Biomass Gasifier for thermal and electrical applications

By | March 4, 2011


Energy is required for different end uses namely Agriculture, Industries, Domestic, Commercial, Railways, etc. The resources to meet the energy needs include, coal, petroleum fuels, hydro, nuclear, biomass, and other renewables. Biomass is one of the important primary energy sources in the World one in India. It is contributing to almost 30% of the total primary energy resources in India. Biomass is the from of firewood, agriculture residue and cow dung cake is consumed to meet energy requirements. Biomass as fuel is used in domestic cooking, hot water generation (estimated at 250 million tones annually) rural and urban small and unorganized industries (estimated at 25 million tones annually in India). Two major issues are encountered in using biomass are unsustainable harvest of firewood and usage of inefficient (6% to 8% in domestic stoves, and less than 14% industrial ovens) devices. The penetration of petroleum fuels as option has not penetrated the rural domestic sector due to lack of availability and high prices of these fuels. One the other hand, small enterprises in urban set up are compelled to use petroleum fuels thereby reducing profit margins because of cost of fuel as input cost more than doubles, are on the verge of closing business in some sectors. Coal, Petroleum usage contributes to CO2 emission and is responsible to cause climate change.

Gasifiers that can convert biomass into combustible gases (Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Methane) offer higher efficiency in using biomass on one hand, convenience of operation and also considerable advantage in cost of fuel over the petroleum fuels. Gasifiers can be used for thermal applications and electrical applications. The paper presents case studies of its use in enterprises for thermal applications and electricity generation. Per Capita Energy consumption in India is half the world average.

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