Biomass Electricity

Biomass Electricity

News: Recently, a new biomass-based boiler technology was launched in India (Kurukshetra, Haryana) that claims to accommodate all kinds of agricultural residue as fuel and can be greener and may also help reduce the burden of stubble burning.

Features of the Biomass-Based Boiler:
• The new boiler had a capacity of 75 tonnes per hour and generated 15 megawatts of electricity. This new Denmark-based technology allows the plant to fire a wide range of fuels with less fuel preparation and handling.
• This combustion technology is advantageous because of the vibrating grate.
• The grate of a steam boiler supports the solid fuel in the furnace.
• Vibrating grate accommodates biomass of every density.
• The moisture content of the fuel, however, has to be 15-20%
• Since the vibrating grate supports firing agro residue of any size, it saves energy consumed for processing biomass for energy generation.

What are the advantages over Conventional Boilers?
• The existing conventional boilers are designed only for specific types of agro residue such as paddy husk, paddy straw, mustard, etc and thus restrict the biomass contribution in energy generation.
• While vibrating grate boiler technology can be a solution for firing any kind of biomass.

 What is Biomass? What are the methods through which it can be converted to Electricity?
• It is a renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. It is used for facility heating, electric power generation and combined heat and power.

•Combustion of Biomass Material – It involves direct combustion of biomass material such as agricultural waste, woody materials.
•Gasification - It produces a synthesis gas with usable energy content by heating the biomass with less oxygen than needed for complete combustion.
• Pyrolysis - Pyrolysis yields bio-oil by rapidly heating the biomass in the absence of oxygen.
• Anaerobic Digestion - Anaerobic digestion produces a renewable natural gas when organic matter is decomposed by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. Very wet wastes, like animal and human wastes, are converted into a medium-energy content gas in an anaerobic digester.

Government Initiatives:
• Biomass power & cogeneration programme is implemented with the main objective of promoting technologies for optimum use of country’s biomass resources for grid power generation.
• The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced central financial assistance for projects utilising biomass like bagasse, agro-based industrial residue, crop residues, wood produced through energy plantations, weeds as well as wood waste produced in industrial operations for power generation. The move was aimed at enhancing biomass combustion in a controlled environment for energy production.

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