Waste To Energy Systems

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Biomass Gasification- A Promising Energy Option

The four hundred year old technology of Gasification is finally getting some well deserved attention in the Alternative Energy world. With companies like Waste to Energy Systems fine tuning the gasification process, biomass as a fuel source for the process will continue to grow in popularity, especially in areas where electricity costs are high and biomass is abundant. A recent article from the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group published on www.altenergymag.com discusses the growth of this technology.
Gasification is one of the promising and new technologies for generating electricity from solid fuels or biomass such as wood, organic-waste and agricultural residues. The biomass gasification process uses heat, pressure and partial combustion which occurs when the air supply (O2) is less than adequate for the combustion to be completed. The utilisation of biomass energy can provide dual benefits: reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and increases fuel security, as it is usually produced locally. There are several other advantages of generating electricity through biomass gasification.

Some of the advantages are:

Available everywhere: Biomass based power can be made available anywhere and is quite promising for remote villages which have no access to grid but have large amounts of biomass
Rural economic upliftment: There is a growing trend in which companies are exploring the use of dedicated energy crops for biomass power production, which ensures a reliable biomass supply chain and provides employment for the rural masses

• Carbon neutral: Unlike coal and other forms of fossil fuels, which add carbon in the atmosphere when burnt, biomass energy generation results in no new carbon emission or pollution
• Efficient utilisation of renewable biological sources: Biomass power generation is a efficient process to utilise animal and agriculture wastes

• Large variety of feedstock: A large variety of feedstock such as wood pellets, rice husk, bagasse, etc. can be used to generate biomass energy

• Reduces methane: Using biomass for generating energy reduces the level of methane in the atmosphere. Methane is responsible for the greenhouse effect and with the production of biomass energy, the gas levels are lowered.

• Low cost resource: Biomass power can be produced economically compared to the costs of grid power if there is a good availability of feedstock

• Advantages over other renewable energy sources: Unlike wind or solar power generation which depend upon the amount of sunlight or wind available, energy from biomass is not intermittent.

The recent focus on renewable energy resources and environmental concerns is driving the market for biomass electricity. Although there are several challenges, this market has grown at a CAGR of around 8.4% during the last 5 years. Recognising the prospects of exploiting the market for generating electricity through the process of biomass gasification, IMARC Group has released a new report titled, “Biomass Gasification Plant Project Report: Industry Trends, Gasification Process, Machinery, Raw Materials, Cost and Revenue”. The report states that currently Europe represents the biggest market for biomass electricity production, followed by North America. Analysts predict that China, Brazil and India also have huge potentials for this market.

This report provides a comprehensive understanding of the biomass gasification market and gives an insight into the factors that need to be analysed while setting up a biomass gasification plant. These factors include:

• Market trends
• Key players
• Key risk and success factors
• Process flow
• Various types of unit operations involved
• Land, location and site development requirements
• Plant layout
• Plant machinery requirements
• Raw materials, utilities and manpower requirements
• Capital investments
• Operating costs
• Incomes and expenditures of the plant
• Profits
• Cash flows

Renewable Energy’s Unexpected Allies

Blogger’s Note: As Renewable Energy becomes a stronger driving force, it is beginning to pick up some unexpected heavy hitters. The Waste to Energy Systems Team is thrilled at how popular alternative energy is becoming and with each prominent backer, the success rate of these types of technologies improves by bringing awareness to the masses. 

From the blog “Unlikely Coalition Forms To Back Renewable Energy” from huffingtonpost.com:

Nine of the country’s biggest companies just helped set a new standard for corporate sustainability. Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Salesforce, Starbucks and Walmart are among the handful of hugely recognizable names that on Wednesday committed to using 100 percent renewable energy, with several expecting to reach their goals within the next decade.

Goldman Sachs set a target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, while Nike aims to hit that by 2025, and Johnson & Johnson by 2050. Procter and Gamble set its sights on a short-term goal for 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, while some companies, like financial services firm Voya International and furniture maker Steelcase, are closing in or have already reached a full reliance on renewable energy.

That these Fortune 500 firms have thrown their significant weight behind RE100, a global campaign to cut down on CO2 emissions by turning to renewable sources of energy, suggests a major shift in corporations’ awareness of their responsibility to lead their respective industries away from carbon.

And companies are realizing the business boost gained by placing financial incentives on themselves to use renewable sources. A recent report by the environmental nonprofit CDP, which organizes RE100 in partnership with The Climate Group, found that the number of companies putting a price on their carbon emissions has tripled since last year.

“Lowering risk, protecting against price rises, saving millions and boosting brand is what shaping a low carbon economy is all about,” Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber said in a statement.

The corporate sustainability movement is gaining speed: RE100 launched last year with 13 members, including Ikea, H&M, Nestle, Unilever and Mars. That number has since grown to nearly 40, with groups joining from across various industries. Recent members include financial services provider UBS and Dutch sciences company Royal DSM. Ikea, everyone’s favorite furniture go-to, has installed 700,000 solar panels on its buildings and last year generated renewal energy to match 42 percent of its total energy consumption. H&M, among the many retail outlets facing pressure for contributing to wasteful fast fashion, plans to cut its electricity usage by 20 percent by 2020.

Companies are finding various ways to harness efforts to reduce their carbon footprint as an economic opportunity. Under The B Team, a nonprofit led by top business leaders, companies like Unilever and Virgin are seeking to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

And as part of a coalition to promote sustainable business practices, HP expects to hit its emissions target early after partnering with SunEdison to rely on wind power, while L’Oreal is expanding its use of solar panels at various facilities across the globe. Kellogg will implement water reuse projects at one-fourth of its sites and has committed to zero net deforestation.