The feed-in tariff system can be another driving force to introduce biomass. The utilization of biomass in Japan is not large now, but its potential amount is 1.2 EJ/year, while world biomass availability is expected to be 200 EJ/year. Technologies are being developed for electricity generation, production of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation biofuel, as well as fuel gas production. In addition to these single conversion technologies, biorefinery is to be studied where biomass is fully utilized to produce both value added and common products. Latest information is introduced for each topics.
This study investigated the effects of hot-press pretreatment on sugar recovery from rice straw. Hot-pressed rice straw was evaluated using enzymatic hydrolysis. After hot-press pretreatment with 30% moisture at 180°C, 16 MPa, the glucose yield of hot-pressed rice straw was 73% and the density of it was 1.3 g-wet/cm3. In addition, the sugar recovery increased to 92% when the wet milling process was added before hot-pressing. Rice straw after the hot-press pretreatment can be stored for more than six months, without changing the sugar recovery rate. These results indicate that the hot-press pretreatment eliminates the need for drying the raw materials, improves the storability, reduces the volume of the rice straw, and has pretreatment effect for enzymatic hydrolysis.
The study aims to determine the suitability of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) wastes for charcoal briquette production. Three types of raw materials namely 100% tuba-tuba husk, 50% husk and 50% pressed cake, and 100% pressed cake were carbonized using FPRDI carbonizer. The carbonized materials were bonded with cassava and corn starch as binders at different binder level of 10%, 14% and 18% based on the weight of feedstock to form charcoal briquettes. Sample briquettes were evaluated based on their charcoal yield, crushing strength, proximate analysis, and heating values. Variation of treatment means for VM, Ash content, fixed carbon crushing strength and heating values was highly significant. Briquettes from pressed cake bonded with either cassava or corn starch at 10%, 14%, and 18% was found to be superior among other materials tested. The 50% J. husk and 50% P. cake also showed promising results, but its quality may not be as good as that of pressed cake. The husk however, did not conform to the standards set by Philippine Standard Association (PHILSA), due to its high VM, and ash content. Based on the five properties, 10% binder using pressed cake produced good Jatropha charcoal briquette.
A modified drum-type carbonizer was fabricated for the carbonization of young coconut waste. The major modification made was increasing the number of air inlets from four inlets per layer to eight inlets per layer, for three layers. Three tests were made by adjusting the number of air inlets opened. Water boiling test was performed using the three charred samples from the three tests. The first test had eight inlets opened, the second test had six, and the last test had five. The actual recovery and efficiency of the carbonizer were computed based on the data obtained. Observations were made on the charcoal produced and then it was subjected to water boiling test to determine its quality based on the stove’s efficiency. The modified version produced higher amount of charcoal and low amount of uncharred young coconut waste than the original. It was also more efficient in producing young coconut waste charcoal. The original design took a longer time of carbonization operation. Results showed that the carbonizer with 8 air openings obtained the highest actual charcoal recovery of 33.13% and highest efficiency of 64.8% in the carbonization process. The water boiling test showed that the average thermal efficiency of the stove is 19.32% and comparable with the thermal efficiency of the same stove using wood charcoal of 20%. It means that the quality of charred young coconut waste is comparable to wood charcoal.
A project was implemented in India to promote conversion of waste agricultural biomass into energy in partnership with Birla Institute of Management Technology. Several capacity building and awareness raising workshops were carried out. The topics covered in these workshops included: assessment of waste agricultural biomass; technologies; methodology for sustainability assessment of technologies; and policies. In India, 415.546 Tg (415.546 million t) of waste agricultural biomass is generated annually equivalent to 103.88 Tg of oil of which 101.88 Tg (equivalent to 25.47 Tg of oil) is estimated to be surplus. The technology demonstration was carried out at M/s Starlit Power Systems Ltd. Sohna, Haryana, which is a lead recycling company. It was decided to replace the diesel oil firing system with syngas produced from a biomass gasifier. A 540 kW (thermal) gasifier installed which led to a saving of 440,000 L/year of diesel and thus avoided 1,160 t/year of GHG emissions. The company invested US$ 160,000 but the savings amounted to US $ 400,000 thus the investment was paid back in just 5 months. A national strategy for enhancing conversion of waste agricultural biomass into energy was developed. A sub-regional workshop was organized to share the results achieved and lessons learnt.
This paper investigated a solar spectrum estimation method based on the SMARTS2 code and the specific impact of input parameters i.e. turbidity and precipitable water vapor (PWV) on the estimation. The turbidity measured by the filter type spectroradiometer called skyradiometer was used for increasing the estimation accuracy. The results of three different estimation methods for obtaining PWV from GPS sensor, skyradiometer and conventional humidity measurement were compared. The estimated solar spectrum was verified by grating type spectroradiometer and conventional instruments. As a consequence, each parameter set was sufficient to estimate solar spectrum, especially, the parameter set consisted of the turbidity from skyradiometer and the PWV from conventional humidity measurement was the most accurate.
Considering its advantages including reduction of cooling cost and saving water during the fermentation process, which consequently cut down the total running cost, high-temperature fermentation with thermotolerant microbes is expected to be one of next-generation fermentation technologies. We focused on the establishment of high-temperature fermentation technology for ethanol production from biomass in Thailand, for which thermotolerant microbes suitable for various types of biomass were selected and advanced fermentation processes including a temperature-uncontrolled fermentation and a simultaneous fermentation and distillation under a low pressure were investigated.
The paper illustrates a project carried out - between 2012 and 2013 – during which the first eni solar/fossil hybrid power plant – without any grid connection and energy storage systems - has been designed, built, started up and successfully operated - in Egyptian Western Desert - over more than 8000 hours. The purpose of the project was to enhance the efficiency of oil production operation by integrating solar with diesel fuelled power production. A patented Power Management Module (PMS) optimizes power flows among the components of the plant, namely Photovoltaic (PV) panels, Diesel Generator (DG) and sucker rods electric engines. The plant has demonstrated reliability in hostile conditions and capability to save diesel fuel and reduce CO2 emissions up to 12%. Further optimizations have also been identified, in order to enhance the performance of the whole system.