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Summary of discussion paper on status, potential and challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa. S Dasappa Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012 India

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Summary of discussion paper on status, potential and challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

S Dasappa

Indian Institute of Science

Bangalore 560 012

India

Presented at the First High-level Biofuels Seminar in Africa Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, (July –Aug 2007)


Contents l.jpg
Contents challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Background

  • Statement of the problem

    • Biomass as a source of Electricity

    • Biomass gasification technology

      • Status on the technology

    • Barriers to the technology

      • Experience from India

    • Suggested plan of action


Background l.jpg
Background challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • African region which accounts for 13 % of the world population generates about 3.1 % of the world electricity generation

  • The per captia electricity utilization is about 515 kWh (WEC, IEA, 2002), which is probably the lowest compared with the world scenario

  • Access to electricity ranges from greater than 90 % in the northern Africa to about 26 % in the sub- Saharan African region and in the rural area to less than 1 %

  • It is evident that biomass has been a major source of energy in the region, amounting to about 60 % of the total energy consumption against a 14 % of the world energy scene.


Renewable technologies in the african region l.jpg
Renewable technologies in the African region challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Karekezi et al (2007), summaries that renewable energy resource for electricity generation has never been exploited due to policy and investment levels

  • On the hydro only 7 % of the potential electricity generation is being practiced today.

  • About 9 MWp of solar PV is being installed in Africa, with Kenya accounting for about 3.6 MWp

  • On the wind power, very little has been exploited in the countries with high wind potential, while some of them land locked, with very little wind speed


Biomass as a source of energy l.jpg
Biomass as a source of energy challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Biomass as an energy source is being used for non- electricity applications and accounts for about 50 % - 60 % of the primary energy source in Africa.

  • Co-generation in sugar industry is an important biomass sector which is gaining importance in Africa, but currently accounting for about 15 % of the overall potential.

  • Mauritius is an excellent example generating about 40 % of the total power using co-generation.


Biomass for electricity l.jpg
Biomass for electricity challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Biomass as a source of generating electricity at small scale has not been explored in the African region except in South Africa.

    • There have been attempts in the recent time by different countries in the region to establish demonstration projects. An example towards this is the recent tender by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda for gasification system package to meet heat and power requirements at small capacity (web.worldbank.org/projects/templates).

    • There have been many attempts by some of gasification development groups from various countries towards establishing demonstration gasification based electricity generation in the African region, but has not made any significant impact.


Biomass to electricity in the region l.jpg
Biomass to electricity in the region challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • The Carbo Consult and Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, has established a gasification technology - System Johansson Gas Producers in South Africa.

    • From the available information (http://www.carboconsult.com/), the company has a few installations in South Africa and has also been interacting with other countries outside the region.

    • The technology package is to operate on dual fuel mode as well in the gas alone mode. There are very few systems in the region.


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Statement of problem challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Karekezi et al (2007) has highlighted various factors that influence the electricity generation including technology barrier and policy barrier.

    • One of the statements in the paper suggests that use of small scale renewable as a means for poverty alleviation, using local material to meet the local energy needs.

    • They suggest solar energy as an option.


Biomass as a source of electricity l.jpg
Biomass as a source of electricity challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • It may be appropriate to mention that the biomass gasification technology, would meet the set objective of

    • using local material to provide reliable grid quality electricity to meet the energy demand for both the rural as well as the urban sector.

    • Provide employment potential – a mitigation option for poverty alleviation

  • It is important to recognize that in Africa with sufficient land, water and sunshine, biomass is (can be made) available in abundance.

  • Based on these potential and reserves, biomass gasification can also contribute towards providing a well-balanced energy generation mix in the continent.

  • Biomass gasification technology is an option to replace/substitute the existing oil based electricity generation remote locations. It is also important to recognize this modern bio energy technology is a promising candidate for mitigating the climate change issues.


Gasification process l.jpg
Gasification process challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

Process that converts solid fuel to gaseous fuel

  • Used in an internal combustion engine for power generation to substitute fossil fuel

    • Diesel engine – for dual fuel application

    • Gas engine – for single fuel

  • Used in heat application

    • Low temperature – drying, etc

    • High temperature – furnaces, kilns, etc


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Types of gasifiers challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

Updraft Down draft

  • Generates tar Generates clean gas

  • Suitable for thermal application Suitable for electricity application


Gasification technology l.jpg
Gasification technology challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • The elements

Cooling and

Cleaning system

Reactor

Engine

  • Producer gas

  • CO: 20 + 1%; CH4 : 3 + 1%, H2 : 20 + 1%,

    CO2 : 12 + 1% and rest N2.

  • Performance

  • Biomass consumption : 1 – 1.3 kg/kWh


Some feature of reactor geometries l.jpg
Some feature of Reactor geometries challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

Storage bin

for biomass

Combustion

zone

Open top dual air entry

Closed top down draft

  • World War II Design

  • Specific to wood chips

  • Material issues

    • Maintenance

    • Life

  • Recent developments at IISc

  • Agro residues can be used

  • Ceramic lined reactor

    • Like a furnace


Status of gasification technology l.jpg
Status of gasification technology challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Various group in India and Europe are working in this area for over 2 decades

  • There has been commercial operations in India to meet both heat and power applications

  • Limited commercial operations in Europe


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Barriers for technology spread challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Like any new technology, even biomass gasification faces key barriers for the spread

    • Technical

    • Information

    • Policy and Institutional

    • Financial

    • Human Resource


Technical barriers l.jpg
Technical Barriers challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • There are a number of technical barriers that need to be addressed on priority in order to enhance the credibility of technology packages in the local industry, and to build national capacity to manufacture, build, operate and maintain new renewable energy based mini-grids. Some of the key technical barriers are as follows:

    • There is no comprehensive data on the requirement of the electricity demand country wise at village level.

    • Information on the existing fossil fuel based power generation in the region is not available

    • Norms and standards in terms of renewable energy performance, manufacture, installation and maintenance are weak and/or non-existent.

    • Local manufacturing capacity and/or assembly of renewable energy technology components are currently lacking, although the knowledge, skills and expertise to operate renewable energy systems are available in the region.

    • There is a limited technical capacity to design, install, operate, manage and maintain renewable energy based mini-grids


Information barriers l.jpg
Information Barriers challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Given the low connectivity and literacy levels, prevalent poverty and sparsely populated rural areas, information barriers have been identified as important barriers to renewable energy utilization and development in Africa. Some of key information barriers are as follows:

    • There is no sufficient statistical data available on the renewable energy resources in terms of locations, sizes, and other characteristics to better define project opportunities for investors.

    • A central information-clearing house on technologies does not exist. Instead, the information is scattered among various institutions and ministries.

    • There is lack of information on comprehensive evaluation of renewable systems already installed in the country. Many potential investors and equipment suppliers are not fully informed about the relevant government policies and programs.

    • Awareness level among public as well as decision-makers about the potential of renewable energy resources for providing electricity and energy services is low.


Some inputs on the technology barriers l.jpg
Some inputs on the technology barriers challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Some of the barriers indicated earlier has been addressed in some detail in India, which can be an input to the region


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Brief history on the gasification technology at IISc challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Gasification research commenced in 1980’s

    • Emphasis was on 5 hp diesel pump sets

  • Over 450 Man-Years of R&D effort

  • Evolved State-of-the art technology

  • Undergone critical third party evaluation – by various groups

  • Commercial applications ~ five years

  • Ten manufacturers in the field (India and abroad)

  • At IISc (Open top down draft technology - distinctly different from other designs)

    • Technology package for agro residue as the fuel

    • Power range 5 – 1000 kWe

    • Both power and high quality thermal applications

    • Over 350,000 hours of operational experience

    • Gas cleaning system for turbo-charged engines


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Biomass used in IISc systems challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa


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Typical applications serviced challenges of promoting biomass gasification technologies for industrial applications in Africa

  • Electricity generation

    • Village electrification

    • Captive power generation

    • Grid linked power generation

    • Energy Service Company - ESCO

  • Thermal application

    • Low temperature (drying, etc., )

    • High temperature (furnaces, kilns, etc., )



  • 1 mwe grid linked arashi hi tech bio power system l.jpg
    1 MWe Grid Linked – Arashi Hi-tech bio power system MP

    EMISSION ~ Qualifies for CDM Benefits

    PRIME MOVER

    GASIFIER

    Producer gas

    Electricity @ 440 V

    Flue gas

    Overall efficiency > 28%

    GRID LINKAGE

    FEED STOCK

    440 V to 11 kV

    DRIER

    EFFLUENT

    TREATMENT

    PROCESSOR

    Recycled water

    POWER EXPORT


    Hindustan pencils is a leading pencil manufacturer of the country l.jpg
    Hindustan pencils is a leading pencil manufacturer of the country.

    • Generates saw dust during the process

    • Gasifier designed to operate on briquetted saw dust

    • Over 20000 hrs of operation


    Jenipa ba chipai brazil l.jpg
    JENIPAÚBA, CHIPAIÁ, Brazil country.

    • Cliente: Governo do Estado, ELETRONORTE

    • Electricity for community

    • Project at various stages in the implementation

    • Most of them would be operational by the end of this year


    5 mw th for heat application l.jpg
    5 MW th for heat application country.

    • Gasification system at M/S Tanfac industries, Cuddalore

    • Total hours of operation > 30,000

    • Last 5 months summary

    Hours of operation 3153 hrs

    Biomass used 3028 Tons

    Oil replaced 770 k Ltrs

    Savings 0.1 M USD


    Some economics l.jpg
    Some economics country.

    • Capital cost:

      • Up to 100 kW capacity ~ 2000 USD/kW

      • Beyond 100 kW ~ 1500 USD/kW

    • Thermal

      • 1 kg of fossil fuel replaced by 3.5 kg of biomass

    • Power

      • Biomass consumption, 1.0 – 1.4 kg/kWh

    • Operating cost

      • Fuel cost - 2.5 – 3 US c/kWh

      • Maintenance cost

        • Upto 100 kW capacity – 2.5 – 3 US c/kWh

        • Beyond 100 kW – 1.0 – 2.0 US c /kWh

    • Grid cost in India – 6 – 10 c

    • Fossil fuel based captive generation

      - 12 – 20 US c/kWh






    Where is the biomass l.jpg
    Where is the biomass? country.

    • Significant amount of biomass energy is currently used

    • Issue to be addressed at various levels

      • Charcoal is being used as a fuel extensively across the region

      • 1 kg of charcoal needs 3 kgs of wood (good quality) about 40 % of the energy is lost

    • An efficient biomass combustion system to meet the cooking needs would release the pressure on wood for charcoal


    One possible solution l.jpg
    One possible solution ! country.

    A device to use pellets

    • A stove with efficiency in the range of 50 % using agro residue pellets

    • Features

      • Smokeless

      • One hour burn time

      • Rugged, attractive, control

      • Benefits

      • Clean air – Health,

      • Convenience – control, speed

      • Less dependency on external factors


    How much biomass for electricity l.jpg
    How much biomass for electricity? country.

    • For a 100 house village

      • Illumination – 2 light points per house

        (CFL) (5 hrs)

      • Street lights – 10 nos

    • Drinking water – 7.5 hp pumset

      • 30 m3/day

    • Total units per day – 35 kWh

    • Biomass requirements – 50 kg/day

    • Agricultural operations – 3000 hrs per year

      45000 kWh – 150 kg/day – 45 tons per year


    Further on biomass l.jpg
    Further on Biomass …… country.

    • Like fossil fuel technology biomass also requires professional approach on collecting, processing and delivery mechanism

      • This has happened in sugar and paper sectors

      • Some biomass power plants are adapting this mechanism

    • Costs can vary

      • Nationally – all transactions within the country

      • Locally – may have implications on the economics


    Suggested plan of action l.jpg
    Suggested plan of action country.

    The typical flow of various activities towards the implementation program covering the technology and capacity building can divided into various activities as indicated below to be in place in the region;

    • A mechanism to document the requirement of the country with details regarding communities (villages, hamlets, etc) without electricity and proximity to the grid. This information should be analyzed along with the country’s electrification program to establish the priority communities for further action.

    • Establish the resource potential by generating biomass atlas which covers, agricultural area, forest plantations and waste lands.

      • Ground level survey

      • Agricultural ministry’s data

      • Satellite images

    • This would help in establishing the fuel availability


    Suggested plan of action38 l.jpg
    Suggested plan of action country.

    • Technology package evaluation

      • Establish through an institutional mechanism to document available technology packages for the region

      • Short list the technology package for implementation

    • Demonstration of technology packages

      • A structured demonstration based on the above information needs to be addressed at national level with a few clusters. Cluster based approach provides an scaling effect and facilitate appropriate service support

      • Monitor the performance using institutional mechanism and document

    • Capacity building

      • An important component in the overall success of any implementation plan

        • Training at various levels, technicians to planners on the aspects related to distributed power generation using biomass gasification system.

        • Plan for Knowledge transfer rather and hardware transfer for the technology packages on the long run

        • Establish R and D facilities for addressing issues related to adaptation of the technology to local condition

        • Training of youth at schools and colleges as a part of curriculum

        • Establish facilities for manufacturing, testing using standard engineering practices.

        • Training of personnel for overall monitoring of the program