Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Small Scale Biomass Gasification from Denmark: Combined Cycle 45% Efficient

Denmark's Babcock and Wilcox Volund (B&WV) produces a 4 MWe conbined cycle (gas and steam turbine) that achieves 45% electrical efficiency. The company recently signed a contract worth US $156 million with Italian company Advanced Renewable Energy Ltd.
Each of the power plants, to be built in Italy, will be designed to produce 4 MW of electricity using wood chip biomass to produce gas fuel for engines that will drive electric generators.

Heat in the flue gas produced during the combustion process will be recovered in a heat recovery boiler, producing steam to drive a steam turbine/generator and allowing the plant to operate at an electrical efficiency of approximately 45 per cent. This is nearly double the electrical efficiency of a traditional, small biomass plant in Europe. _Source
The small scale of the combined cycle plants allows more versatility in planning power supplies for small towns, large campuses, or large industrial plants. Such small plants should also allow for combined wind/solar and biomass installations.

According to the US DOE, 30% of current US petroleum could be replaced by biomass biofuels. Using biomass gasification plants as above, a large proportion of natural gas used for electric power could be diverted to other uses--such as natural gas powered motor vehicles.

Upcoming on October 14-16 2008, the Energy from Biomass and Waste (EBW) exposition at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center will look at an array of biomass energy approaches. The exposition is geared toward those in the energy or agricultural fields who are interested in new income or marketing opportunities.



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