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Biomass

Energy
Resources

Preambles

Biomass - plant matter & animal waste (any organic matter &

particularly cellulosic or lingo-cellulosic matter) that has the potential to


create bioenergy in the form of electricity, heat, steam and fuels.
Plants store solar energy through photosythesis in cellulose (6carbon sugars) and lignin cells (for holding the cellulose chain). Upon
burning (exothermic reaction) the sugars break down to release CO2,
heat and steam. The byproducts of this reaction can be captured and
manipulated to create electricity, commonly called biopower, or fuel
known as biofuel.
Biological
organisms

Biomass/
Organic matter

Biomass
energy resources

Secondary
energy

Biomass generation
Photon
energy
CO2

H2O

Other living
organisms

Plants

Biomass

Trees
Agricultural crops
Algae

Minerals
O2

[Sunlight + Chlorophyll + CO2 + H2O]


[Solar energy + Chemical energy]

photosysthesis

Faster growth
& higher
energy content

[Biomass + O2]
[Biomass energy]
Primary energy

Biomass resource
Renewable resource - easily grown or collected, utilized and
replaced fairly quickly (reasonable period) without permanently depleting
the Earths natural resources
More even distribution globally than fossil sources
Opportunity for energy self-sufficiency alternative fuel (or reduced
dependence on fossil fuels)
Existence of commercial and state-of-art technologies for energy
production (less capital intensive for some cases)
Environment friendly
Socio-economic benefits
Scope of application micro, industrial to large scale generation
Present contribution 4-18% of the total PER (20-25% for the
future)

Environmental impacts

Positive environmental implications - closed carbon cycle with net

zero impact (the CO2 produced when burned is sequestered evenly by


plants growing to replace the fuel)
Burning biomass will not solve the currently unbalanced carbon
dioxide problem but would bring some significant contribution - creates
less carbon dioxide than its fossil-fuel counterpart
Mauritian context 2.5 metric tonnes CO2 emissions per capita
(around 51% from electricity production & 29% transport)
Subsequently contribute to lower CO2 emissions, global warming,
rise in sea level, extreme weather patterns & climate change, habitat loss,
spread of diseases, etc
Realistic study - Life Cycle Assessment (cultivation, collection,
transportation,
processing, by-products,energy) (e.g fuel ethanol
production from annexed or autonomous distilleries.)

Natural carbon cycle

Courtesy of NASA at http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect16/carbon_cycle_diagram.jpg

Biomass closed carbon cycle

Courtesy of ORNL at http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/bioenergy_cycle.html

Biomass energy
Renewable energy supply
(heat, electricity, fuels, biogas)
(kW MW)

Waste to useful end products


(e.g, municipal waste)

Biomass energy
resources

Development
(socio-economic aspects)

Environmental balance
(biomass carbon cycle)

traditional

Wood, animal waste

Biomass Energy

Current/new trend

WTE, biofuels, biogas

Types of biomass
Two categories

Cultivated biomass
-Crops (e.g sugarcane,
corn)
-Carbohydrate containing
crops (cereals, potatoes)
-Forests (e.g eucalyptus)
-Energy crops higher
energy density crops (e.g
sweet sorghum)
-Aquatic crops (e.g algae,
seaweeds)

Waste biomass
-municipal solid waste &
landfill gas
-agricultural residues (e.g
CTL & trash)
-forest waste
-animal waste
-process waste (e.g fish
processing industry)

Energy density of biomass resources

Combustion/
cogeneration

Raw
biomass

Heat/steam &
electricity

Simultaneous
usage (secondary
energy

Biogas &
biochemicals

Transportable & of
higher energy
density
(intermediate &
secondary energy)

Biothermal
conversion

Biochemicals

Increase in energy density

Biomass energy conversion routes


Commercial
applications

Biomass conversion
processes

Research &
development

Several routes depending upon the temperature, pressure,


microorganisms used, process and culture conditions

Direct
combustion/
incineration

Thermochemical
conversion

Biochemical
conversion

Heat/steam, electricity, liquid & gaseous fuels


Processes differ in practical applications with respect to the rated capacity, the time required
for conversion and the efficiency

Combustion/incineration
Most common process in energy and biomass conversion technologies
Applicable to solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, but generally applied to solid
fuels (e.g sugarcane biomass or MSW)
It is the process of burning rapid oxidation accompanied by heat and light
Incineration is the process of burning the fuel completely to ash
Generally convenient and economical to burn the solids semi dried or at
lower moisture content (higher amount of energy is derived)
Usually results in the generation of heat/steam and electricity for
simultaneous usage
Wide range of energy generation (kW to MW) & simultaneous production
(apart from the initial time required for start-up and heating up)
Common heat of combustion of biomass
Wood (dry)
10-11 MJ/kg
MSW
5-8
MJ/kg
Sugarcane bagasse (@ 50% H2O
7-9 MJ/kg

Energy generation process

http://www.taftan.com/thermodynamics/RANKINE.HTM

Thermochemical conversion
Temperature
Biomass
Pressure

Thermochemical
conversion

Gasification

Pyrolysis

Gasification
Converts carbon containing material into a synthesis gas composed
primarily of CO & H2 (~ 85%) and the residual gas being CO2 and CH4
Used as fuel for steam/electricity generation or used as a basic chemical
building block for a large number of uses in the petrochemical and refining
industries
Adds value to low or negative value feedstock
Application low quality coal, petroleum based materials, gases & other
waste materials

Gasification technique
Heating at high temperature and high pressure in the presence of steam & O2
(limited air/controlled O2) to produce syngas (primarily H2 & CO)
IGCC power generation configuration (high efficiency)

Source: http://www.gasification.org/Technology.htm

Thermochemical conversion - Pyrolysis


Conversion of biomass into gases, liquids and solids at temperatures of
around 500-900C by heating in closed vessel in the absence of O2 (e.g, pyrolytic
destructive distillation of wood into methanol, acetic acid, turpentine and
charcoal)
Can process all forms of organic materials which are difficult to be handles
by other processes
Gases produced are a mixture of H2, CH4, CO, CO2 & other hydrocarbons
An oil-like liquid is produced and the solids produced are similar to charcoal
Inorganic materials
Solid waste

Shredder
Gas
Water
Oil

Dryer

Air classifier

Distillation

Pyrolysis reactor

Benefits of pyrolysis
Produce a high calorific value fuel (22-30 MJ/m3) from difficult waste
can be used in gas engines to produce electricity
Lower calorific value is usually associated from biomass waste and the
higher value to other waste such as sludge
Production of hydrogen as a by-product which is seen as an increasingly
valuable fuel

Biochemical conversion
anaerobe/enzyme
Biomass
pressure/temperature

Biochemical
conversion

Anaerobic digestion

Fermentation

Anaerobic digestion
Microbial digestion of biomass
Done by anaerobe (a microscopic organism that can live and grow without
external O2 or air) which extract O2 by decomposing the biomass at low
temperature (up to 65C) in the presence of moisture (80%)
Generates mostly CH4 and CO2 with small amount of impurities such as
H2S
The output can be directly burnt or upgraded to superior fuel gas (methane
only removal of CO2)

Why to produce biogas?

Also known as natural gas or marsh gas

A renewable source of energy

It enables waste recycling to useful products

Production of biofertiliser (by-product sludge)

Public health & hygiene

Environmental management ( pollution control)

Rural development

Availability of appropriate technology

Does not require imported know-how/expertise

Micro scale application is possible (for a firm, village, etc)

Biochemical conversion anaerobic digestion


Anaerobic
digestion

Two major
steps

Acid formation

Methanation

Acid formation
Complex polymeric organic substances - such as proteins, carbohydrates &
fats are fermented and hydrolysed by non-methanogenic bacteria into
essentially non-methanogenic substrates like acids, volatile liquids and solids of
simpler organic nature
Methane formation
The organic acids and chemicals formed in the acidification stage are
decomposed by acetogenic bacteria to release methane and CO2

Biochemical conversion
Residue obtained may be protein-rich sludge & liquid effluent used as
animal feed or for soil treatment (may require some processing)
Potential feedstock MSW, agricultural biomass/residue, forest biomass,
aquatic biomass, human & animal waste
Yield
traces
Absence of O2 / presence of H2O

[Organic material]

[CH4 + CO2 + H2S + N2]


15-50C/atm pressure

1 tonne dry
organic material

36 m3 of CH4/biogas
(30-70 m3 depending
on the feedstock used

Eh = 50 MJ/kg

Pure CH4, Eh = 56 MJ/kg

Temperature range: psychrophilic (10-25C), mesophilic (25-40C) &


thermophilic (50-55C) the higher temperature range allows higher biogas
emanation (thermophilic being most popular)

Biochemical conversion
Process is however very slow and may take time (several days/weeks) to
complete digestion of a batch of biomass
Depends on many parameters (technology used, raw material, influent solids
content, loading, pH, C/N ratio, stiring, retention time)
Plant size vary from 0.5-2000 m3/day
Biogas plants from waste very common in India & China (conventional
plants low technology)
Biogas plants from MSW very common in Europe & US (modern plants
high technology)
Low cost for micro applications (< 1000 USD or 500 USD depending on the
technology used temperature range)
Mauritian context one biodigester at ISCKON (Nouvelle France) which
operate on cow dung - biogas being used as a cooking fuel and sludge as soil
stabiliser. An additional two biodigesters at St Martin.

Biochemical conversion - fermentation


Process of decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms especially
by bacteria and yeast
Decomposition of sugar/starch containing materials, grains, cellulosic
materials
Inversion
C12H22O11 +
Sucrose

H2O

2 C6H12O6

Water

Glucose

OR

C6H10O5 +

H2O

Starch

Water

2 C6H12O6
Glucose

Fermentation
C6H12O6
Glucose

2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2 +

Heat

Ethyl alcohol

Products ethyl alcohol (heat of combustion of 29677 kJ/kg) and CO2

Potential feedstock for fermentation


Sucrose containing materials sugarcane, sugarbeet, molasses, sweet
sorghum, fruits
Starch containing materials grains, potatoes, root crops
Cellulose agricultural residues/waste, wood, MSW
Composition of cellulosic biomass

45% cellulose (glucose) fibrous water insoluble substance

25% hemicellulose (pentose) mixture of water insoluble polymers


(xylose, mannose, galactose, arabinose) less stable than cellulose

25% lignin complex aromatic polymer resistant to biological


degradation

5% others
Two methods for cellulosic conversion to ethanol

Chemical hydrolysis

Enzymatic hydrolysis

Cellulosic biomass to ethanol


Dilute acid hydrolysis

[Lignocellulosic biomass]

Pretreatment (hydrolysis)

[Pentose - C5 sugars]

0.5% acid/200C

[Glucose]

hydrolysis

[Remaining solids cellulose + lignin]

2% acid/240C

Concentrated acid hydrolysis

[Lignocellulosic biomass]

40% HCl or 60% H2SO4

[Sugars]

Ambient temperature

Enzymatic hydrolysis
Use of modified yeast capable of converting glucose as well as xylose to
ethanol
Hydrolysis and fermentation occuring in the same vessel

Waste-to-energy

Two alternatives

Incineration (direct combustion)

Production of biogas/landfill gas

Main advantages

Safe and economical disposal of urban waste

Supply of energy (thermal & electrical) to users

Renewable & reliable energy resources (fossil fuel displacement)

Worldwide practice (mature technologies, know-how)

Production of clean energy (avoided GHG CH4 - CDM credits)

Environmental protection from MSW

Large capacity plants (MW range)

Selective burning might enhance recycling & reuse

Composition of solid waste

Depends on the standard of living and style of living of the population


Europe
Paper
Food rubbish
Metal scrap
Glass
Plastic & rubber
Wood
Textile
Miscellaneous

51%
20%
10%
9%
4%
2%
2%
2%

Mauritius
Yard waste
Kitchen waste
Paper
Plastics
Textiles
Glass
Metals
Miscellaneous

45%
25%
10%
9%
4%
3%
2%
2%

Energy content of solid waste

The energy content varies according to the constituents of the waste.


Moisture%
kJ/kg
Organic waste
45
10500
Plastics
7
43600
Paper/cardboard
16
17800
Textiles
26
16000
Packaging materials
18
24200

The calorific value of MSW varies between 5 8 MJ/kg (depending on the


moisture content)
Higher amount can be derived from segregated waste (selection of highly
combustible waste)
Co-combustion can also increase the energy content (e.g used oil)

Comparison with other combustibles


MSW
Bagasse
Rice husks
Charcoal
Dry wood
Coal
Heavy petroleum oil
Diesel fuel oil
Petrol fuel oil
Ethyl alcohol

kJ/kg
58
79
14 15
29 30
10 11
26 30
46 47
45 46
51 52
29 - 30

@ ~ 60% H2O
@ ~ 50% H2O

bituminous

WTE technologies

Technology used
Mass burning (worldwide practice dominant technology)
RDF incinerator
Fluidised bed
Pyrolysis
Gasification
Application
Production of heat/steam, electricity, fuel gas
Around 600 WTE facilities worldwide (mostly in EU & US)
Around 130 million tonnes of MSW incinerated
Energy route
Chemical
energy in
waste

Thermal energy
of steam

Mechanical
energy

Electrical
energy in
generator

WTE process

Waste
biomass

Steam

Segregation
(optional)

Noncombustibles

Air & auxilliary


fuel (optional)

Shredder

Air
classifier

Furnace

Flue gas

Superheater

Boiler

ESP &
filter

Steam
turbine

Generator

Electricity

Scrubber

Emission
to the
atmosphere

Stack

Fan

WTE process

Source: http://www.wasteresearch.co.uk/ade/efw/mswcombustion.htm

Flue gas treatment & energy recovery

Waste treatment in WTE facilities


Ash (from furnace) sent to landfill or other uses (road asphalt, cement
mixing)
Flue gas treatment
o Electrostatic precipitators & fabric filters for removal of
particulates
o Chemical treatment plant and scrubber for removal of CO, NOx &
SOx (treatment of acid pollutants)
o Injection of active carbon to remove residual organic compounds
such as dioxins
Energy recovery
One tonne of dry solid waste 1000 kWh
State-of-the-art WTE plant around 600 kWh
Selective burning or co-combustion to produce higher amount of energy

Biogas from landfills


Landfill municipal refuse-dumps
Landfill gas methane rich fuel gas (~ 54% by volume) that is released
from the landfill by anaerobic fermentation of organic matter contained in the
waste (natural bacterial decay) in the presence of moisture at low temperature of
up to 60C
Methane emanation starts after a period of 2 months. The gas mainly
consists of a mixture of methane (52%), CO2 (46%) & other gases such as O2,
H2, N2.
Economically and environmentally attractive to tap the landfill gas for
energy end-use
Applications
Raw landfill gas can be used as a fuel for kilns, furnaces and boiler
heating
Purified methane gas can be used as a fuel for electricity generation or
for domestic purposes (LNG/CNG)

Biogas collection system


A number of wells (20-40 in a typical landfill) which are vertical pipes (812 cm diameter) perforated along the cylindrical body and driven in the landfill
allow gas collection via a piping system
The gas is the filtered and compressed to increase the pressure up to that
required by the end-use device

Filter

Gas
compressor

End use

Fine
filter

Chiller

Flare
stack

Landfill gas use


Purification process is usually costly (application of semi-permeable
membranes & molecular sieves)
More practical and less costly to use the raw landfill gas (such as in
furnaces) rather that to use it for producing electricity which is more complex
Also, sufficient gas would be required continuously for electricity
generation (to operate the plant throughout the whole year) applicable for
modular incineration (a few MW)
Around 200 m3 of biogas is generated per tonne of wastes dumped in a
landfill (depends on wastes characteristics and climatic conditions in landfill)
Biogas collection is usually lower that the generation rate (around 60%
collection)

Biodiesel
Alternative fuel for diesel engines
Definition chemically, biodiesel molecules are mono-alkyl esters
produced usually from triglyceride esters derived from vegetable oil (used oil) &
animal fats
Fatty Acid
Alcohol
Glycerin
Biodiesel
Vegetable Oil

Clean fuel, biodegradable, non-toxic, low emissions, .


Use pure or blended (B100 B5)
Little or no engine modifications
Available & can be used in the existing fuel distribution network

Process - transesterification
CH2OOR1
catalyst
CH2OH
|

|
CHOOR2 + 3CH3OH 3 CH3OORx + CHOH
|
|
CH2OOR3
CH2OH
Triglyceride Methanols
Biodiesel
Glycerin
R1, R2, and R3 are fatty acid alkyl groups which could be different or the
same depending on the type of oil. The fatty acids involved determine the
final properties of the biodiesel

Potential feedstock & environmental issues


Virgin or used vegetable oil (edible or non-edible) sorbean, sunflower,
rapeseed, etc
Dedicated oil crops Jatropha curcas, Pongamia, red palm oil
Low emissions

Relative Greenhouse Gas Emissions


B100

B100 = 100% Biodiesel


B20 = 20% BD + 80% PD

Electric
Diesel Hybrid
B20
Ethanol 85%
Diesel
LPG
CNG
Gasoline
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Data from A Fresh Look at CNG: A Comparison of Alternative


Fuels, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program, 8/13/2001

140

160

Relative emissions: Diesel v/s Biodiesel


B100 **

Diesel

B20

CO2
Sulfates
**NOx
Particulate Matter
CO
Total Unburned HCs
0

20

40

60

Percent

80

100

120

Challenges
Feedstock availability
Engine and emissions optimisation
Cold weather operation (increased viscosity may require additives)
Replacement of synthetic parts (e.g nylon)
Probable slow degradation of natural rubber, fittings, seals & composite
materials in the fuel system
Biodegradable and hence susceptible to microbial degradation (may require
biocides)
Production cost is on the higher side
Sensible food versus fuel discussion.

Energy for one hectare of palm oil


CO2

WATER

PHOTOSYNTHESIS

BIODIESEL
(3.6T/HA)

SOLAR
ENERGY

CRACKING

FRESH FRUIT
BUNCHES
(20T/HA)

EXTRACTION

PURE PALM OIL


(4T/HA)

OIL PALM CAKE


(16 T/HA)

FERTILISATION

COMPOST
MANURE
(12.8 T/HA)

ELECTRICITY
(EST 1000
KWh/HA)

FERMENTATION

BIOGAS ~ CH4
(3.2T/HA)