency of the process, 4-10 tonnes of wood are required to produce one tonne of charcoal, and if no attempt is made to collect the volatile matter, the charcoal is obtained at the cost of perhaps two-thirds of the original energy content. Pyrolysis can also be carried out in the presence of a small quantity of oxygen (‘gasification’), water (‘steam gasification’) or hydrogen (‘hydrogenation’). One of the most useful products is methane, which is a suitable fuel for electricity generation using high-efficiency gas turbines. With more sophisticated pyrolysis techniques, the volatiles can be collected, and careful choice of the temperature at which the process takes place allows control of their composition. The liquid product has potential as fuel oil, but is contaminated with acids and must be treated before use. Fast pyrolysis of plant

material, such as wood or nutshells, at temperatures of 800-900 degrees Celsius leaves as little as 10% of the material as solid char and converts some 60% into a gas rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This makes fast pyrolysis a competitor with conventional gasification methods (see bellow), but like the latter, it has yet to be developed as a treatment for biomass on a commercial scale. At present, conventional pyrolysis is considered the more attractive technology. The relatively low temperatures mean that fewer potential pollutants are emitted than in full combustion, giving pyrolysis an environmental advantage in dealing with certain wastes. There have been some trials with small-scale pyrolysis plants treating wastes from the plastics industry and also used tyres a disposal problem of increasingly urgent concern. 3.7.3 GASIFICATION The basic principles of gasification have been under study and development since the early nineteenth century, and during the Second World War nearly a million biomass gasifier-powered vehicles were used in Europe. Interest in biomass gasification was revived during the “energy crisis” of the 1970s and slumped again with the subsequent decline of oil prices in the 1980s. The World Bank (1989) estimated that only 1000 - 3000 gasifiers have been installed globally, mostly small charcoal gasifiers in South America. Gasification based on wood as a fuel produces a flammable gas mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and other non flammable by products. This is done by partially burning and partially heating the biomass (using the heat from the limited burning) in the presence of charcoal (a natural by-product of burning biomass). The gas can be used instead of petrol and reduces the power output of the car by 40%. It is also possible that in the future this fuel could be a major source of energy for power stations. SYNTHETIC FUELS A gasifier which uses oxygen rather than air can produce a gas consisting mainly of H2, CO and C02, and the interesting potential of this lies in the fact that removal of the C02 leaves the mixture called synthesis gas, from which almost any hydrocarbon compound may be synthesised. Reacting the H2 and CO is one way to produce pure methane. Another possible product is methanol (CH3OH), a liquid hydrocarbon with an energy density of 23 GJ per tonne. Producing methanol in this way involves a series of sophisticated chemical processes with high temperatures and pressures and expensive plant, and one might wonder why it is of interest. The answer lies in the product: methanol is that valuable commodity, a liquid fuel which is a direct substitute for gasoline. At present the production of methanol using synthesis gas from biomass is not a commercial proposition, but the technology already exists, having been

The energy loss in fermentation is substantial. This is commonly carried out. which is usually supplied by crop residues (e. The best known source of ethanol is sugar-cane .developed for use with coal as feedstock . The liquid resulting from fermentation contains only about 10% ethanol. the brew contains 6-10 per cent alcohol. but it too can be used in internal combustion engines.or the molasses remaining after the cane juice has been extracted. cellulose. or from cellulose by milling and treatment with hot acid. but its carbohydrate. is resistant to breakdown into sugars by acid or enzymes (even in finely divided forms such as sawdust). as in the production of some alcoholic drinks. but this may be compensated for by the convenience and transportability of the liquid fuel. Sugars can also be manufactured from vegetable starches and cellulose by pulping and cooking. and by the comparatively low cost and familiarity of the technology. usually yeast. 3. The farmyard manure and compost is also obtained through . The complete process requires a considerable amount of heat. Other plants whose main carbohydrate is starch (potatoes. Even wood can act as feedstock. Tiny micro-organisms called bacteria carry out this decay or decomposition. 3. which can be removed by distillation as a fuel.g.7. Ethanol is a very high liquid energy fuel which can be used as the substitute for gasoline in cars. This fuel is used successfully in Brazil.7.5 ANAEROBIC DIGESTION Nature has a provision of destroying and disposing of wastes and dead plants and animals. The resulting alcohol is ethanol (C2H3OH) rather than methanol (CH3OH). The value of any particular type of biomass as feedstock for fermentation depends on the ease with which it can be converted to a precaution by coal-rich countries at times when their oil supplies were threatened. After about 30 hours of fermentation. or 24 GJ/m3. which must be distilled off before it can be used as fuel. Fermentation is an anaerobic biological process in which sugars are converted to alcohol by the action of micro-organisms. sugar cane bagasse or maize stalks and cobs). Suitable feedstocks include crushed sugar beet or fruit.4 FERMENTATION Fermentation of sugar solution is the way how ethanol (ethyl alcohol) can be produced. adding further complication to the process. corn and other grains) require processing to convert the starch to sugar. either directly in suitably modified engines or as a gasoline extender in gasohol: gasoline (petrol) containing up to 20% ethanol. The energy content of the final product is about 30 GJ/t. by enzymes in malts.

decomposition of organic matter. as the decomposition process that takes place under the absence of air (oxygen). The technology of scientifically harnessing this gas from any biodegradable material (organic matter) under artificially created conditions is known as biogas technology. the scale of the plant and the time-scale for gas production lead to very different technologies for dealing with the two sources. occurs in the absence of air. Digesters range in size from one cubic metre for a small ‘household’ unit to more than thousand cubic meters used in large commercial installation or farm plants. but it appears that a mixed population of bacteria breaks down the organic material into sugars and then into various acids which are decomposed to produce the final gas. producing the marsh gas which bubbles to the surface and can even catch fire. which puzzled man for a long time. and the other is the landfill gas produced by domestic refuse buried in landfill sites. It was only during the last 200 years or so when scientists unlocked this secret.7. but in . Some times these bubbles burn with flame at dusk. but is favoured by warm. This phenomenon was noticed for ages. The bacterial action itself generates heat. but major differences in the nature of the input. The detailed chemistry of the production of biogas and landfill gas is complex. 3. As per records biogas was first discovered by Alessandro Volta in 1776 and Humphery Davy was the first to pronounce the presence of combustible gas Methane in the Farmyard Manure in as early as 1800. It is a process which takes place in almost any biological material.1 Biogas is a valuable fuel which is in many countries produced in purpose built digesters filled with the feedstock like dung or sewage. One is the biogas which is generated in concentrations of sewage or animal manure.5. wet and of course airless conditions. was and is still called as ‘Marsh Gas’. Anaerobic digestion also occurs in situations created by human activities. Anaerobic digestion. It is now well known that this gas (Marsh Gas) is a mixture of Methane (CH4) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) and is commonly called as the ‘Biogas’. It occurs naturally in decaying vegetation on the bottom of ponds. This gas. but in this case the decomposition is caused by bacterial action rather than high temperatures. like pyrolysis. die or decompose at the bottom of back water or shallow lagoons then the bubbles can be noticed rising to the surface of water. and digestion is allowed to continue for a period of from ten days to a few weeks. The input may be continuous or in batches. production of which was first noticed in marshy places. leaving an inert residue whose composition depends on the type of system and the original feedstock. In both cases the resulting gas is a mixture consisting mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. When a heap of vegetable or animal matter and weeds etc.

In theory.municipal solid wastes . with as much as 1000 m3 an hour of gas being pumped biological material and its disposal in landfills creates suitable conditions for anaerobic digestion. That landfill sites produce methane has been known for decades.8. the lifetime yield of a good site should lie in the range 150-300 m3 of gas per tonne of wastes. but although the net energy output is then zero. Driving 500 kW generators. At the same time wood burning units are ecofriendly. and in a large wellestablished landfill there can be several miles of pipes. Increasingly. and the conditions neither as warm nor as wet. This suggests a total energy of 5-6 GJ per tonne of refuse. The waste matter is more miscellaneous in a landfill than in a biogas digester. 3. In developing a site.8 TECHNOLOGY EXAMPLES 3. At present most plants are based on large internal combustion engines.1 Heat production with wood firing boilers Most common process of biomass combustion is burning of wood. In new sites this pipe system is constructed before the wastes start to arrive. it was only in the 1970s that serious attention was paid to the idea of using this ‘undesirable’ product. so the process is much slower. They only emit the same amount of the greenhouse gas CO2 as the tree absorbed when it was growing. and this must be provided from the biogas. however. known as landfill gas. and recognition of the potential hazard led to the fitting of systems for burning it off. In developed countries replacing oil or coal-fired central heating boiler with a wood burning one can save between 20 and 60% on heating bills. such as standard marine engines. but in practice yields are much less.cold climates additional heat is normally required to maintain the ideal process temperature of at least 35 degrees Celsius. The gas is collected by an array of interconnected perforated pipes buried at depths up to 20 metres in the refuse. each area is covered with a layer of impervious clay or similar material after it is filled. The end product. taking place over years rather than weeks. these are well matched to typical gas supply rates of the order of 10 GJ an hour. because wood costs less than oil or coal. producing an environment which encourages anaerobic digestion. is again a mixture consisting mainly of CH4 and CO2. LANDFILL GAS A large proportion of ordinary domestic refuse . the plant may still pay for itself through the saving in fossil fuel which would have been needed to process the wastes. So burning wood does not contribute to . the gas from landfill sites is used for power generation. In extreme cases all the gas may be used for this purpose. with between 50% and 60% by volume of methane. A well-run digester will produce 200-400 m3 of biogas with a methane content of 50% to 75% for each dry tonne of input.

an oil-fired one. Since wood contains less sulphur than oil does. and the automatics controlling the process of combustion. 70. For the automatically fired boilers. In other words a wood burning boiler can heat whole house and provide hot water. a lambda probe measures the oxygen content in the flue gas. For a single family home. Great advances have been made over the recent 10 years for both boiler types in respect of higher efficiency and reduced emission from the chimney (dust and carbon monoxide). This means less acid rain and less acid in the environment. the fuelwood boiler nominal output is selected so as to be up to 2-3 times the output demand of the dwelling. or wood pellets in Denmark alone. By oxygen control. A screw feeder feeds the fuel simultaneously with the output demand of the dwelling. MANUALLY FIRED BOILERS The principal rule is that manually fired boilers for fuelwood only have an acceptable combustion at the boiler rated output (at full load). an increase in the efficiency has been achieved from below 50% to 7590%. during the coldest periods of the year. Automatic boilers are equipped with a silo containing wood pellets or wood chips. Manually fired boilers are installed with storage tank so as to accumulate the heat energy from fuel. In the field of manually fired boilers.g. Such a boiler gives off its heat to radiators in exactly the same way as e. Distinctions should be made between manually fired boilers for fuelwood and automatically fired boilers for wood chips and wood pellets.000 small boilers burning firewood. This means that the boiler efficiency figures . less sulphate is discharged into the atmosphere. the load can. In order for the boiler not to need feeding at intervals of 2-4 hours a day. wood chips. SMALL BOILERS Small wood burning boilers are frequently used for heating warming. combustion air supply. At individual plants with oxygen control. Improvements have been achieved particularly in respect of the design of combustion chamber. and the automatic boiler control varies the combustion air inlet. an increase in the efficiency from60% to 85-92% has been achieved. There are approx. In larger places such as farms the saving from burning wood is often so great that it pays to install an automatic stoker unit burning wood pellets. In this it differs from a wood burning stove. Many of small boilers are manually fired with storage tank for wood. 50% of the nominal output without thereby influencing neither the efficiency nor emissions. a handfired wood burning boiler is usually the best and most economical investment. The same system is used in cars. however. be reduced to approx. which only gives off its heat to the room it is in.

8. 20-40% of the boiler nominal output. The gases do not burn very well. Boilers designed for fuelwood should always be equipped with storage tank. 100 ppm (100 ppm = 0. The useful effect of a burn-through boiler is typically under 50%. AUTOMATICALLY FIRED BOILERS Despite an often simple construction. For some boilers. most of the automatically fired boilers can achieve an efficiency of 80-90% and a CO emission of approx.shown in Figure 15 and 16 should be multiplied by 2 or 3 in the case of manually fired boilers. UNDERBURN BOILERS Underburn boiler is very different from a burn-through one. Only the bottom layer of wood burns. This equals 5 -10% of the boiler nominal output. By and large. This ensures both the greatest comfort for the user and the least financial and environmental strain. the rest dries out and gives off its gases very slowly. output demand in winter periods. burn-through furnaces are unsuitable for wood. respectively. This operating method reduces the efficiency . During the summer period. since only the hot water supply will be maintained. since the boiler temperature is low. the output demand of the dwelling will often be in the range of 1-3 kW. An important condition for achieving these good results is that the boiler efficiency during day-to-day operation is close to full load.2 MANUALLY-FIRED BOILERS BURN-THROUGH Nearly all old-fashioned cast iron stoves act on the burn-through principle: air comes in from below and passes upwards through the fuel. For automatic boilers.01 volume %).typically 20-30% lower than that of the nominal output . In case of no storage tank. In burn-through boilers the wood burns very quickly. the figures are 92% and 20 ppm. an increased corrosion of the boiler is often seen due to variations in water and flue gas temperatures. The alternative to the deteriorated summer operating is to combine the installation with a storage tank and solar collectors. but only through part of it. In the transition periods (3-5 months) spring and autumn. Most of the gas goes up the chimney. which means a deteriorated operating result. 3. The flue gases have a very short space in which to give off their heat to the boiler in the convection section. the output demand of the dwelling will typically be approx.and an increased negative effect on the environment. The air is not drawn through all the fuel at once. and the energy with it. Adding extra air (so-called “secondary air”) direct to the flames burns the gases . it is of great importance that the boiler nominal output (at full load) does not exceed the max.

Power output (kW) 18 25 32 50 80 Wood consumption (kg/hr) 4 6 7 13 18 Wood consumption in heating season (m3) 10 15 20 30 50 Wood heating value 15-18 MJ/kg. STORAGE TANK It almost always pays to buy a storage tank when installing a wood burning boiler. burning the gases most effectively. THE EFFICIENCY OF THE BOILER How good a boiler is partially depends on the proportion of the energy in the fuel that it transfers to the central heating system. Typical boilers can burn wood logs up to 80 cm long. As in underburning. The a wood consumption in reverse burning boiler is typically between 4 kg/hour for 18 kW boiler to 18 kg/hr for 80 kW boiler. In Central European condition an average single family house (150 m2) need cca 12 m3 of wood for the whole heating season.more effectively. REVERSE COMBUSTION BOILERS In reverse combustion too. giving a high temperature of combustion. Some reverse combustion boilers have a blower instead of natural draught. air is only added to part of the fuel. This proportion is called the “efficiency”. which insulates well and keeps the heat in. giving it plenty of time to give up its heat. with less soot and pollution than ones with natural draught. The flue gas has to pass through the entire boiler. The efficiency of a boiler is defined as the relationship between the energy in the hot water and that in the wood: the higher the efficiency. A storage tank holds water that has been heated up by the boiler. This gives a high temperature of combustion. The useful effect is typically of the order of 75-85%. In modern underburning boilers the combustion chamber is ceramic lined. the gases leave the fuel slowly and are burnt efficiently. An underburning boiler typically has a useful effect of 65-75%. Such boilers often have slightly better combustion. Secondary air is also led into an earthenware-lined chamber. the more of the energy in the fuel is transferred to the water in the boiler. More technical data for Central European condition see the table bellow. Good boilers have a efficiency of the order of 80-90%. but their useful effect is not significantly better. The .

This is because a proportion of the energy in the wood goes to evaporating the water off. about 10 or 20 cm long and 5 cm in diameter. Without a storage tank to take up the heat. combustion is clean and the boiler starts producing masses of heat. the water will rapidly get too hot and the damper will have to be shut to stop it boiling. But with a hot water tank you can fire away and store the heat. Because they are compressed and have a low water content they have a higher energy density than ordinary wood. and preferably two. reducing the cost of the system as a whole. When you need heat in the radiators. Nor should one burn refuse such as waxed paper milk cartons and that sort of thing. and it is easier to fire properly. and thus the temperature of the smoke all contribute to the draught. the insulation. it must be dry. Shortly after lighting up. They create resistance. The difference in the density of the air between the top of the chimney and the outlet on the boiler is what creates the draught. The size of the storage tank depends on the amount of heat the house needs and the efficiency of the boiler. giving less energy for heat. At the same time it makes it unnecessary to have a fire going in summer just to get hot water. The best thing to do is to leave the wood to dry for at least a year. You can also burn wood briquettes. CHIMNEY Chimney is responsible for the draught going through the boiler. which the hot air has to overcome. Bends and horizontal bits of piping reduce the draught. The water in the boiler cannot overheat because it goes into the tank. The reduced amount of air leads to smoky. The wood burning boiler and the solar panels can frequently use the same storage tank. And it is cheaper to “burn” solar energy than wood! FUEL CHOICE Whatever fuel you decide to use. incomplete combustion. So wood has to be dried before it can be burnt. it comes from the storage tank. Make sure first that the storage tank is suitable for the purpose. So the height of the chimney. since toxic gases are formed on combustion. So the idea is to have as few horizontal flues and . BURNING WOOD COMBINED WITH SOLAR HEATING If you do decide to install a wood burning unit. The damper remains open and combustion continues at high efficiency. it is recommended also to consider putting in solar heating. Never burn wood that has been painted or glued.extra cost repays itself very quickly. It is easiest to stack it in an outdoor woodshed so that the rain cannot get at it. so they need less storage space. which makes it uneconomical to burn. They are made of compressed sawdust and wood shavings. Newly felled timber has a water content of about 50%.

BOILER MAINTENANCE A boiler must be installed and maintained properly. since the bunker only needs filling up once or twice a week. In hand-fired units like wood burning boilers. which is heated up and carried round the house to the radiators. Too much soot may mean you are not letting enough air through. The pellets are made in presses. Pellets are usually made out of waste (sawdust and wood shavings). This reduces the risk of fire. giving them a higher combustion value than other wood fuels. and come out 1-3 cm long and about 1 cm wide. since they can be fed in directly from a bunker. Some manufacturers use a bonding agent to extend the life of the pellets. so it is best to buy pellets without a bonding agent. one has to stoke up several times a day . The burning process is highly combustible and produces little residue.3 WOOD PELLETS AND WOOD CHIPS IN AUTOMATICALLYFIRED BOILERS The automatic boiler is connected to the central heating system in exactly the same way as an oil-fired one. The chimney will need sweeping at least once a year. Some countries have exempted pellet appliances from the smoke emission testing requirements. pleasant smelling and smooth to touch. The heat of combustion is transferred to water. so they have a higher volume energy (more energy per cubic meter).8. The automatic boiler thus supplies heat to all the radiators in the house. They are clean. which goes up the chimney on burning. The fact that they are pressed means they take up less space. unlike a wood burning stove. Pellets and wood-chips are of a size and shape that make them ideal for automatic boilers. 3.bends as possible. This increases its life and your safety. This makes it much easier to stoke. ensuring a proper draught at all times. There are different kinds of pellets. When you burn wood pellets.though they are usually cheaper to buy than automatic ones. others make them without it. Some boilers have a built-in blower. and are used in large quantities by district heating systems. which really only heats the room it is in. Most countries have regulations about siting: in some places boilers have to be put in a separate room. . WOOD PELLETS Wood pellets are a comparatively new and attractive form of fuel. The bonder used often contains sulphur. you are utilising an energy resource that would otherwise have gone to waste or been dumped in a landfill. Sulphate pollution contributes to acid rain and chimney corrosion. Wood pellets have a low moisture content (under 10% by weight).

The water content of newly felled chips is usually about 50% by weight.2 kWh/kg 2 kg pellets = 1 litre of heating oil There are many advantages in using pellets as the fuel of choice. They are usually delivered by road. Wood is cut up in mechanical chippers. Using this fuel reduces the need for fossil fuels which are known to be harmful for the environment. The size and shape of the chips depends on the machine.5 . WOOD-CHIPS Wood-chips are made of waste wood from the forests. Burning pellet fuel actually helps reduce waste created by lumber production or furniture manufacturing. pellet fuel is among the safest.they are only made from leftover wood residue. 30 mm Density : min. FUEL CONSUMPTION AND INVESTMENT COST In the table bellow you can find a comparison of different wood burning systems for single family house 150 m2 (12 kW heat load).8 mm Length : max. 8% of weight Energy value : 4.5. but they are typically about a centimetre thick and 2 to 5 cm long. healthiest way to heat. flooring. resorts. This technology is also valuable for non-residential buildings such as hotels.Wood pellets characteristics: Diameter : 5 . There are no additives put into the pellets to make them burn longer or more efficiently. In many countries like in Denmark wood-chips currently produced are burnt in wood-chip fired district heating stations. furniture). retail stores. Fuel Logs Investment costs From 80 000 ATS Fuel consumption in heating season 12 m3 Operation Fuel input 1-2 times a . and schools. The cost of pellet fuel may depend on the geographic region where it is sold. but this drops considerably on drying. so there must be facilities for storing at least 20 m3 of chips under cover if they are to be used in an automatic burner. Wood-chips are thus a waste product of normal forestry operations. Pellet fuel does not smoke or give off any harmful fumes. offices. and the current season. 650 kg/m3 Moisture content : max. Whether you live in a condominium in the city or a home in the country. restaurants. Pellets are recently used in over 500 000 homes in North America. No trees are cut to make the pellets . Trees have to be thinned to make room for commercial timber (beams. hospitals. Data are coming from Austria.

STOKER-FIRED UNITS In stoker-fired units too. The pre-furnace is earthenware-lined. In addition. As in compact units. If wood-chips are used. they need drying under cover for at least two months. This is due to the lower volume energy of chips. * Boilers with built-in pre-furnace. Any gases not combusted in the pre-furnace are burnt off in the boiler. which puts less in when the water is hot and more in when it is cold. This is a helical conveyor which conveys the fuel from the bunker to the boiler. Some can also burn pellets. but not for wood-chips. Boilers fitted with pre-furnace are designed for burning wood-chips. Chips can also be dried under cover after being cut up. The best way of doing this is to leave the trees outside to dry until they are put through the chipper. The chips must not be too moist.Wood chips Wood Pellets From 150 000 ATS From 80 000 ATS 28 m3 7. The fuel is fed in at the bottom of the grate. where it burns. COMPACT UNITS In compact units the fuel is fed into the fire from the bunker by an automatic feeder.5 m3 day Fuel input 1-2 times a year Automatic Note 14 ATS = 1 USD BOILER TYPES FOR WOOD PELLETS AND WOOD CHIPS Automatic furnaces come in three types : * Compact units in which the boiler and bunker are in one. They also need a lot of storage space. so they need drying first. with separate boiler and bunker. BOILERS WITH PRE-FURNACE In the third type of unit most of the combustion takes place at high temperature in a pre-furnace. so that stoking has to be more frequent. * Stoker-fired units. feed-in is thermostatically controlled. the fuel is automatically fed into the boiler. Heat comes in from the prefurnace and is transferred to the water in the boiler. allowing high temperatures to be maintained. Wood pellets are best for stoker-fired units. The rate at which fuel is fed in is determined by a thermostat. the water content of wood-chips is often so high that compact units do not combust them properly. A pre-furnace-mounted boiler is therefore highly suitable for burning wet wood-chips. but chips can also be used if the unit is designed for them. Compact units are excellent for wood pellets. though others .

MAINTENANCE Maintenance is very important. because the saving on fuel is of the order of DKK 2. slugging problems may occur at low surface temperatures. a stoked unit or a pre-furnace boiler cost at least DKK 50. Usually they can be economical if there is a need for a lot of heat during the year. If the homeowner use less. Straw is a difficult type of fuel. A compact unit.would be damaged by the heat generated by the dry fuel. Straw also contains many chlorine compounds which may cause corrosion problems.1 District heating systems Despite all problems with the straw there is a huge number of straw-fired . The working life of the unit also depends on maintenance. otherwise there is a risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.8. Despite this a wood burning unit pays in the long run. As a consequence. because there are more bits and pieces in it. A properly maintained fire utilises fuel better and gives better value for money. In EU countries it means to have a need to burn the equivalent of at least 3. Ask the manufacturer before buying. COSTS It costs more to buy an automatic stoker unit than a hand-fired one. In Denmark this sort of thing costs about DKK 20-25. the cheapest thing is to invest in a separate stoker. relatively moist. 10-20 times that of coal.000 litres of oil replaced.4.000 to install.000 litres of oil a year. 3.8. Nevertheless there are some difficulties which make straw a fuel source utilised only in large boilers usually connected to district heating systems and agriculture sector . it is better to buy a hand-fired unit burning firewood. The softening and melting temperatures of straw ash are relatively low due to a large content of alkali metals. 3. It is difficult to handle and to feed into a boiler because it is inhomogeneous. the so called volatile components.000 for each 1.000. Moreover 70% of the combustible part of the straw is contained in the gases emitted during heating. and bulky in proportion to its energy content: its volume is approx. particularly with high surface temperatures. Such a high content of volatile gases makes special demands on the distribution and mixing of the combustion air and to the design of the burner and the combustion chamber.4 STRAW FIRING BOILERS Straw has a heating value which is similar to that of wood and can be used as a fuel in boilers. If the house is already equipped with a boiler that works well and the homeowner is thinking of buying an automatic unit.

and the environmental consequences of those processes are all potential causes of . secondary air is supplied through nozzles located in the boiler walls. These plants use mostly so called Hesston bales of straw with the dimensions 2.district heating plants all around the world. In this unit . It is common to have a back up system based on oil or gas-fired boiler which can cover required output during peak load situations. repairs and breakdowns. Most of the energy content of the straw is represented by volatile gases (approx. feeding.2x1. the flue gases transmit more heat to the boiler water. Storage. Straw-firing plants are made up of the same main components : * Straw storage building * Straw weighing device * Straw crane * Conveyor (feeding unit) * Feeding system * Boiler * Flue gas cleaning * Stack BOILER The conveyor carries the straw into the bottom of the boiler which consists of a sturdy iron grate. handling. Combustion can be controlled individually in each zone . Only in Since 1980 more than 70 such plants have been built in Denmark alone. QUALITY REQUIREMENTS TO THE STRAW The straw supplied to the plants must conform to certain requirements in order to reduce the risk of operating problems during various processes of energy production.4x1. From the combustion chamber. Most existing plants have an economiser . combustion.6 MW to 9 MW and the average size is 3. dosing. The convector is usually made up of rows of vertical pipes through which the flue gases pass. The grate is usually divided into several combustion zones with separate blowers supplying combustion air through the grate.7 MW. a heat exchanger installed after the convector. i. resulting in an increased efficiency of the system. This is the place where the combustion takes place. thus an acceptable burn-out of the straw can be obtained. Thus the straw-fired boiler is usually dimensioned for 60-70 % of maximum load which makes it easier to operate at low summer load level.3 m and a weight of 450 kg. 70%) which are released during heating and are burned off in the combustion chamber above the grate. In order to provide combustion air for the gases.e. Their output power range from 0. the flue gases are led to the convection section of the boiler where most of the heat is transferred through the boiler wall to the circulating boiler water.

During the past 10-15 years. the market was dominated by boilers for small bales.4. mediumsized bales or Hesston bales). The maximum acceptable moisture content varies from plant to plant but it is usually 18-22% water. Some types burn almost explosively.problems. The moisture content of the straw is the most important quality criteria for the this fuel. BATCH-FIRED BOILERS Earlier. whereas other types burn very slowly. Batch-fired boilers used to cause many problems when fed with straw of inferior quality and the supply of combustion air was difficult to control.8. leaving hardly any ash.000 litres of oil.000 kg).The big bale boilers are well suited for an annual heating requirement corresponding to at least 10. All heating plants specify a maximum acceptable moisture content in straw supplied. 3. air velocity and supply may be regulated through gradually changing between the upper and lower section of the boiler and by adjusting the air volume. and the different combustion conditions can rarely be explained on the basis of ordinary laboratory examinations. In . Today. The boiler is fired with 1 bale at a time. most of the batch-fired boilers are designed for big bales (round bales.2 Heating plants smaller than 1 MW This type of plant differs technically from district heating plants and is used mostly in agriculture. In order to ensure proper combustion and minimize particle emission from flue gases. however. leaving almost complete skeletons of ash on the grate. Different types of straw behave very differently during combustion. Moisture content varies between 10-25% but in some cases it may be even higher. A tractor fitted with a grab or a fork introduces the bale through a feeding gate at the front of the boiler. dosing and feeding (and possibly a reduction in boiler efficiency). A high water content may cause storing problems and plant malfunction as well as reduced capacity and increased generating costs during handling. The calorific value (energy content per kg) of the straw is directly proportional to the moisture content from which the price is calculated. the concept of burning straw has developed from small primitive and labour-demanding boilers with batch firing and considerable smoke problems into large boilers emitting little smoke which are either batch-fired or automatic with fuel being supplied only 1-2 times per day. holding from 1 round bale (200-300 kg) to 2 Hesston bales ( 1. The boilers are available in different sizes. The use of straw for energy production in the agricultural sector as we know it today started in the 1970’s as a result of the “energy crisis” and the resulting subsidies for the installation of straw-fired boilers. Experience from straw-fired district heating plants is not always identical from plant to plant.

In automatically fired boilers. The volume of straw treated is often regulated by merely modifying the velocity of the conveyor. BOLLERS FOR PELLETS The use of straw pellets for energy production has aroused some interest in recent years. AUTOMATICALLY FIRED BOILERS Interest in automatically fired boilers is due to the large amount of labour needed when operating small bale boilers with batch firing which used to be very popular. a significantly improved utilization factor. the scarifier usually has a retaining device. and a corresponding reduction of particle emission problems as compared with the first manually fired boilers without air regulating devices.recent models. Straw ignites easily in an automatic boiler because fresh straw is supplied continuously. combustion takes places as the straw is fed into the boiler. The dosing device may be designed for whole bales. Until now. the efficiency was only 35%. The air supply is adapted to the straw volume by means of an adjustable damper on a blower. If blowers are used. only small quantities of straw pellets have been produced.l8 %. parting them into pieces of varying sizes. however. Today. Most scarifiers have knives to loosen the straw without creating large lumps. There are. In order to ensure a steady flow of straw through the transport system. the distance to the boiler can be greater than with worms but this equipment also consumes more energy. however. Of interest is the homogeneous and handy nature of this fuel which makes it perfect for transport in tankers and for use in automatic heating plants. an efficiency of 75% and a CO content below 0. About l0 years ago. BOILERS FOR BALES OF STRAW Units consisting of a scarifier/cutter have been developed which separate the bales. still unsolved slag problems when the pellets are used in .5% is possible in batch-fired boilers. This ensures a good combustion. the control problem has eventually been solved but the water content of the straw must still be kept below 15. cut straw or straw pellets. The scarifier does not actually cut or shred the straw but it separates the straw into the segments it was compacted into by the piston of the baler. The bales are fed into this unit on a conveyor. Several types of automatic boiler plants have been developed but they all include a dosing device which automatically feeds the straw into the boiler continuously. The straw is transported from the scarifier/cutter by worm conveyors or blowers.

5 EFFICIENT WOOD BURNING TECHNIQUES FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES For more than a third of the world’s people. A stoker worm feeds the fuel into a hearth located in the boiler.. Indonesia.2 m3 instead of 0.less smoke in the kitchen. they include: * Less time spent gathering wood or less money spent on fuel. holes in which to place the vessels to be heated. Their search for wood. lessening of respiratory problems associated with smoke inhalation. releasing more fertilizer for agriculture. Their energy yield varies. and a short chimney for the draught. Reforestation.less manure used as fuel. 3.1 Fuel-efficient cook stoves The most immediate way to decrease the use of wood as cooking fuel is to introduce improved wood. use of alternative fuels and fuel conservation through improved stoves are the three methods which offer possible solutions to the firewood crisis. The amount of ash from a small straw-fired boiler is typically 4% by weight of the straw used. A concerted effort to develop more efficient models might reduce this figure to 1/3 or ¼. 3. The possibility of establishing a sales network for rural districts and villages is being considered in some developed countries. depending on the model. Another part consists of utilisation of efficient wood burning techniques like improved cook stoves. saving more forests than all of the replanting efforts planned for the rest of the century..8. the nation and the global community.6 m3 per person per year.small boilers. In brief. once a simple task. These clay “cookers” are usually built on the spot with a closed hearth. firewood consumption would be reduced by two-thirds: 0.5. When the plant is operating. Simple stove models already in use can halve the use of firewood. the real energy crisis is a daily scramble to find the wood they need to cook dinner. Guatemala and elsewhere. one-third as much wood would provide the same service. the local community. to a day’s labour in some places.and charcoal-burning cook stoves. If these “cookers” were used throughout the Sahel. the stoker worm works intermittently and the feeding capacity is regulated by adjusting its on/off intervals. There are clear benefits of improved cook stoves to the individual family. has changed as forests recede. Using simple hearths such as those used in India. between approximately 15 and 25%. but the high rate of growth in demand means that forests are being cut much faster than they are being replanted. Combustion air is supplied by a blower. Reforestation programs have been started in many countries.8.- . Pellet-fed plants are usually intended for domestic heating and they consist of a boiler and a closed magazine for fuel (straw pellets). Alternative fuels like biogas and solar energy can be one part of solution.

.potential for using local materials andpotential for local innovations. decreases soil erosion. if pots are securely set into the stove. and the whole is covered by a mound of earth.the fire requires less convenience: stoves (an be made to any height and can have work space on the surface.little initial cost compared to most other kinds of cookers. and allowed to cook slowly with the retained heat. A pot of food which has previously been heated up to a boil is placed in the pit. and the food cooks slowly over time. of course. less chance of children falling into the fire or boiling pots. which is simply a well insulated box lined with a reflective material into which a pot of food previously brought to a boil is placed. wood supply and hydrology. Simple haybox style cookers could be introduced along with fuel-saving cook stoves in areas where slow cooking is practised.. This is a practice of ancient origin which is still used in some parts of the world today. The food is cooked in 3 to 6 hours by the heat retained in the insulated box. THE HAYBOX COOKER This latter method is the direct ancestor of the Haybox Cooker. In some areas a pit is dug and lined with rocks previously heated in a fire. . How these boxes should be made. they should be made of inexpensive.potential for reducing dependence on imported fewer burns from open flames. The insulation greatly slows the loss of conductive heat. The heat from the rocks is retained by the earth insulation. The food to be cooked is placed in the lined pit.. convective heat in the surrounding air is trapped inside the box. Ideally. grains. locally available materials and should fit standard pot sizes used in the area. is perhaps best left to people working in each region.. COOKING WITH RETAINED HEAT In regions where much of the daily cooking involves a long simmering period (required for many beans. . Another version of this method consists of digging a pit and lining it with hay or another good insulating material. covered with more hay and then earth. and from what materials. * Stove building may create new jobs. less chance of children pulling them down on themselves.improved hygiene with models that raise cooking off the floor. as stoves with damper control can be easier to tend. . stews and soups) the amount of fuel needed to complete the cooking process can be greatly reduced by cooking with retained heat.. and the shiny lining reflects the radiant heat back into the pot. often covered with and time saved can be invested elsewhere in the community. * Lowered rate of deforestation improves climate.

or cardboard. Haybox cookers can also be constructed as a box-in-a-box with the intervening space filled with any good insulating material. lightweight haybox can be made from a 60 by 120 cm sheet of rigid foil-faced insulation and aluminium tape.BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS There are several principles which should be kept in mind in regard to the construction of a haybox cooker: * Insulation should cover an six sides of the box (especially the bottom and lid). old printing plates. or any combination. * The inner surfaces of the box should be of a heat reflective material (such as aluminium foil) to reflect radiant heat from the pot back to it. Two or more smaller amounts of food may be placed in the box to cook simultaneously. * Less spicing is needed since the aroma is not boiled away. If it is not airtight. Good Insulating Materials Cork Polystyrene sheets/pellets/drinking cups Hay/straw/rushes Sawdust/wood shavings Wool/fur Fiberglas/glass wool Shredded newspaper/cardboard Rice hulls/nut shells Suggested Wall Thickness 5 cm 5 cm 10 cm 10 cm 10 cm 10 cm 10 cm 15 cm The inner box should have a reflective interior: aluminium foil. . a pair of cloth bags might also work. * Cooking must be started earlier to give the food enough time to cook at a lower temperature than over a stove. The box can be wooden. Always be sure the lid is air tight. heat will be lost by conduction through the uninsulated sides and much efficiency will be lost. Be inventive. shiny aluminium sheeting. * The box should be airtight. A simple. other polished sheet metal’ or silver paint will all work. If one or more sides are not insulated. heat will be lost through warm air escaping by convection out of the box. INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE There are some adjustments involved in cooking with haybox cookers: * Less water should be used since it is not boiled away. * Haybox cookers work best for large quantities (over 4 lifers) as small amounts of food have less thermal mass and cool faster than a larger quantity. or a can-in-a-can. The required thickness of the insulation will vary with how efficient it is (see below).

Normally. * Sand/clay stoves are not waterproof. * The tools required are simple. not just the water. Sand/clay stoves are predominantly sand. They should not be expected to perform as well at high altitudes. Unlike concrete. . with merely enough clay to glue the sand together. One great advantage of haybox cookers is that the cook no longer has to keep up a fire or watch or stir the pot once it’s in the box. The block is an integral sand/clay mixture which. * Stoves are easy to repair or replace. after which they may need to be repaired. the box should not be opened during cooking as valuable heat is lost. upon drying. * The material is versatile. Disadvantages: * Construction relies on heavy materials that are not always available at the building site and are difficult to transport. and cheap. though the proportions can differ widely. food will never burn in a haybox. SAND/CLAY STOVES: THE LORENA SYSTEM The Lorena system involves building a solid sand/clay block. * The stoves are not transportable. * Stove construction can require several days of hard work. * Construction of the stoves requires simple skills. It is adequately strong in tension if thin walls are avoided.* The food should boil for several minutes before being placed in the box. they can be expected to work well for at least a year. which works well as a thin shell. The sand/clay mixture is strong in compression. The boxes perform best at low altitudes where boiling temperature is highest. the sand/clay mixture relies upon mass for tensile strength. The mixture contains 2 to 5 parts of sand to 1 part of clay. The mix should contain enough clay to bind the sand grains tightly together. * Efficiency of the stoves relies on the quality of the workmanship in their construction. Advantages: * Sand and clay are available in most places. it can be used to build almost any size or shape of stove. but resists impact poorly. This ensures that all the food is at boiling temperature. And finally. then carving out a firebox and flue tunnels. has the strength of a weak concrete (without the cost). Pure clay stoves crack badly because the clay shrinks as it dries and expands when it is heated. In fact.

KENYA STOVE One of the most successful urban stove projects in the world is the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) initiative. Typical characteristics of good-quality charcoal: Ash content : 5 per cent Fixed carbon content : 75 per cent Volatiles content : 20 per cent Bulk density : 250-300 kg/m3 Physical characteristics : Moderately friable Efforts to improve charcoal production are largely aimed at optimising the above characteristics at the lowest possible investment and labour cost while maintaining a high production volume and weight ratios with respect to the wood feedstock. Another important feature of the Kenya stove project is that the KCJ design is not a radical departure from the traditional stove. Over 500. Preparation of wood 2.000 stoves of this new improved design have been produced and disseminated in Kenya since the mid-1980s (Davidson and Karekezi. KCJ for short.reduction of moisture content 3. Thus. in essence. Drying . an incremental development from the traditional all-metal stove. 3. The various production techniques produce charcoal of varying quality. Known as the Kenya Ceramic Jiko. Improved charcoal production technologies are largely aimed at attaining increases in the net volume of charcoal produced as well as at enhancing the quality characteristics of charcoal.2 CHARCOAL PRODUCTION . the improved stove is made of ceramic and metal components and is produced and marketed through the local informal sector. One of the key characteristics of this project was its ability to utilize the existing cook stove production and distribution system to produce and market the KCJ. It uses materials that are locally available and can be produced locally.reduction of volatiles content . the improved stove is fabricated and distributed by the same people who manufacture and sell the traditional stove design.5.8.PYROLYSIS The production of charcoal spans a wide range of technologies from simple and rudimentary earth kilos to complex. In many respects. the KCJ is well adapted to the cooking patterns of a large majority of Kenya’s urban households. 1991). Pre-carbonization . the KCJ project provides an ideal case study of how an improved stove project should be initiated and implemented. In addition. The KCJ is. The production of charcoal consist of six major stages: 1. large-capacity charcoal retorts.

Carbonization . for them. For small-scale and informal charcoal makers. Debarking reduces the ash content to between 1 and 5 per cent which improves the combustion characteristics of the charcoal. assist in drying the wood which reduces moisture content thus facilitating the carbonization process. Because of the fragility of charcoal. the principal raw material. More sophisticated charcoal production systems entail additional wood preparation. bulk and retail sale to customers. Little time is invested in the preparation of the wood. The second stage of charcoal production is carried out at temperatures ranging from 110 to 220 degrees Celsius. The sixth stage involves cooling of charcoal for at least 24 hours to enhance its stability and reduce the possibility of spontaneous combustion. The fifth stage takes place at temperatures between 300 degrees and a maximum of about 500 degrees. In this stage pyroligneous liquids in the form of methanol and acetic acids are expelled and a small amount of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide is emitted. Distribution in bags helps to limit the amount of fines produced in addition to providing a convenient measurable quantity for both retail and bulk sales. It is estimated that wood which is not debarked produces charcoal with an ash content of almost 30 per cent. . The third stage takes place at higher temperatures of about 170 to 300 degrees and is often called the pre-carbonization stage. however. transporting. excessive handling and transporting over long distances can increase the amount of fines to about 40 per cent thus greatly reducing the value of the charcoal. charcoal production is an off-peak activity that is carried out intermittently to bring in extra cash. packing. Consequently. The final stage consists of removal of charcoal from the kiln. The stacking may. such as debarking the wood to reduce the ash content of the charcoal produced. The final stage is a vital component that affects the quality of the finally-delivered charcoal. The end of this stage produces charcoal which is in essence the carbonized residue of wood.increasing the carbon content 6. Cooling and stabilization of charcoal The first stage consists of collection and preparation of wood.4. The fourth stage occurs at 200 to 300 degrees where a substantial proportion of the light tars and pyroligneous acids are produced. This stage drives off the remaining volatiles and increases the carbon content of the charcoal. This stage consists mainly of reducing the water content by first removing the water stored in the wood pores then the water found in the cell walls of wood and finally chemically-bound water. End of carbonization . preparation of the wood for charcoal production consists of simply stacking odd branches and sticks either cleared from farms or collected from nearby woodlands.further reduction of volatiles content 5.

and hydrogen gas.8. are products of complete combustion and can be carried no further. a fuel like wood gas (producer gas) is convenient and can be burned in various existing devices. predominately carbon dioxide and water. not the least of which is the internal . hydrocarbon gases. Restrict the air to combustion and the heat will still allow combustion to continue. Combustion of wood is a bootstrap process. methane. In full combustion of a hydrocarbon (wood is basically a hydrocarbon) oxygen will combine with the carbon in the ratio of two atoms to each carbon atom. Carbon monoxide. water. Once burning begins though it is possible to restrict the air to the fuel and still have the combustion process continue. (to account for the inorganic components of wood) and heat. hydrogen.) Thus it is a simple technological step to produce a gaseous fuel from solid wood. (the same gas as car exhaust and for the same reason) water. but imperfectly. Where wood is bulky to handle. The heat from combustion breaks down the chemical bonds between the complex hydrocarbons found in wood (or any other hydrocarbon fuel) while the combination of the resultant carbon and hydrogen with oxygen-combustionproduces the heat. A related process is the heating of wood in a closed vessel using an outside heat source. Thus the process drives itself. in different proportions. Lack of sufficient oxygen caused by restricted combustion air will cause partial combustion. If wood were given all the oxygen it needs to burn cleanly the by-products of the combustion would be carbon dioxide. This is done by burning wood in a burner which restricts combustion air intake so that the complete burning of the fuel cannot occur.3. This is the type of burning we strive for in wood stoves. can be obtained by heating or burning wood products in an isolated or oxygen poor environment.6 Wood Gasification Basics Wood gasification is also called producer gas generation and destructive distillation. This produces carbon monoxide. and other assorted components. It will also produce a lot of other compounds and elements such as carbon which is smoke. some small amount of ash. In this restricted combustion one atom of oxygen will combine with one atom of carbon. fuel gases which have the potential to continue the combustion reaction and release heat since they are not completely burned yet. It combines with the hydrogen in the ratio of two atoms of hydrogen to one of oxygen. Each process produces different products. If the air is restricted to combustion the process will still produce enough heat to break down the wood but the products of this inhibited combustion will be carbon monoxide and hydrogen. (The other products of incomplete combustion. This produces CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water). while the hydrogen will sometimes combine with oxygen and sometimes not combine with anything. methyl gas. The essence of the process is the production of flammable gas products from the heating of wood.

Smoke is drawn up through the porous sawdust. carbon monoxide. Once loaded (the natural pack of the sawdust will keep it from falling out the bottom) the sawdust is lit from the bottom using a device such as a propane torch. This burner is crude and uncontrollable. As a general concept. so this water is available to play a part in the destructive distillation process. by incomplete combustion or by destructive distillation. The combustion is maintained by a source of vacuum applied to the outlet at the top. hydrogen. This process depends on the poor porosity of the sawdust to control the combustion air so chunk wood cannot be used since its much greater porosity .6. water. methyl gas. Methane gas might make up as much as 75% of such a mixture. It can be handled by the same devices that regulate natural gas and it will work in burners or as a fuel for internal combustion engines with some very important cautions. Wood also contains many other chemicals from alkaloid poisons to minerals. There is an outlet at the top to draw the wood gas off. The vacuum also draws air in to support the fire. destructive distillation of wood will produce methane gas. This can happen rapidly since there is no control to assure that the sawdust burns evenly. A hole at the top which can be sealed allows the user to load sawdust into the tank. a high quality liquid fuel suitable for use in internal combustion engines with very small modification. and exits the burner at the top where it goes on to be further conditioned and filtered. Once the fire breaks through the top of the sawdust the vacuum applied to the burner will pull large amounts of air in supporting full combustion and leaning out the value of the producer gas as a fuel.1 Producer Gas Generators The simplest device is a tank shaped like an inverted cone (a funnel). 3. carbon dioxide. will produce an easily handled fuel that can be used as a direct replacement for fossil fuel gases (natural gas or liquefied petroleum gases such as propane or butane). Methyl gas is very closely related to methyl alcohol (wood alcohol) and can be burned directly or converted into methyl alcohol (methanol). At the bottom the point of the “funnel” is opened and this is where the burning takes place. such as a squirrel cage blower or an internal combustion engine. A properly designed burner combining wood and air is one relatively safe way of doing this. These also become part of the process. Methane is a simple hydrocarbon gas which occurs in natural gas and can also be obtained from anaerobic bacterial decomposition as “bio-gas” or “swamp gas”. The sawdust smoulders away. wood alcohol. “Leads” of fire can form in the sawdust reaching toward the top surface. It’s obvious that both of these routes to the production of wood gas. carbon. especially as combustion nears the top of the sawdust pile. and a lot of other things in small quantities.combustion engine. being partly filtered in the process. It has high heat value and is simple to handle.8.

Cellulose is another form of carbohydrate and can be broken down into more simple sugars. There are various ways to do this. The fermentation process is essentially the same process used to make alcoholic beverages. they have the potential to change and/or enhance the supply and use of fuel (especially for transport) in many parts of the world. Therefore.8. inexpensive feedstocks. about 6 billion litres of ethanol are produced this way each year in the U. Latin America. Ethanol as most important alcohol fuel can be produced by converting the starch content of biomass feedstocks (e. sugarcane. but potentially can use a much wider variety of abundant. particularly with regard to lead.Conversion of biomass into ethanol Alcohol can be used as a liquid fuel in internal combustion engines either on their own or blended with petroleum. potatoes. Honduras and Paraguay. hydrocarbons and CO emissions. Costa Rica. namely clean burning and high octane-rated performance. creating ethanol. using already improved and demonstrated existing technologies. Furthermore. World-wide. CO2. Countries such as Brazil and Argentina already produce large amounts. fermentation capacity for fuel ethanol has increased eightfold since 1977 to about 20 billion litres per year. and there are many other countries such as Bolivia. and an engine designed specifically to run on ethanol can be 30 per cent more efficient. This process is relatively new and is not yet commercially available. For prolonged trouble free operation of a wood gas generator the burner unit must have more complete control of the combustion air and the fuel feed. This configuration will successfully burn much larger amount of wood. For example. beets. wheat) into alcohol. 3. Internal combustion engines optimized for operation on alcohol fuels are 20 per cent more energy-efficient than when operated on gasoline. There is a relatively new process to produce ethanol which utilizes the cellulosic portion of biomass feedstocks like trees. Here yeast and heat are used to break down complex sugars into more simple sugars. There are many widely-available raw materials from which alcohol can be made. there are numerous environmental advantages. Such a burner is unsatisfactory for prolonged gas generation but it is cheap to build and it will work with a lot of fiddling.S. dominated by Brazil. . SO2. particulates. is the world’s largest production region of bioethanol. Alcohol have favourable combustion characteristics. among others. if the point of above mentioned original funnel shaped burner is completely enclosed then control over the air entering the burner can be achieved. grasses and agricultural wastes. Currently. corn. which are seriously considering the bioethanol option.g.would allow too much air in and user would achieve full combustion at very high temperatures rather than the smouldering and the partial combustion needed.7 FERMENTATION .

Others with great potential include Mauritius. South Africa and Zimbabwe. Since ethanol has different chemical properties than gasoline. For example. cold starts can be a problem. ethanol changes from a liquid to a gas (evaporates) less readily than gasoline. Tests show that E10 produces less carbon monoxide (CO). tuning the engine for ethanol can make up as much as half the difference. make ethanol fuel attractive. The production of ethanol by fermentation involves four major steps: (a) the growth. particulates (PM). better environmental management. However. Swaziland and Zambia. combined with relatively low total demand for liquid transport fuels. it will biodegrade more quickly and easily than gasoline. since ethanol is an organic product. harvest and delivery of raw material to an alcohol plant. Using ethanol even in low-level blends (e. displacement of energy imports and better resource use. In the industrialized countries. Higher blends (E85. E10 . These blends have helped clean up carbon monoxide problems in cities like Denver and Phoenix. indirectly. These conditions. 90% gasoline) can have environmental benefits. and. it requires slightly different handling. Changes in engine design will also allow for greater efficiency.Kenya. (b) the pre- . and also the possibility of solving some wider socio-economic problems. such as agricultural land use and food surpluses. which is 15% gasoline). while oil imports are also very expensive and subject to disruption.Alcohol fuels have also been aggressively pursued in a number of African countries currently producing sugar . Global interest in ethanol fuels has increased considerably over the last decade despite the fall in oil prices after 1981. Furthermore.which is 10% ethanol. Many of these countries are landlocked which means that it is not feasible to sell molasses as a by-product on the world market. more and more policies to support development and implementation of ethanol as a fuel are being introduced. a major reason is increasing environmental concern. In developing countries interest in alcohol fuels has been mainly due to low sugar prices in the international market. should there be a spill. The major objectives of these programmes are: diversification of the sugarcane industry. sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) than reformulated gasoline (RFG). Although a litre of ethanol has about twothirds of the energy content of a litre of gasoline.g. Some countries have modernized sugar industry and have low production costs. This means that in neat (100%) ethanol applications. this issue can be resolved through engine design and fuel formulation.burn with less of virtually all the pollutants mentioned above. and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than RFG. Malawi. and also for strategic reasons. As the value of bioethanol is increasingly being recognized. However E10 produces more volatile organic compounds (VOC). or even neat ethanol-E100 .

can be used as a convenient on-site electricity source. But methanol is currently produced mostly from natural gas and has only been used as fuel for fleet demonstration and racing purposes and. In addition. and (d) treatment of the fermentation residue to reduce pollution and to recover by-products. and (c) cellulose from wood. These new systems are. (c) fermentation of the substrate to alcohol. The production of ethanol by enzymatic or acid hydrolysis of bagasse could allow off-season production of ethanol with very little new equipment. maize.. . however. The many and varied raw materials for bioethanol production can be conveniently classified into three types: (a) sugar from sugarcane.about 2. Ethanol is also produced from lactose from waste whey. and purification by distillation. which must be converted to sugars using either acid or enzymatic hydrolysis.5 % photosynthetic efficiency on an annual basis under optimum agricultural conditions. will not be considered here. at the demonstration stage and are still considered uneconomic. wood. less of an impact overall on market growth than the availability and costs of feedstock and the costcompeting liquid fuel options. Technological advances will have. a by-product of sugarcane production. The tops and leaves of the cane plant can also be used for electricity production. Of major interest are sugarcane. there is a growing consensus that methanol does not have all the environmental benefits that are commonly sought for oxygenates and which can be fulfilled by ethanol. thus. An efficient ethanol distillery using sugarcane byproducts can therefore be self-sufficient and also generate a surplus of electricity. sugar beet and fruit. (b) starches from grain and root crops. which must first be hydrolysed to fermentable sugars by the action of enzymes.treatment or conversion of the raw material to a substrate suitable for fermentation to ethanol. for example in Ireland to produce potable alcohol and also in New Zealand to produce fuel ethanol. Fermentation technology and efficiency has improved rapidly in the past decade and is undergoing a series of technical innovations aimed at using new alternative materials and reducing costs. which means that quite often an alternative source must be found to keep a plant operating all-year round. cassava and sorghum and to a lesser extent grains and Jerusalem artichoke. however. which may be converted to ethanol directly. Sugarcane is the world’s largest source of fermentation ethanol. A further advantage is that bagasse. It is one of the most photosynthetic efficient plants . agricultural wastes etc. A problem still to be overcome is seasonability of crops. METHANOL Methanol is another alcohol fuel which can be obtained from biomass and coal.

The installed capacity in 1988 was over 16 billion litres distributed over 661 projects. Some 700. can be set up in agricultural areas.3.000 million. Another industry which has expanded greatly due to the creation of ProAlcool is the ethanol chemistry sector. other broad objectives of the programme were to protect the sugarcane plantation industry. to develop the alcohol capital goods sector and process technology for the production and utilization of industrial alcohols. to increase the utilization of domestic renewable-energy resources. Ethanol-based chemical plants are more suitable for many developing countries than petrochemical plants because they are smaller in scale.000 direct jobs with perhaps three to four times this number of indirect jobs have been created. The investment to generate one job in the ethanol industry varies between $12.970. The ProAlcool programme has accelerated the pace of technological development and reduced costs within agriculture and other industries. and now has the world’s largest bioethanol programme. Brazil has developed a modem and efficient agribusiness capable of competing with any of its counterparts abroad. and to achieve greater socio-economic and regional equality through the expansion of cultivable lands for alcohol production and the generation of employment. and use raw materials which can be produced locally. In 1989.7.480.000.1 Brazil Brazil first used ethanol as a transport fuel in 1903. . and Brazilian firms export alcohol technology to many countries. The alcohol industry is now among Brazil’s largest industrial sectors.000 barrels of imported oil a day and almost 5 million automobiles now run on pure bioethanol and a further 9 million run on a 20 to 22 per cent blend of alcohol and gasoline (the production of cars powered by pure gasoline was stopped in 1979). about 20 times less than in the chemical industry for example. From 1976 to 1987 the total investment in ProAlcool reached $6. require less investment. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Rural job creation has been credited as a major benefit of ProAlcool because alcohol production in Brazil is highly labour-intensive. Brazil has produced over 90 billion litres of ethanol from sugarcane. Since the creation of the National Alcohol Programme (ProAlcool) in 1975.8.000 million and the total savings equivalent in imported gasoline was $12. alcohol is produced entirely by the private sector in a decentralized manner. Apart from ProAlcool’s main objective of reducing oil imports.000 and $22. over 12 billion litres of ethanol replaced about 200. Although ProAlcool was planned centrally.

they calculated that simultaneously with producing cost-competitive ethanol. The economic value of ethanol produced. With sale credits from the residues. The use of stillage as a fertilizer in sugarcane fields has increased productivity by 20-30 per cent. These have sharply reduced the level of pollution and in Sao Paulo. The environmental impact of alcohol production can be considerable because large amounts of stillage are produced and often escape into waterways.ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS Environmental pollution by the ProAlcool programme has been a cause of serious concern. making it competitive with gasoline even at the low early-1990 oil prices.15/litre. e. The costs of ethanol production could be further reduced if sugarcane residues. This is because the production cost of ethanol and its economic value to the consumer and to the country depend on many tangible and intangible factors making the costs very site-specific and variable even from day to day. it would be possible to produce hydrous ethanol at a net cost of less than $0. animal feed. and on whether the facility is an autonomous distillery in a cane plantation dedicated to alcohol production. or used in hydrous forte in 100 per cent alcohol-powered cars. and also on whether the ethanol is used in anhydrous form for blending with gasoline.0451kWh. the electricity cost would be less than $0. In the later stages of the programme serious efforts were made to overcome these environmental problems. design and management of the installation. or a distillery annexed to a plantation primarily engaged in production of sugar for export. production costs depend on the location. decreasing effluent volume and turning stillage into fertilizer. Such developments could have significant implications . were to be fully utilized. particularly in the early days. Using the biomass gasifier/intercooled steam-injected gas turbine (BIG/STIG) systems for electricity generation from bagasse. The costs of ethanol were declining at an annual rate of 4 per cent between 1979 and 1988 due to major efforts to improve the productivity and economics of sugarcane agriculture and ethanol production. biogas etc. on the other hand. For each litre of ethanol produced the distilleries produce 10 to 14 litres of effluent with high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) stillage. mainly bagasse..g. and today a number of alternative technological solutions are available or are being developed. ECONOMICS Despite many studies carried out on nearly all aspects of the programme. If the milling season is shortened to 133 days to make greater use of the barbojo (tops and leaves) the economics become even more favourable. depends primarily on the world prices of crude oil and sugar. For example. there is still considerable disagreement with regard to the economics of ethanol production in Brazil.

. the following factors were influential: government incentives (e. provided the basis for technological developments in both production and end-use. the blend is now about 12 per cent alcohol. production of 40 million litres has been possible since 1983. It has enabled the sugar and alcohol industries to develop their own technological expertise along with greatly increased capacity.for the overall economics of ethanol production. 3. lower taxes and cheaper credit). Brazil’s success with implementing large-scale ethanol production and utilization has been due to a combination of factors which include: government support and clear policy for ethanol production. its physical targets were achieved on time and its costs were below initial estimates. made significant foreignexchange savings. low-priced sugarcane crop with a suitable climate and abundant agricultural land. long historical experience with production and use of ethanol. sugarcane producers and the automobile industry. Since1980 Zimbabwe pioneered the production of fuel ethanol for blending with gasoline in Africa. technological capability of the ethanol production sector. and created jobs.g. and a well established and developed sugarcane industry which resulted in low investment costs in seeing up new distilleries.8.7. a plentiful. an adequate labour force. In the specific case of ethanol-fuelled vehicles. and for other economic considerations. but due to increased consumption. Zimbabwe has no oil resources and all petroleum products must be imported. Initially a 15-per cent alcohol/gasoline mix was used. co-operation between Government. direct involvement of the private sector. its politically vulnerable situation and foreign-exchange limitations. Despite all the problems ProAlcool is an outstanding technical success that has achieved many of its aims. economic and financial incentives. Overall. and consistent price policy which favoured the alcohol-powered car. 3.2 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe is an example of a relatively small country which has begun to tackle its import problem while fostering its own agro-industrial base. An independent and secure source of liquid fuel was seen as a sensible strategy because of Zimbabwe’s geographical position. This is the only fuel available in Zimbabwe for vehicles powered by spark-ignition engines. Annually.9 Low Cost Practical Designs of Biogas Technology DECOMPOSITION There are two basic type of decomposition or fermentation: natural and . security of supply and nationalistic motivation. accounting for nearly $120 million per annum on average in recent years which amounted to 18 per cent of the country’s foreign-exchange earnings. It has increased independence.

10 degrees Celsius (220 deg. In other wards the Volatile Solids (VS) is that portion of the Total Solids (TS) which volatilizes when it is heated at 550 degrees Celsius and the inorganic material left after heating of OM at this temperature is know as Fixed Solids or Ash. It is the Volatile Solids (VS) fraction of the Total Solids (TS) which is converted by bacteria (microbes) in to biogas. (i) natural and (ii) artificial. Therefore any decomposition or fermentation of organic material takes place in the absence of air (oxygen) is known as anaerobic decomposition or fermentation.artificial aerobic decomposition. The TS is the “Dry Weight” of the OM (Note: after the sun drying the weight of OM still contains about 20% moisture).F). . taken just before putting in the oven. F) for about 3 hours is known as Volatile Solids (VS) or Volatile Matter (VM). Total Solids (TS) The weight of dry matter (DM) or total solids (TS) remaining after drying the organic matter in an oven as described above. The digestibility and other related properties of the organic matter are usually expressed in the following terms: Moisture This is the weight of water lost upon drying of organic matter (OM) at 100 degrees Celsius (0.50 degrees Celsius or 1000 deg. Volatile Solids (VS)/ Volatile Matter (VM) The weight of burned-off organic matter (OM) when “Dry Matter-DM” or “Total Solids-TS” is heated at a temperature of 550 degrees Celsius(0.9. Some of it is indigestible to varying degree and either gets accumulated inside the digester or discharged with the effluent. Anaerobic means in the absence of Air (Oxygen). Muffle Furnace is used for heating the Dry Matter or Total Solids of the OM at this high temperature after which only ash (inorganic matter) remains. The moisture content is determined by subtracting the final (dried) weight from the original weight of the OM. This is achieved by drying the organic matter for 48 hours in an oven until no moisture is lost. Anaerobic decomposition can also be achieved in two ways namely. A figure of 10% TS means that 100 gm of sample will contain 10 gm of moisture and 90 gm of dry weight. 3. The Total Solids (TS) consists of Digestible Organic (or Volatile Solids-VS) and the indigestible solid (Ash).1 Digestible Property of Organic Matter When organic raw materials are digested in an airtight container only a certain percentage of the waste is actually converted into Biogas and Digested Manure.

The value is directly proportional to the amount of methane contains and this depends upon the nature of raw materials used in the digestion. the burners designed for coal gas.9. 3. inflammable gas. human and plant (crop) wastes.5005. grasses. through which the organic material is converted in to. It has a heat value of 500-700 BTU/Ft3 (4. as the anaerobic bacteria (microbes) that live without oxygen are responsible for the production of this gas through the destruction of organic matter. The airtight container used for the biogas production under artificial condition is known as digester or reactor. The Fixed Solids is biologically inert material and is also known as Ash. 3. natural and artificial conditions. However for techno-economically-viable production of biogas for wider application the artificial system is the best and most convenient method. essentially Methane (CH4) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) and in the process gives excellent organic fertilizer and humus as the second by-product.Fixed Solids (FS) or Ash The weight of matter remaining after the sample is heated at 550 degrees Celsius is known as Fixed Solids (FS) or ash. The composition of different gases in biogas : Methane (CH4) : 55-70% Carbon Dioxide (CO2) : 30-45% Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) : 1-2% Nitrogen (N2) : 0-1% Hydrogen (H2) : 0-1% Carbon Mono Oxide (CO) : Traces Oxygen (O2) : Traces 3. The one essential requirement in producing biogas is an airtight (air leak-proof) container. Since the composition of this gas is different. butane or LPG when used.9. produced by organic waste and biomass decomposition (fermentation). The production of biogas is a biological process which takes place in the absence of air (oxygen). odourless.3 Composition of Biogas Biogas is a colourless. Biogas is generated only when the decomposition of biomass takes place under the anaerobic conditions. aquatic plants and crop residues etc.4 Property of Biogas Biogas burns with a blue flame.9. weeds. leaves.000 Kcal/M3) when its methane content is in the range of 60-70%. vines.2 Biogas Production System The biogas (mainly mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) is produced/generated under both. as ‘biogas burner’ will give much lower efficiency. Biogas can be produced from animal. Therefore specially .

‘Methane Bacteria’ and is a complex biological and chemical process. However their efficiency goes down considerably if the slurry temperature goes below 20 degrees Celsius and almost stop functioning at a slurry temperature below 15 degrees Celsius. A 1 M3 biogas will generate 4. as biogas has a small percentage of Hydrogen Sulphide. the mixture may very slightly smell of rotten egg. . Because of the mixture of Carbon Dioxide in large quantity the biogas becomes a safe fuel in rural homes as will prevent explosion. which gives four stages of anaerobic fermentation inside the digester-they are (i) Hydrolysis.5 and a temperature range of 25-42 deg.000 Kcal/m2 is on an average). However. which is not often noticeable especially when being burned.500-5. as low as 15 degrees Celsius to as high as 40 degrees Celsius. as they can work under a broad range of temperature. or light a lamp with a brightness equivalent to 60-100 Watts for 4-5 hours. tasteless and odourless gas.5 and a temperature range of 25-35 degrees Celsius. and when burned in specifically designed burners having 60% efficiency.5-7.0-8. Biogas is a very stable gas.designed biogas burners are used which give a thermal efficiency of 55-65%. For the understanding of common people and field workers.9. methanogenic bacteria can ideally grow at a pH range of 6. (ii) Acidification. Therefore this effective heat (say 3. 1 Kcal is defined as the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg (litre) of water by 1 degrees Celsius. 100 kg (litre) of water from 20 degrees Celsius to a boil.namely. producing large amount of heat energy.200 Kcal/m2.5 Mechanics of Extraction of Biogas The decomposition (fermentation) process for the formation of methane from organic material (biodegradable material) involves a group of organisms belonging to the family. Due to this Mesophillic Bacteria can work under all the three temperature zones of . At the same time for all practical purposes one can take the methane production cycle as a three stage activity. When the mixture of methane and air (oxygen) burn a blue flame is emitted. These methanogenic bacteria are known as ‘Mesophillic Bacteria’ and are found to be more flexible and useful incase of simple household digesters. the non-methanogenic bacteria (microbes) can grow at a pH range of 5. (ii) Acidification and (iii) Methane formation. which is a non-toxic.700-3. broadly speaking the biogas production involves two major processes consisting of acid formation (liquefaction) and gas formation (gasification). will give out effective heat of 2. Under normal conditions. Two groups of bacteria work on the substrate (feedstock) inside the digesterthey are (i) Non-methanogens and (ii) Methanogens. colourless.500 Kcal/m2 of heat energy. is sufficient to bring approx. (iii) Hydrogenation and (iv) Methane Formation. However scientifically speaking these two broad process can further be divide. (i) Hydrolysis. 3.whereas.

however they are more useful in high rate digestions (fermentation). ‘Biogas Reactor’. Thus the BGP also acts as a miniature Bio-fertilizer Factory hence some people prefer to refer it as ‘Biogas Fertilizer Plant’ or ‘Biomanure Plant’. There is a provision for storing biogas on the upper portion of the BGP. (ii) Gasholder or Gas Storage Chamber. As in both the cases the plant design needs to be sophisticated therefore these two groups of Bacteria (Pyscrophillic & Thermophillic) are not very useful in the case of simple Indian rural biogas plant. The fresh organic material (generally in a homogenous slurry form) is fed into the digester of the plant from one end. 3.(i) Digester. The digester is also . The recycling and treatment of organic wastes (biodegradable material) through Anaerobic Digestion (Fermentation) Technology not only provides biogas as a clean and convenient fuel but also an excellent and enriched bio-manure. especially where a large quantity of effluent is already being discharged at a higher temperature. without having to provide either heating system in the digester or insulation in the plant. On the other end of the digester Outlet Pipe or Outlet Tank is provided for the automatic discharge of the liquid digested manure. known as Inlet Pipe or Inlet Tank. in the range of 10-15 degrees Celsius but the work is still going on to find out the viability of these group of bacteria for field applications. (iii) Inlet.6.9. The group of Pyscrophillic Bacteria work at low temperature. The other names given to this device are ‘Biogas Digester’. The group of Thermophillic Bacteria work at a much higher temperature. There are some BGP designs that have Floating Gasholder and others have Fixed Gas Storage Chamber.9. which produces biogas and organic fertilizer (manure) rich in humus & other nutrients. There are other two groups of anaerobic bacteria-they are (i) Pyscrophillic Bacteria and (ii) Thermophillic Bacteria. The decomposition (fermentation) takes place inside the digester due to bacterial (microbial) action. DIGESTER It is either an under ground Cylindrical-shaped or Ellipsoidal-shaped structure where the digestion (fermentation) of substrate takes place. thus keeping the cost of family size biogas plants at an affordable level. in the range of 45-55 degrees Celsius and are very efficient. (v) Mixing Tank and (vi) Gas Outlet Pipe.India. 3.6 Biogas Plant (BGP) Biogas Plant (BGP) is an airtight container that facilitates fermentation of material under anaerobic condition. ‘Methane Generator’ and ‘Methane Reactor’.1 Components of Biogas Plant (BGP) The major components of BGP are . (iv) Outlet.

cement concrete (CC) or reinforced cement concrete (RCC) or stone masonry or pre-fabricated cement concrete blocks (PFCCB) or Ferro-cement (ferroconcrete) or steel or rubber or bamboo reinforced cement mortar (BRCM). 40 and 30 days is determined by the different temperature zones in the country. which takes care of the short-circuiting problems to a satisfactory level. being lighter than air. The scum of the semidried mat formed on the surface of the slurry is broken (disturbed) by rotating the biogas holder. 40 or 30 days of daily feeding. the digester (fermentation chamber) is designed to hold slurry equivalent to of 55. In the case of smaller capacity floating gasholder plants of 2 & 3 M3 no partition wall is provided inside the digester. This is provided for preventing short-circuiting of slurry and promoting better efficiency. To ensure that there is enough pressure on the stored gas so that it flows on its own to the point of utilisation through pipeline when the gate valve is open. which has scum-breaking arrangement inside it. This pressure is achieved by making the weight of biogas holder as 80-100 kg/cm2.known as ‘Fermentation Tank or Chamber’. constructed inside the digester for this purpose. fabricated either of mild steel sheets or ferro-cement (ferroconcrete) or high density plastic (HDP) or fibre glass reinforced plastic (FRP). . and rises upwards. the Gas holder is a drum like structure. As against this no partition wall is provided inside the digester of a fixed dome design. In a simple Rural Household BGP working under ambient temperature. The drum collects gas. The digester can be constructed of brick masonry. The gas storage capacity of a family size floating biogas holder BGP is kept as 50% of the rate capacity (daily gas production in 24 hours). without adding to additional cost of providing a partition wall. GAS HOLDER OR GAS STORAGE CHAMBER In the case of floating gas holder BGPs. The reason for this is that the diameter of the digesters in all the fixed dome models are comparatively much bigger than the floating drum BGPs. It fits like a cap on the mouth of digester where it is submerged in the slurry and rests on the ledge. which is produced from the slurry inside the digester as it gets decomposed. This storage capacity comes to approximately 12 hours of biogas produced every day.the states & regions falling under the different temperature zones are already defined for India. whereas the BGPs of 4 M3 capacity and above have been provided partition wall in the middle. the gas is stored inside the gas holder at a constant pressure of 8-10 cm of water column. In its up and down movement the drum is guided by a central guide pipe. This means the partition wall also divides the entire volume of the digester (fermentation chamber) into two halves. This is known as Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) of BGP. The gas formed is otherwise sealed from all sides except at the bottom. The designed HRT of 55.

In the two fixed dome (Janata & Deenbandhu models) plants. the Outlet is made in the form of rectangular tank. whereas the bottom portion joins the inlet gate. The Inlet of the other fixed dome models (Deenbandhu and Shramik Bandhu) has Asbestos Cement Concrete (ACC) pipes of appropriate diameters. INLET In the case of floating biogas holder pipe the Inlet is made of cement concrete (CC) pipe. which reaches the bottom of the digester on the opposite side of the partition wall. OUTLET In the case of floating gas holder pipe the Outlet is made of cement concrete (CC) pipe standing at an angle. However. the outlet is made of small (approx. The top end of the outer wall of the inlet chamber has an opening connecting the mixing tank. designed to save in the material and labour cost. Deenbandhu & Shramik Bandhu models). The top end of this pipe is connected to the Mixing Tank. The top (mouth) of the inlet chamber is kept covered with heavy slab. There is a small opening provided on the outer wall of the outlet chamber for the automatic discharge of the digested slurry outside the BGP. MIXING TANK . in the case of Shramik Bandhu model the upper portion of the Outlet (known as Outlet Displacement Chamber) is made hemi-spherical in shape. The gas storage capacity of a family size fixed dome BGP is kept as 33% of the rate capacity (daily gas production in 24 hours). 2 ft. The Inlet Pipe reaches the bottom of the digester well on one side of the partition wall. This storage capacity comes to approximately 8 hours of biogas produced during the night when it is not in use. In smaller plants (2 & 3 M3 capacity BGPs) which has no partition walls. equal to approximately 80-90% of the daily feed. In the case of the first approved fixed dome models (Janata Model) the inlet is like a chamber or tank-it is a bell mouth shaped brick masonry construction and its outer wall is sloppy. Therefore the GSC of the fixed dome BGP is made of the same building material as that of the MUP. submerged in the slurry.In the case of fixed dome designs the biogas holder is commonly known as gas storage chamber (GSC). the bottom end of the outlet tank is connected to the outlet gate. The top mouth of the outlet chamber is kept covered with heavy slab. The GSC is the integral and fixed part of the Main Unit of the Plant (MUP) in the case of fixed dome BGPs. In all the three-fixed dome models (Janata. length) cement concrete (CC) pipe inserted on top most portion of the digester.

Alternatively. Similarly the percentage of potash and several micro-nutrients useful to the healthy growth of the crops also increase. GAS OUTLET PIPE The Gas Outlet Pipe is made of GI pipe and fixed on top of the drum at the centre in case of floating biogas holder BGP and on the crown of the fixed dome BGP. is an excellent bio-fertilizer. being heavier then the previous day and older material. known as Outlet. As the organic material ferments. The digested slurry (also known as effluent) is automatically discharged from the other opening. which produces biogas and digested or semi-digested organic material. biogas is formed which rises to the top and gets accumulated (collected) in the Gas Holder (in case of floating gas holder BGPs) or Gas Storage Chamber (in case of fixed dome BGPs). known as Inlet. 3. A gate valve is fixed on the gas outlet pipe to close and check the flow of biogas from plant to the pipeline. through the inlet. Normally a feeder fan is fixed inside the mixing tank for facilitating easy and faster mixing of manure with water for making homogenous slurry. The nitrogen is transformed into Ammonia that is easier for plant to absorb.7 Functioning of a Simple India Rural Household Biogas Plants (BGPs) The fresh organic material (generally in a homogenous slurry form) is fed into the digester of the plant from one end.9. This digested slurry can either be taken directly to the farmer’s field along with irrigation water or stored in a Slurry Pits (attached to the BGP) for drying or directed to the Compost Pit for making compost along with other waste biomass. The Slurry (semi-digested and digested) occupies the major portion of the digester and the Sludge (almost fully digested) occupies the bottom most portion of the digester. The anaerobic fermentation increases the ammonia content by 120% and quick acting phosphorous by 150%. The decomposition (fermentation) takes place inside the digester due to bacterial (microbial) action. A Gas Outlet Pipe is provided on the top most portion of the Gas Holder (Gas Storage Chamber) of the BGP. Fixed quantity of fresh material fed each day (normally in one lot at a predetermine time) goes down at the bottom of the digester and forms the ‘bottom-most active layer’. Thoroughly mixing of slurry before releasing it inside the digester. The slurry and also the sludge contain .This is a cylindrical tank used for making homogenous slurry by mixing the manure from domestic farm animals with appropriate quantity of water. the biogas produced can be taken to another place through pipe connected on top of the Gas Outlet Pipe and stored separately. rich in humus. helps in increasing the efficiency of digestion. From this pipe the connection to gas pipeline is made for conveying the gas to the point of utilisation.

. 3. This plant also has an inlet pipe for daily feeding of manure slurry from animals. available in the season. Such a digestion process is used where the manure from domestic farm animals is not sufficient to operate a plant and at the same time organic waste like. At completion of the digestion cycle. agricultural wastes (paddy & weed straw). Each day digested slurry. the digester is opened and sludge (manure) removed (emptied). The Semi-batch fed Digester will have much longer digestion cycle of gas production as compared to the batch-fed digester. are available during the season. normally at a fixed time. equivalent to about 85-95% of the daily input slurry is automatically discharged from the outlet side.a higher percentage of nitrogen and phosphorous than the same quantity of raw organic material fed inside the digester of the BGP. The digester is designed in such a way that the fresh material fed comes out after completing a HRT cycle (either 55.9. The digester is cleaned and once again loaded with fresh organic material. In a Semi-continuous digestion system. They are (i) Batch-fed digestion (ii) Semi-continuous digestion and (iii) Semi-batch-fed digestion. once the process is stabilized in a few days of the initial loading of the BGP. in the form of digested slurry. crop residues. The digester is then sealed and the contents left to digest (ferment). SEMI-CONTINUOUS DIGESTION This involves feeding of organic mater in homogenous slurry form inside the digester of the BGP once in a day. 40 or 30 days). In as Semibatch fed Digestion the initial loading is done with green or semi-dry or dry biomass (that can not be reduced in to slurry form) mixed with starter and the digester is sealed. the biogas production follows a uniform pattern.7. material to be digested is loaded (with seed material or innouculam) into the digester at the start of the process. SEMI-BATCH FED DIGESTION A combination of batch and semi-continuous digestion is known as Semi-batch fed Digestion. BATCH-FED DIGESTION In batch-fed digestion process. It is ideally suited for the poor peasants having 1-2 cattle or 3-4 goats to meet the major cooking requirement and at the end of the cycle (6-9 months) will give enriched manure in the form of digested sludge. water hyacinths and weeds etc.1 Type of Digestion The digestion of organic materials in simple rural household biogas plants can be classified under three broad categories.

digested slurry. Comprising 55-70% Methane. scum.7. By-Product of Semi-Continuous Fed Digester USEFUL FRACTIONS Combustible gas Fertilizer Fertilizer Biologically LAYERING Gas Fibrous Liquid Liquid BIOGAS SCUM DIGESTED SLURRY (EFFLUENT) MIXTURE OF SUPERNATANT AND SLURRY IN . BIOGAS Biogas is a combustible gas produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic matter. LAYERING Gas Fibrous Liquid Semi Solid Solid BIOGAS SCUM SUPERNATANT DIGESTED SLUDGE INORGANIC SOLIDS USEFUL FRACTIONS Combustible gas Fertilizer Biologically Active Fertilizer Waste Diagram 1. 1-2% of Hydrogen Sulphide and traces other gases. The heaviest by-product. If the content of Biogas Digester is not stirred or disturbed for a few hours then these by-products get formed in to different layers inside the digester.3. which is Inorganic Solids will be at the bottom most portion. They are biogas. By-Product of Batch Fed Digester USEFUL FRACTIONS Combustible gas Fertilizer Fertilizer Biologically Active Waste LAYERING Gas Fibrous Liquid Liquid Solid BIOGAS SCUM DIGESTED SLURRY SLURRY IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF FERMENTATION INORGANIC SOLIDS Diagram 2. supernatant. followed by Digested Sludge. 30-45% Carbon Dioxide. and so on and so forth as shown in the three diagrams for three different types of digester.2 Stratification (Layering) of Digester due to Anaerobic Fermentation In the process of digestion of feedstock in a BGP many by-products are formed.9. digested sludge and inorganic solids.

the fertiliser value of this liquid (supernatant) is as great as that of effluent (digested slurry).Semi solid Solid DIFFERENT STAGES OF FERMENTATION DIGESTED SLUDGE INORGANIC SOLIDS Active Fertuilizer Waste Diagram 3. Out of the three types of digestion processes mentioned above. the digested slurry in effluent-form comes out only in semi-continuous BGP. Nitrogen. the digested material contains less of effluent and more of sludge. The digested slurry effluent. Since supernatant has dissolved solids. in case of Batch-fed and Semi Batch-fed Digester. Potassium . The sludge is usually composted with chemical fertilizers as it may contain higher percentage of parasites and pathogens and hookworm eggs of etc. but in large quantity can lead to slowing down biogas production and even shutting down the BGPs.g. SUPERNATANT The spent liquid of the slurry (mixture of manure and water) layering just above the sludge. The accumulation and removal of scum is sometimes a serious problem. Phosphorous. especially if the semibatch digesters are either connected to the pigsty or latrines. By-Product of Semi-batch Fed Digester SCUM Mixture of coarse fibrous and lighter material that separates from the manure slurry and floats on the top most layer of the slurry is called Scum. Supernatant is a biologically active by-product. Depending upon the raw materials used and the conditions of the digestion. is known as Supernatant. therefore must be sun dried before using it in agricultural fields. DIGESTED SLURRY (EFFLUENT) The effluent of the digested slurry is in liquid form and has its solid content (total solid-TS) reduced to approximately 10-20% by volume of the original (Influent) manure (fresh) slurry. after going through the anaerobic digestion cycle. the sludge contains many elements essential to the plant life e. In moderate amount scum can’t do any harm and can be easily broken by gentle stirring. The sludge precipitates at the bottom of the digester and is formed mostly of the solids substances of plant wastes. either in liquid-form or after sun drying in Slurry Pits makes excellent bio-fertilizer for agricultural and horticultural crops or aquaculture. SLUDGE In the batch-fed or semi batch-fed digester where the plant wastes and other solid organic materials are added..

The biogas holder is designed to store 50% of the daily gas production. it rises vertically and gets accumulated and stored in the biogas holder at a constant pressure of 8-10 cm of water column.2 Fixed Dome Biogas Plant The plants based on Fixed Dome concept was developed in India in the middle of 1970.8 Classification of Biogas Plants (BGPs) The simple rural household BGPs can be classified under the following broad categories.(i) BGP with Floating Gas Holder. calcium.the trace elements such as boron. 3. after a team of officers visited China. 3. especially if the night soil is used. their a small quantity of Salts (trace elements).1 Biogas Plant with Floating gas Holder This is one of the common designs in India and comes under the category of semi-continuous-fed plant. The Inorganic Solids contains mud. which goes inside the digester along with the organic materials. which gets mixed with the manure. has high ammonia content and in this state may act like a chemical fertiliser by forcing a large dose of nitrogen than required by the plant and thus increasing the accumulation of toxic nitrogen compounds. As the biogas is produced in the digester. and therefore settles down as a part of the bottom most layer inside the digester. 3. sand. The bacteria can not digest the inorganic solids.9. The fresh digested sludge. iron. gravel and other inorganic materials. The fresher the sludge the more it needs to be diluted with water before application to the crops. The presence of too much inorganic solids in the digester can adversely affect the efficiency of the BGP. Due to all this the feed stock for the BGP always has some inorganic solids.8.9. otherwise very high concentration of nitrogen my kill the plants. Added to this the collected manure is kept on the unlined surface which has plenty of mud and dirt. ash. it is probably best to let the sludge age for about two weeks in open place. For this reason. (ii) BGP with Fixed Roof. Therefore to improve the efficiency and enhance the life of a semi-continuous BGP it is advisable to empty even it in a period of 5-10 years for thoroughly cleaning and washing it from inside and then reloading it with fresh slurry. It has a cylindrical shaped floating biogas holder on top of the well-shaped digester. indispensable to the plant growth. therefore. magnesium. Therefore if the gas is not used regularly then the extra gas will bubble out from the sides of the biogas holder. copper. The Chinese fixed dome plants use seasonal crop wastes as the major feed stock for feeding. (iii) BGP with Separate Gas Holder and (iv) Flexible Bag Biogas Plants. sulphur and zinc etc. INORGANIC SOLIDS In village situation the floor of the animals shelters are full of dirt.

However. The Indian fixed dome plant designs use the principle of displacement of slurry inside the digester for storage of biogas in the fixed Gas Storage Chamber. Therefore all the Indian fixed dome designs are based on the principle of ‘Semi Continuous-fed Digester’.3 Biogas Plant with Separate Gas Holder The digester of this plant is closed and sealed from the top.8. The advantage of this system is that several digesters. as the animal manure is the major substrate (feed stock) used in India. can be connected with only one large size gas holder. A gas outlet pipe is provided on top. Therefore in Indian fixed dome design it is essential to keep the combined volume of Inlet & Outlet Displacement Chamber(s) equal to the volume of the fixed Gas Storage Chamber. Neoprene or Red Mud Plastic. located at some distance to the digester. varying from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 90 cm of water column.8. The Inlet and Outlet is made of heavy duty PVC tubing. which is 33% of the rated gas production per day. built at one place close to the point of utilisation. A small pipe of the same PVC . On the other hand the Indian fixed dome BGPs are designed for pressure inside the plant. which only function as digestion (fermentation) chambers (units). the Indian household BGP designs have fixed storage capacity. The pressure developed inside the Chinese fixed dome BGP ranges from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 150 cm of water is based on principle of ‘Semi Batch-fed Digester’. otherwise the desired quantity of biogas will not be stored in the plant. as this system is expensive therefore. High Strength Plastic. 3. Thus unlike the fixed dome plant there is no pressure exerted on the digester and the chances of leakage in the Main Unit of the Plant (MUP) are not there or minimised to a very great extent. The Discharge Opening located on the outer wall surface of the Outlet Displacement Chamber and automatically controls the maximum pressure in the Indian design. at the centre of the digester to connect one end of the pipeline. And the maximum pressure is normally controlled by connecting a simple Manometer on the pipeline near the point of gas utilisation. is normally used for connecting a battery of batch-fed digesters to one common biogas holder. While the Chinese designs have no fixed storage capacity for biogas due to use of variety of crop wastes as feed stock.9. either on both Inlet and Outlet sides (like Janata Model) or only on the Outlet Side (like Deenbandhu or Shramik Bandhu Model). The other end of the pipeline is connected to a floating biogas holder. However.9. 3. Due to this in Indian fixed dome designs have ‘Displacement Chamber(s)’. the Indian Fixed Dome BGPs designs differ from that of Chinese designs.4 Flexible Bag Biogas Plant The entire Main Unit of the Plant (MUP) including the digester is fabricated out of Rubber.

which are briefly described in the subsequent paragraphs: 3.(i) KVIC Model. However. to maintain the shape as per its design configuration. The outlet pipe is fixed in such a way that its outlet opening is also in line with the ground level. The digester walls can also be . The major components of the KVIC Model are briefly described below: FOUNDATION It is a compact base made of a mixture of cement concrete and brick ballast.9.1 KVIC Model The KVIC Model is a floating biogas holder semi continuous-fed BGP and has two types. Digester (Fermentation Chamber) It is a cylindrical shaped well like structure. The advantage of this plant is that the fabrication can be centralised for mass production.tubing is fixed on top of the plant as Gas Outlet Pipe. the Flexible Bag Biogas Plant has not been taken up seriously for promotion by the field agencies. (i) Vertical and (ii) Horizontal. constructed using the foundation as its base. 3. The digester is made of bricks and cement mortar and its inside walls are plastered with a mixture of cement and sand. Individuals or agencies having land and some basic infrastructure facilities can take up fabrication of this BGP with small investment. compared to other Indian simple Household BGPs. Being flexible. it needs to be provided support from outside. (ii) Janata Model and (iii) Deenbandhu Model.9. as the cost of good quality plastic and rubber is high which increases the comparative cost of fabricating it. The foundation is well compacted using wooden ram and then the top surface is cemented to prevent any percolation & seepage. at the district or even at the block level. Moreover the useful working life of this plant is much less. after some training. therefore inspite of having good potential. The Flexible Bag Biogas Plant is portable and can be easily erected.9 Common Indian Biogas Plant (BGP) Designs The three of the most common Indian BGP design are.9. Some weight has to be added on the top of the bag to build the desired pressure to convey the generated gas to the point of utilisation. The vertical type is more commonly used and the horizontal type is only used in the high water table region. viz. which is done by placing the bag inside a pit dug at the proposed site. up to the slurry level. Though the description of the various components mentioned under this section are common to both the types of KVIC models (Vertical and Horizontal types) some of the details mentioned pertains to Vertical type only. The depth of the pit should as per the height of the digester (fermentation chamber) so that the mark of the initial slurry level is in line with the ground level.

The biogas generated in the plant and stored in the biogas holder is taken through the gas outlet pipe via pipeline to the place of utilisation. The biogas holder has a rotary movement that helps in breaking the scum-mat formed on the top surface of the slurry. BIOGAS OUTLET PIPE The Biogas Outlet Pipe is fixed on the top middle portion of the biogas holder.10 Janata Model The Janata model consists of a digester and a fixed biogas holder (known as .made of stone blocks in places where it is easily available and cheap instead of bricks. The biogas holder floats up and down on a guide pipe situated in the centre of the digester. on the outlet side of the partition wall and rests on a support made of bricks of about 1 feet height. The one end of the outlet pipe is connected to the Outlet Tank and the other end goes inside the digester. The one end of the inlet pipe is connected to the Mixing Tank and the other end goes inside the digester on the inlet side of the partition wall and rests on a support made of bricks of about 1 feet height. hence the outlet pipe is made of short and horizontal. 3. which is made of a small of GI Pipe fitted with socket and a Gate Valve. In the case KVIC model of 3 M3 capacity and below. high-density polyethylene (HDP) or Ferroconcrete (FRC). OUTLET PIPE The outlet pipe is made out of Cement Concrete (CC) or Asbestos Cement Concrete (ACC) or Pipe. If the KVIC model is made with a water jacket on top of the digester wall. The biogas holder is also fabricated out of fibre glass reinforced plastic (FRP). GAS HOLDER The biogas holder drum of the KVIC model is normally made of mild steel sheets. there is no partition wall. All the vertical types of KVIC Model of 4 M3 capacity and above have partition wall inside the digester. INLET PIPE The inlet pipe is made out of Cement Concrete (CC) or Asbestos Cement Concrete (ACC) or Pipe. which rest fully immersed in slurry at the top surface of the digester. no ledge is made and the drum of the biogas holder is placed inside the water jacket. The biogas holder rests on a ledge constructed inside the walls of the digester well. The weight of the biogas holder is 8-10 kg/m2 so that it can stores biogas at a constant pressure of 8-10 cm of water column.9.

The upper portion of the foundation has a smooth plaster surface. Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) The Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) is also cylindrical in shape and is the integral part of the digester and located just above the fermentation chamber. The dome is only an enclosed roof designed in such a way to avoid steel reinforcement. It is only the gas stored in the Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) portion of the digester and that is under pressure and can be said as utilisable biogas). Digester The digester is a cylindrical tank resting on the foundation.Gas Storage Chamber) covered by a dome shaped enclosed roof structure. (Note: The gas collected in the dome of a Janata plant is not under pressure therefore can not be utilised. Fixed Dome Roof The hemi-spherical shaped dome forms the cover (roof) of the digester and constructed with brick and cement concrete mixture. one for the inflow of fresh slurry and the other for the outflow of digested slurry. after which it is plastered with cement mortar. Its outer wall is kept inclined to . the Janata model has no movable part. The Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) is constructed with bricks and cement mortar. known as inlet and outlet gate. A brief description of the different major components of Janata model is described below: Foundation The foundation is well-compacted base of the digester. The top surface of the foundation serves as the bottom of the digester. situated diametrically opposite. The entire plant is made of bricks and cement masonry and constructed underground. The GSC is designed to store 33% (approx. Unlike the KVIC model. The digester wall has two small rectangular openings at the middle. Inlet Chamber The upper portion of the Inlet Chamber is in the shape of bell mouth and constructed using bricks and cements mortar. 8 hours) of the daily gas production from the plant. The gas pressure in Janata model varies from a minimum of 0 cm water column (when the plant is completely empty) to a maximum of up to 90 cm of water column when the plant is completely full of biogas. The digester of Janata BGP comprises the fermentation chamber (effective digester volume) and the gas storage chamber (GSC). The digester (fermentation chamber) is constructed with bricks and cement mortar. constructed of brick ballast and cement concrete.

The top opening of the inlet chamber is located close to the ground level to enable easy feeding of fresh slurry. either in the mixing tank through inlet chamber or to go inside the gas outlet pipe and choke it. Biogas Outlet Pipe The Biogas Outlet Pipe is fixed at the crown of the dome. Outlet Chamber It is a rectangular shaped chamber located just on the opposite side of the inlet chamber. the internal load will not have any effect on the structure. The top opening of the Outlet Chamber is located close to the ground level to enable easy removal of the digested slurry through a discharge opening.1 Deenbandhu Model The Deenbandhu Model is a semi continuous-fed fixed dome Biogas plant. The higher compressive strength of the brick masonry and concrete makes it preferable to go in for a structure that could be always kept under compression.9. which is made of a small length of GI Pipe fitted with socket and a Gate Valve. The bottom opening of the Inlet Chamber is connected to the Inlet Gate and the upper portion is much wider and known as Inlet Displacement Chamber (IDC). While designing the Deenbandhu model an attempt has was made to minimise the surface area of the BGP with a view to reduce the installation cost. 3. The digester of the Deenbandhu BGP is connected with the Inlet Pipe and the Outlet Tank. as well as kept lower than the Crown of the Dome ceiling.the cylindrical wall of the digester so that the feed material can flow easily into the digester by gravity. The level of the discharge opening provided on the outer wall of the outlet chamber is kept at a somewhat lower level than the upper mouth of the inlet opening. and (iii) the empty space just above the gas storage chamber. The design essentially consists of segments of two spheres of different diameters joined at their bases. A spherical structure loaded from the convex side will be under compression and therefor. The Outlet Chamber is constructed using bricks and cement mortar. This is to facilitate easy flow of the digested slurry out the plant in to the digested slurry pit and also to prevent reverse flow.10. The bottom opening of the Outlet Chamber is connected to the Outlet Gate and the upper portion is much wider and known as Outlet Displacement Chamber (ODC). The structure thus formed comprises of (i) the digester (fermentation chamber). The Inlet Pipe of the . The upper part (above the normal slurry level) of the outlet tank is designed to accommodate the slurry to be displaced out of the digester (actually from the gas storage chamber) with the generation and accumulation of biogas and known as the Outlet Displacement Chamber (ODC). without compromising on the efficiency. (ii) the gas storage chamber.

SBP-II.Deenbandhu BGP replaces the Inlet Chamber of Janata Plant. In order to protect the bamboo strips from microbial attack. yet to be field evaluated. namely. SBP-III and SBP-IV. The BRCM structures on the one hand are used for giving the right shape to this plant. These bamboo shells are made by weaving bamboo strips (weaving of which can be done in the village itself) for casting a BRCM structure. respectively. ideally suitable for the regions where plenty of seasonal crop wastes and waste green biomass are available and population of domestic farm animals are less. works on the principle of semi-plug flow digester (suitable for use as a Night Soil based or Toilet attached plant). by pre-fabricated bamboo shells. Janata and Deenbandhu models. For this reason the first model which is the simplest and cheapest in the family of Shramik Bandhu plants. all the four Models of the family of SHRAMIK BANDHU Plant have both. The third one uses simple low cost anaerobic bacterial filters.9. are. The second one. while on the other hand acts as the reinforcement to the cement mortar plaster as it is casted more or less like the ferro-cement structure. Being a fixed dome technology. the other components and their functions are same as in the case of Janata Model BGP and therefore are not elaborated here once again. (i) the Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) and (ii) the Dome shaped Roof. they are pre-treated by immersing them in water mixed with prescribed ratio of Copper Sulphate (CuSO4) for a minimum of 24 . However. designed for possible application as a Low Cost and low Maintenance Wastewater Treatment System. a semi-continuous hydraulic digester. the volume of the Outlet Chamber of Deenbandhu model twice the volume of the Outlet Tank of the Janata BGP of the same capacity.2 Shramik Bandhu Model This new BRCM biogas plant model which is also a semi-continuous hydraulic digester plant was designed by the author and christened as SHRAMIK BANDHU (friend of the labour). the description about Shramik Bandhu plants relates to SBP-I model only. in this section. The other three models. three more models (rural household plants) in the family of SHRAMIK BANDHU Plants have also been developed. In other words. is christened as SBP-I Model. The SHRAMIK BANDHU Plant is made of Bamboo Reinforced Cement Mortar (BRCM). 3.Thus. Therefore to accommodate all the slurry displaced out from the Gas Storage Chamber (GSC).10. completely replacing the bricks. The fourth one is a semi-batch fed hydraulic digester. The family of SHRAMIK BANDHU biogas plants designs uses the fixed dome concepts as in the case of pervious two most popular Indian fixed dome plants. for producing the desired quantity of biogas from it alone. using the correct size mould for a given capacity SBP-I model. Since then.

COMPONENTS OF SHRAMIK BANDHU (SBP-I MODEL) BIOGAS PLANT (BGP) . The Shramik Bandhu plant made from BRCM would be much stronger because it has both higher tensile.hours before weaving of shell structure is done. durable and have long useful working life. using a hemi-spherical shaped woven bamboo shell structure. as well as the reinforcement provided by the woven bamboo shell will ensure that the internal and external load will not have any residual effects on the structure. as well as compressive strength. The Manhole is big enough for one person to go inside and come out. The bamboo reinforcement will provide added strength (both tensile and compressive) to make the entire structure of SHRAMIK BANDHU (SBP-I) model very sound. The reason for this is that the bamboo shell structures used (for both reinforcement and shape of the plant) for the construction of Shramik Bandhu plant is made by weaving strips [only the outer harder surface (skin) and not the softer inner part of bamboo] from seasoned (properly cured) bamboo. The two previous fixed dome models. as compared to the previous two fixed dome Indian models (Janata & Deenbandhu). Therefore. However. for feeding the slurry inside the plant. to make the entire structure of SBP-I moisture proof. namely Janata and Deenbandhu model have no reinforcement and are made of Bricks and Cement Mortar only.The ODC is also made of BRCM. which is also made of BRCM. The digester of SBP-I model is connected to the slurry mixing tank with inlet pipe made of 10 cm or 100 mm (4”) diameter Asbestos Cement Concrete (ACC) pipe. as compared to either First Class Bricks or Cement Concrete (CC) or Cement Mortar (CM). at the same time small enough to be able to easily close it by a same size Manhole Cover. therefore. as well as other BRCM components and sub-components. when used alone. The hemi-spherical shell shaped (structure) of SHRAMIK BANDHU (SBP-I) model loaded from top on its convex side will be under compression. due to comprehensive strength provided by both cement mortar. Outlet Chamber (OC). while they are very strong under compression but cannot withstand high tensile force. referred above. the entire structure (body) of the SBP-I model would be very strong. As a further safety measure DPC powder in appropriate quantity is mixed while doing second layer (coat) of smooth plastering on the Main Unit of the Plant (MUP). The Outlet Displacement Chamber (ODC) of SBP-I model is also kept hemi-spherical in shape to reduce it’s surface area for a given volume (to save in building materials and time taken for construction). The Outlet Displacement Chamber (ODC) is designed to accommodate the slurry to be displaced out of the digester with the generation & accumulation of biogas.0 Ft) diameter is provided on the crown of the hemi-spherical shaped ODC. A Manhole opening of about 60 cm or 600 mm (2.

These major and minor components are further divided into subcomponents. They are categorized as. Digester {or Fermentation Chamber (FC)} (ii). Outlet Gate (OG) (iii). Grating (made of Bamboo Sticks) (vii). Outlet Chamber The Outlet Chamber (OC)) is the second major component of Shramik Bandhu (SBP-I) Model. Outlet Tank (OT) (ii). located just above the GSC (iv). Inlet Pipe (IP) (ii). Free Space Area (FSA). from the designing point of view. Empty Space Area (ESA) above the ODC. Dome (Roof of the Plant-entire area located just above the FSA). Gas Storage Chamber (GSC) (iii). Discharge Opening (DO) Minor Components of the SBP-I Plant The Minor Components of the Shramik Bandhu (SBP-I) Model are as follows: (i). (a) Main Unit OF The Plant (MUP). The MUP has following six main “Sub-Components”: (i). (b) Outlet Chamber (OC) and (c) Other Minor Components. and (v). Outlet Displacement Chamber (ODC) (iii). The OC has the following four main “Sub-Components”: (i). as given below: Main Unit Of the plant (MUP) The Main Unit of the Plant (MUP) is one of the major components of Shramik Bandhu (SBP-I) Model. Mixing Tank (MT) or Slurry Mixing Tank (SMT) (iv).The Shramik Bandhu (SBP-I) Model is made of two major components and several minor components and sub-components. Short Inlet Channel (SIC) (v). Manhole Cover (MHC) for ODC . however. The following three other sub-components: [{(e)-(i) the Foundation of the MUP & (e)-(ii)} the Ring Beam for MUP (these two have also been considered here as the two sub-components of the MUP} and {the third is (e)-(iii) the Gas Outlet Pipe (GIP). Gas Outlet Pipe (GOP) (vi).though for all practical purpose the ODC includes the Empty Space Area (ESA) above it. the effective ODC of SBP-I model is considered up to the starting of discharge opening located on its outer wall (iv). for better explanation & understanding of the constructional aspects of SBP-I Plant].

10. it has a relatively high unit-capital cost and low operating efficiency with little prospect of improving either significantly in the future. There is also the inherent danger in steam. 3. cured.10 Conversion of biomass into electricity Historically one of the earliest alternatives to fossil fuels is a wood fired boiler producing steam which powers an engine driving a generator. Fouling is simply the accumulation of liquid or semiliquid residue. However. The wood must be chopped and carried. Slagging is accumulation of solid residues on parts of the combustion system. Gas turbines have lower unit-capital costs. Instead of simply burning the fuel. and fed. “slagging and fouling” can occur. Ashes must be handled and hauled.1 Gasification Usually. can be considerably more efficient and have good prospects for improvements of both . The technology is well-established. Water boils at 100° C at sea level. This is an important aspect of plant operation and operators need to understand how biomass differs from more commonly used fuels. or converted to synfuels-synthetic fuels. Elevating steam temperature has to be done to use the generated steam for any useful work otherwise the steam would condense in the supply lines or inside the cylinder of the steam engine itself. 3. This. in industrial applications. in which the biomass is burned in a boiler to produce steam’ which is expanded through a turbine driving a generator. to create electricity. split. the components and their functions are same as in the case of Janata and Deenbandhu Model BGP and therefore not elaborated here once again. Gasification is the newest method to generate electricity from biomass. robust and can accept a wide variety of feedstocks. gasification captures about 65-70% of the energy in solid fuel by converting it first into combustible gases. But the steam power has all the disadvantages of an engine/generator and even several more. Steam occupies about 1200 times the volume of water at atmospheric pressure (known as “gage” pressure). This gas is then burned as natural gas is. fuel a vehicle. it is still under development. unfortunately is about the only advantage. electricity from biomass is produced via the condensing steam turbine. A promising alternative is the gas turbine fuelled by gas produced from biomass by means of thermochemical decomposition in an atmosphere that has a restricted supply of air. The entire installation requires constant control while it is running.Being a fixed dome technology. Producing steam requires heating water to above boiling temperature under pressure. Due to compounds in some of the feedstocks. just as for any wood stove. Since this is the latest technology. By pressurizing the boiler it is possible to raise the boiling temperature of water much higher.

or gas burner coupled to a boiler and kiln). good quality charcoal is generally best. Gasifiers using wood and charcoal (the only fuel adequately proved so far) are again becoming commercially available.a gas turbine/steam turbine combined cycle (GTCC) (Williams & Larson. The steam can then be used for heating in a cogeneration system. including large centralized. “Power gasifiers world-wide have had a historical record of sensitivity to changes in fuel characteristics. although it requires a separate production facility and gives a lower overall efficiency. Therefore. BIG/GT technologies for cogeneration or stand-alone power applications have the promise of being able to produce electricity at a lower cost in many instances than most alternatives. coalfired. thus improving power output and generating efficiency known as a steam-injected gas turbine (STIG) cycle. is discharged directly to the atmosphere.g. All types of gasifiers require feedstocks with low moisture and volatile contents. Also. therefore. less costly and more energy.. (c) Gas cleaning. cooling and mixing systems with strict quality and reactor design criteria making the technology quite complicated. While natural gas is the preferred fuel. Gasifiers used simply for heat generation do not have such complex requirements and are. Alternatively. Much of the work on coal-gasifier/gas-turbine systems is directly relevant to biomass integrated gasifier/gas turbines (BlG/GTs). When gas is used in an internal-combustion engine for electricity production (power gasifiers). Biomass is easier to gasify than coal and has a very low sulphur content. Biomass gasification systems generally have four principal components: (a) Fuel preparation. cooling and mixing system. and hydroelectric power plants.parameters. (b) Gasification reactor vessel. open-cycle gas turbine the hot exhaust of the turbine. and research is being carried out on ways of gasifying other biomass fuels (such as residues) in some parts of the world. it can be used to produce steam in a heat recovery steam generator. technical hitches. 1992).efficient. In the simplest. Therefore. easier to design and operate. Problems to overcome include the sensitivity of power gasifiers to . limited future supplies have stimulated the expenditure of millions of dollars in research and development efforts on the thermo-chemical gasification of coal as a gas-turbine feedstock. nuclear power plants. steam-electric power plants with flue gas desulphurization. internal-combustion engine with generator or pump set. handling and feed system. for injecting back into the gas turbine. or for expanding through a steam turbine to boost power output and efficiency . manpower capabilities and environmental conditions”. (d) Energy conversion system (e.. it usually requires elaborate gas cleaning.

considerable efforts are still needed for large.1 Biomass-Fired Gas Turbine A current trend in industrialized countries is the use of increasing number of smaller and more flexible biomass based plants for cogeneration of heat and electricity.started its operation in Zeltweg (Austria). For developing countries. Belgium. 3.10. Nonetheless.3. gasified wood) and coal seems to be the way how to reduce emissions from coal firing power plants in many countries. pressurized flue-gas filter cleans the exhaust gas from the . USA.g.000 to 20. a ferrocement gasifier developed at the Asian institute of Technology in Bangkok had a capital cost reduced by a factor of ten.3 COGENERATION 3. potential for specific applications such as irrigation pumping and rural electrification.000 MW by the year 2000. consisting of small-scale decentralized installations for irrigation pumping and village electrification. technical problems and environmental conditions. as well as captive industrial power generation and grid fed power from energy plantations.changes in fuel characteristics. The calorific value of the gas ranges between 2.5 . The gasifier needs 16 m3 woody biomass (chips and bark) per hour. Gasification has been the focus of attention in India because of its potential for large scale commercialization. The project named “Biococomb” is an EU demonstration project. Tennessee. A 10 MW biomass gasification unit was installed in combination with an existing coal fired power station. prevailing power shortages and high costs. Biomass gasification technology could meet a variety of energy needs. but can be reduced considerably if systems are manufactured locally or use local materials. A newly developed biomass cogeneration plant in Knoxville.biomass and coal . 3. A detailed micro.2 CO-FIRING Co-firing of biofuels (e. and the existence of an infrastructure and technological base.10. Germany and Austria and cofinanced by the European Commission. It was realised by the “Verbund” company together with several other companies from Italy. particularly in the agricultural and rural sectors.5 MJ/Nm3. is at the cutting edge of one of the promising technologies behind this development. The plant combines a wood furnace with a gas turbine. A hot. Capital costs can still sometimes be limiting. In 1999 a new co-firing system .and macroanalysis by Jain (1989) showed that the overall potential in terms of installed capacity could be as large as 10.scale commercialization. This results from a combination of favourable parameters in India which includes political commitment. For example.10. the sugarcane industries that produce sugar and fuel ethanol are promising targets for near-term applications of BIG/GT technologies.

the efficiency needs to be increased as well: Traditional ovens and furnaces have in many cases efficiencies as low as 30%. 20% humidity). wood furnaces can be replaced with wood gasifiers + gas motors or steam boilers + turbines. . and electricity efficiency to over 30%. Barriers and Effects 3. for cogeneration of electricity and heat. Energy content The energy content in totally dry wood is apr. which can be used without endangering their role in the natural eco-systems. The available forest residues are generally branches with diameters smaller than 7 cm. without using more wood.1 Unused Forest Energy Potential & Fuelwood Most commercial forests in Europe have an unused energy potential. compared with about 80% for efficient furnaces. but only after due environmental consideration. They are also more difficult to use for energy than branches.6 MW. most forests already have a production of firewood. 3.g. and produces 5.8 MW of electricity. In normally dry firewood (20% humidity) the energy content is apr. 5. 4% and 10% above lower heating values for wood with 20% and 40% humidity.g. beech) to 600 kg/m3 for coniferous (e.2 kWh/kg. It is not enough to use more firewood. This gives energy contents of respectively 3400 and 2500 kWh/m3 for beech and pine (lower heating value. For larger applications. In most statistics. the energy output can be 80-90% of the higher heating value. For larger installations. increasing electric output to 9. Generally. while consuming 10 tons sawdust/hour. leaves and roots should be left in the forest to preserve a healthy forest environment. The density of dry wood varies from 800 kg/m3 for hard leafy wood (e.11 Guideline for Estimation of Biomass Potentials. Mountain forests and other less commercial forests can in certain cases also deliver wood for energy. pine). and delivering heat as hot exhaust gas at 370°C.2 kWh/kg (lower heating value).furnace before it drives the power turbine.11. Beside this. The exhaust gas can be used in a steam turbine. which is respectively apr. For furnaces with flue-gas condensers. The plant can run on fresh cut sawdust (40% humidity). The plant in Knoxville has been operating since spring 1999. This gives an electric efficiency of about 19% and overall efficiency of up to about 75%. Increased efficiency can thus more than double the energy outcome of wood burning. flue-gas condensation can raise efficiency further. 4. wood is measured in cubic meter solid wood (with or without bark).

These estimates do not take into account the important factors of climate and soil for the actual wood production. If 3/4 of this is used for timber. Danish experience is that wood for wood-chips (branches smaller 7 cm in diameter) is equivalent to 25% of the timber production including bark or 31% of the timber exclusive bark. and boilers with flue-gas condensation should be preferred. requires efficient ovens and basic knowledge of the users. storaging. Barriers Use of firewood for heating does not in general pose barriers. This production-chain should be set up locally for successful use of wood-chips for heating. . to which should be added an estimate of non. Woodchips are most suitable in larger boilers. The efficient use of firewood. above 100 kW.7 tons/ha.commercial use.225 GJ/ha (42 . equivalent to 18 GJ/ha (5 MWh/ha) with 40% humidity or 25 GJ/ha (7 MWh/ha) with 20% humidity.63 MWh/ha). including bark) and the annual wood extraction for timber and other non-energy purposes. Using wood-chips requires equipment for producing the wood. and could thus be included in the energy potential. the available residues has an energy content of 40-60 GJ/ha (11 . * if only forest area is known. Bark can be estimated to 20% of wood exclusive bark. If forest statistics are incomplete or unreliable.Resource estimation The available amount of wood can be estimated from forest statistics as the difference between annual growth (in m3. Often wood-chips have high humidity (40 . the potential for wood residues can be estimated as a fraction of the commercial use. In reality the resource might be lower than this estimate due to problems of extracting all branches and/or due to the need of leaving some branches in the forest for ecological reasons. The non-commercial use is often in the form of firewood-gathering by local inhabitants. a first estimate can be made based on area of commercial forest. An estimate from Germany (BUND) gives an annual growth of forests of 10-15 tonnes/ha with an energy content of 150 . simplified estimates can be made: * if only figures for commercial use is available. An estimation of residues from forests on the Danish island Bornholm gives practical usable residues smaller than 7 cm in diameter of 1.16 MWh/ha).chips. however.60%). These two factors can reduce the resource with as much as 50% even in commercial forests. Often the statistics provide only commercial extraction. and feeding into an appropriate boiler. drying.

0203 $/kWh) * Danish example with Czech wages: 513 Csk/m3 equal to 0. while the rest is fuel and machine costs. Employment According to French experience. with adequate re-planting etc. the output for energy is 2. requires minimal transport/import and is therefore quite inexpensive in comparison to fossil fuels.11 DKK/kWh (0. It is important that the extraction of wood is done in a sustainable manner. If 25% of this is available as waste-wood for energy. Environment Use of wood replacing fossil fuels reduces net CO2 emissions. Emissions of particulate and unburned hydrocarbons are totally dependent on the combustion processes. Of the Czech price 1/3 is wages. The energy to process the wood is in the order of a few percent of its heating value. From saw-mills is mainly bark and sawdust. and can be a problem in small and badly designed furnaces. From pulp-mills (cellulose and paper production) is black and sulphite . Wood combustion emits very little sulphur (SO2) compared with coal and oil. density 760 kg/m3): * Denmark: 240 DKK/m3 equal to 0. NOx emissions depend on the combustion process and often the lower combustion temperature leads to lower emissions than for coal and oil combustion. residues are made that can be used for energy purposes. Price estimates. which is released in the later combustion of the wood. Hand-rules Each ha of forest on good soil in Central Europe grows 10 tons/ha of wood.24 CsK/kWh (0. because the forest absorbs the same quantity of CO2.11. utilizing of excess energy from forests requires 450 jobs/TWh with the degree of mechanization that is normal for Western Europe. Ashes from the combustion can often be used as fertilizer.Effects on economy. 3.2 Residues from wood industry In saw-mills. environment and employment Economy Use of firewood and wood-chips are based on a local resource. excluding transport & profits (of leafy trees.5 tons or 11 MWh (20% humidity).011 $/kWh) Of the Danish price 2/3 is wages. pulp mills and all wood processing industries.

Effect on economy. Barriers This resource has in general the fewest barriers of all renewable energies. environment and employment When the residues from industry are treated as waste without commercial value. Poland 29%.chips for woodchip boilers. the economy of using them for energy is almost always cost-effective. 20% humidity).liquors as well as wood and bark residues. From sawmills comes edgings. An efficient utilization requires. Canada 29%. Environmental effects are equal to wood residues from forests. however.2 kWh/kg (lower heating value. See also previous chapter. USA 37% from Biofuels). and has a better economy than wood residues from forests. equivalent to 3400 and 2500 kWh/m3 for beech and pine respectively. Sweden 36%. or at least in a pre-combustion furnace. bark and other residues. as long as combustion of chemically treated and painted wood residues is avoided. sawdust. Energy content The energy content for wood residues are about 4. investments in new boilers. Often wood industry uses their wood residues to meet own energy demands for heating. The difference is available for energy purposes. Finland 33%. Resource Estimation Evaluation of wood residues can be based on trade-statistics of non-energy wood and wood-products compared with total extraction from forests. . As a simple estimate can be used that residues in general are 25-35% of total forest removals (e. Some of these residues are used for pulping. that can be used in smaller furnaces and ovens. If a larger part of forest removals are exported without processing. and particle-and fibreboard. The residues in forms of larger pieces can be made into wood. Such wood-residues should be treated as municipal waste or chemical waste depending on the treatment. steam and eventually electricity. while sawdust can be burned in special furnaces or compressed into wood pellets of brickets. and is probably to some extent already used as such in wood industries. Analysis of 7 countries shows that 3070% of wood industry residues are used for these non-energy purposes. that can be attached to an existing (good) boiler. the figure will be lower.g. chips.

As a general. Straw surplus can be ploughed into the field for enriching the humus layer of the field. With a typical of 15% humidity the lower heating value is 4. In Eastern Bohemia. As a rough estimate the amount in tons of straw can be equalled to the amount of grain in tons. 3. The straw surplus has also large variations from year to year. This value should be reduced with agricultural consumption of straw for animal fodder and bedding.1 kWh/kg.11.3 Combustible waste from agriculture Straw.9 kWh/kg of dry matter (high heating value). In the Czech Republic the average ratio between straw and grain is found to: * wheat 1. Straw harvest is depending on weather conditions and vary considerably from year to year.8 tons straw/tons grain . Indirectly it gives considerable employment because it turns unused materials into a valuable product (energy).3 tons straw/tons grain * barley 0. mainly for heating (Straw). When this is needed for a sustainable agriculture. prunings of fruit trees and wine and olive oil residues are all residues from agriculture that can be used for energy purposes. not including flue-gas condensation. In Denmark the average available surplus for energy is estimated to 59% of which 1/5 is already used. the surplus straw for energy will be lower. The average efficiency for 22 straw-fired heating stations in operation in Denmark is 80-85%. conservative estimate for Europe 25% of the straw production can be used for energy. The straw production varies +/. this surplus is estimated to about 35%. The energy in 1 m3 of densely compressed straw bales is 500 kWh (density 120 kg/m3). an alternative fuel should be considered for years with little surplus straw. Energy Content The energy content of straw is 4. If a large part of the surplus is used. Such an alternative fuel could be wood-chips forest residues. The forest residues can stay several years in the forests before usage.30% from average years to years with high respectively low straw harvest. The agricultural consumption is very dependent on the type of stables used. Resource Estimation Estimations of straw production can be obtained from agricultural statistics. If straw production is not available from statistics.The direct employment of using industrial wood waste is low because the waste has to be handled anyway. that can be used alternatively with straw in many boilers. relatively good estimates can be made from statistics of grain production.

In Czech Republic the prices for straw collected at the farm has been quoted at 0. environment and employment Economy In Denmark.085 DKK/kWh (1. NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOC) depend on furnaces and flue-gas treatment.19 EURO cent) for baled straw. type of grain and weather.1 tons straw/tons grain A rough estimate can be made based on agricultural area and a straw harvest of 4-7 tons/ha depending on soil.5 EURO cent 4.15 EURO cent) for loose straw and 0.8 EURO cent Estimate for Czech Republic 0.14 EURO cent * Electricity consumption is in average 2.043 Csk/kWh (0. Costs. average for 16 straw-fired installations in Denmark are per kWh heat produced: Fuel Electricity* O&M. * use of straw in inadequate and polluting boilers can give straw a bad reputation.9 EURO cent 0.3 EURO cent 1. Emissions of particulate. straw-prices vary from 0. as for wood. This can be reduced by leaving the straw for a period at the field before collection.2 EURO cent or 1.12 EURO cent 1.* rye 1. so called wilting.5 EURO cent 2. reduced CO2-emission.4 tons straw/tons grain * oat 1. administr.12 DKK/kWh for baled straw delivered at a straw-firing station. Other barriers can be: * the need to develop a market for straw with attractive prices for users as well as suppliers. Chlorine components in straw gives . compared with coal and oil. Capital costs TOTAL Danish average 1. Barriers Limited experience and funds for the necessary investments are often the largest barriers to use straw for energy.26 EURO cent 0.054 Csk/kWh (0. Effect on economy. * pesticides can in certain situations give unwanted chlorine compounds in the straw.3% of heat produced The environmental impact of using agricultural residues are.12 EURO cent 0.26 EURO cent 1.2 US cent) to 0. reduced sulphur emissions.

4-4 0. For a system based on smaller bales (10-20 kg). Promising crops which can be planted for energy purposes in Europe are short rotation trees (coppice of various willows and poplars).11. figures given in nanogram. This set aside land can be used for different purposes. Miscanthus and Sweet Sorghum.6 Variation of emissions g/kWh straw 0.emission of HCl as mentioned above. Employment The direct employment of harvesting straw in a fully mechanized agriculture in Denmark is estimated to 350 jobs/TWh. 3. Other promising energy crops are plants for liquid fuels as rape seeds for bio-oil. These crops can be utilized by direct combustion for heat and electricity production.2 0. Energy Contents and Yields The following table gives an overview of the expected yields and energy contents for three of the promising plants for solid fuel production. This is the carcinogenic part of VOCs.3 0. Danish experience from 13 straw-fires heating stations shows the following emissions (all plants have particulate filters): Emission Particulate CO NOx SO2 HCl PAH* Dioxin** Average Emission g/kWh straw 0.3 0.47 0.14 0.5 0. The same situation (agricultural overproduction and setting the land aside) can be expected in Central Europe as well. This is for technologies with large straw-bales (500 kg each).05-0.6 0.4-0.4-1 1-10 ng * PAH = Polyaromatic Hydro-Carbons. 10-9 g. one of them is energy crop production. ** Dioxin figures are based on only two measurements.01-0.32 0. the employment is larger.14 2.4 Energy Crops It is estimated that 20-40 million hectares of land in the EU will be surplus to conventional agricultural requirement. .14-0.

Another promising plant is hemp. national estimates exists of the different yields of the plants. reducing the problems caused by the leaching of fertilizers into ground water. even though some variants has very little content of cannabis. For tree crops these drawbacks may be offset by the fact that they retain an active root system throughout the year. Using excess farm land and ecologically degraded land should be the priority. fertilisers and pesticides treatment. Costs . harvesting.Salix (Willow)* Miscanthus (Elephant grass) Sweet Sorghum Yields (tonnes/ha/year) 15 20 25 Energy content (GJ/dry tonne) 16 17 18 Energy Yields (GJ/ha/year) 240 340 450 *Increment of Salix is 2-3 meters in one year (2-3 cm per day in the summer). Hemp plantation is illegal in many countries. Resource Estimation The energy potentials can be estimated from the area of land which is set aside in the country/region and can be used for energy plantation and the expected outcome of the above crops under the actual climate and soil conditions. Barriers Short rotation crops may require as much fertilization as traditional crops and degraded land must be regenerated before cultivation using fertilization. harvest every third year. In most countries. If the bagasse of Sweet Sorghum (2/3 of its energy content) and the sugar (1/3 of its energy content) are utilised for energy purposes the input : output (I/O) energy ratio will reach 1:5 . Usually the input : output ratio is larger than 1:5 for trees and smaller for plants for liquid biofuels. Important feature in estimation of potential is input : output ratio. transport and conversion into useable fuels. which has yields up to 24 tonnes/hectare in approximately 4 month. Environment and Employment Economy. This means that five times more energy is recovered from crop (on fuel basis) in comparison with energy utilised for the seeding. Wood ash would be an effective fertilizer for biofuels plantation. Effect on Economy.

and used as replacement for fossil fuels: no sulphur emission and lower NOx emissions. Small facility : 0. improved erosion control.07 EURO/kWh Large improved : 0. in particular slaughter-houses .25 hectare. service organisation etc. Production cost of Salix are 70 ECU (500 DKK) / tonne of dry matter in Denmark (Hvidsed). 1/3 as ethanol from sugars and 2/3 of fuel from bagasse. Electricity generation cost for biomass (Sweet sorghum ) fuelled system (1992) and improved systems (2000).08 EURO/kWh Small improved : 0.16 EURO/kWh Large facility : 0. Other new jobs could be created in related industries such as composting.5 Biogas The largest potential for biogas is in manure from agriculture. bio-degradable waste from industries. Other benefits of biomass for energy plantation includes forest fire control.Production costs for Sweet Sorghum are 50 ECU per dry tonne. Hand Rule Sweet Sorghum output for trials in different locations of Central and Southern Europe: Annually 90 tonnes of fresh material = 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare = 450 GJ or 11 tonnes of oil equivalent can be produced. dust absorption. Average yearly electricity consumption of a West European person can be met by growing poplar on 0. Production of about 500 tonnes of dry biomass per year justifies the creation of one new job. Employment For Sweet Sorghum production cost 50% is manpower cost.11. 3.05 EURO/kWh Environment An important feature for Salix is that it can be used for water purification . pulp for paper. This corresponds to the absorption of 3045 tonnes of CO2 per hectare and per is possible to grow Salix in purification systems and in the same time harvest the Salix for energy (10-20 tonnes of sludge can be used on each hectare every year). Other potential raw-materials for biogas are: * sludge from mechanical and biological waste-water treatment (sludge from chemical waste-water treatment has often low biogas potential) * organic household waste * organic.

which for manure without straw. The lower heating value of this gas is about 6. TS) for a well functioning process with a typical retention time of 20-30 days at 32oC.66 Solid amount (kg/day) 5. the figure will be smaller. the heat will be 40-50% and the remaining 20% will be self-consumption. If the gas is used for co-generation.46 0. Such drillings will reduce uncontrolled methane emission from landfills. A biogas plant have a self-consumption of energy to keep the manure warm. From this can be made an estimation of available manure. where the resulting sludge is treated as waste and e. so called landfill gas. incinerated.3 2.7 9.3 .9 0. the available electricity will be 30-40% of the energy in the gas. The following table shows the figures for Denmark : Kind of animal Cow Cow Sow Sow Hen Manure Amount type (kg/day) Slurry Dry Slurry Dry Dry 51 32 16.017 Energy per animal (kWh/yr) 3400 3400 970 970 36 Yearly energy output is for biogas plant with 20% average self-consumption and 360 working days. the available data is often the numbers of livestock. Often is given the production per kg of volatile solid (VS). where the gas can be extracted directly from drillings in the landfill.and food-processing industries Care should be taken not to include waste with heavy metals or harmful chemical substances when the resulting sludge is to be used as fertilizer.6 0. While the amount of manure produced from animals depends on amount and type of fodder.0. The figures are for milking cows and for sows with . Resource Estimation For manure.047 Biogas per animal (m3/day)* 1.4 5. Energy Content The biogas-production will normally be in the range of 0.45 m3 of biogas (60% methane) per kg of solid (total solid.46 0. When animals are not in stables around the year. some average figures are made for most countries.6 1. These kinds of polluted sludge can be used in biogas plants. sand or others is about 80% of total solids (TS). Another biogas source is landfills with large amounts of organic waste.6 1.6 kWh/m3.9 0.g. This is typically 20% of the energy production for a well designed biogas plant.

and treatment of industrial waste. pigs and chicken. mostly free raw materials. and income from sale of biogas or electricity and heat. * little knowledge on biogas technology among planners and decision-makers. the following estimates can be used: * calfs 1-6 month: 25% of milking cows * other cattle ( calfs > 6 months. To estimate amount of manure from calfs. be better hygiene. but this has not been shown in practice. while cows are in stables from a few months a year to the whole year. reduced smell.000 US $ for a plant for treatment of manure from 100 cows. New Danish biogas plants have similar investment figures. for improved value of sludge as a fertilizer. pregnant cows): 60% of milking cows * small pigs. 5-15 kg: 28% of sows with pigs * fattening pigs > 15 kg: 52% of sows with pigs * fattening chicken: 75% of hens Barriers A number of barriers hold back a large scale development of biogas plants in CEEC: * commercial technology for agriculture (the largest resource base) is not available and have to be developed from existing prototypes or imported. Operating and maintenance (O&M) will normally per year be 10-20% of . This can e. some operation and maintenance costs. easier handling.2 US $ per kWh/year). Effect on economy. *biogas with 65% methane To make an estimation of the yearly production. environment and employment Economy The economy of a biogas plant consists of large investments costs.32 US $ per kWh/year. This plant will produce about 220 MWh/year + energy for its own heating.breeding pigs under 5 kg.g. cattle for meet. * it is difficult to make biogas plants cost-effective with sale of energy as the only income. In an example from Czech Republic the price for a Czech plant is estimated to about 70. It is estimated that a joint-venture of Czech and Danish technology could reduce prices by about 40% (to about 0. Sometimes can be added other values e. This gives an investment of 0. it should be evaluated how many days per year the animals are in stables. The most likely applications are when other effects of the sludgetreatment has a value. For large poultry farms and pigfarms it is often the whole year.g.

This estimate will be valid for mechanized systems with some degree of centralization: some of the manure is transported to the biogas plant from nearby farms.12 LITERATURE . and Italian prune. Crandall PC. reducing CO2 emissions * reduce smell and hygiene problems of sludge and manure * treatment of certain kinds of organic waste that would otherwise pose an environmental problem * reduce potential methane emissions from uncontrolled anaerobic degradation of the sludge. Tree Physiology 2: 155-168.03 .06 US $/kWh or 0. Bowersox TW. which can increase the fraction used as fertilizer and facilitate a more accurate use as fertilizer Employment The direct employment of biogas plants are for Denmark estimated to 560 jobs/TWh. Station Bulletin 559. while 140 job/TWh are construction (2000 man-years to construct plants producing 1 TWh and with lifetime of 14 years). Expt. Baldocchi DD. Elberta peach. Whitesell CD (1990) Coppicing success of young Eucalyptus saligna in Hawaii. Biomass 23: 137-148. type of plant and eventual transport of sludge. Blake MA. Strand RF. American Society for Horticultural Sciences 72: 326330. Proceedings of American Society of Horticultural Science 55: 16-20. The use of linear measurements in estimating leaf areas. the resulting energy price will be 0. simple payback requirement is 10 years and no price can be set to increased value of the sludge. Russel TS (1958). leaf area and shoot length in the McIntosh apple. The environmental effects of biogas plants are: * production of energy that can replace fossil fuels.investment costs. but it vary much with organization. Boynton D.BIOMASS Ackley WB.045 ECU/kWh (based on the above examples from Czech Republic). * easier handling of sludge. wages.04-0. 3. Harris RW (1950) Relationships between leaf dimensions. Campbell CA (1991) The Potential of a range of short rotation tree species for fuelwood and pulp production. Hutchinson BA (1986) On estimating canopy photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in a deciduous forest with clumped foliage. Davidson OW (1934) The New Jersey Standard for judging the growth status of deciduous Apple. If O&M is 10% of investment costs.0. A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of . New Jersey Agric. Schubert TH. of which 420 jobs/TWh are operating and maintenance.

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