Biomass Energy in Africa: An Overview

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in biomass energy in Africa, primarily due to growing environmental crisis, energy security concerns and rapid increase in fossil fuel prices. Africa’s convertible currency earnings are very low due to poor world market prices and decreased volumes of its commodity exports. Consequently, it is estimated that, petroleum imports as […]

Biochemical Pathway for Ethanol Production

Ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is produced mainly via biochemical routes. The three major steps involved are pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation. Biomass is pretreated to improve the accessibility of enzymes. After pretreatment, biomass undergoes enzymatic hydrolysis for conversion of polysaccharides into monomer sugars, such as glucose and xylose. Subsequently, sugars are fermented to ethanol by […]

Biogas Enrichment using PSA Technique

Pressure swing adsorption, also known as carbon molecular sieves, is one of most popular biogas upgrading techniques. A typical PSA system is composed of four vessels in series that are filled with adsorbent media which is capable of removing water vapor, CO2, N2 and O2 from the biogas stream. During operation, each adsorber operates in an alternating […]

Thermal Technologies for Biomass Conversion

A wide range of thermal technologies exists to convert the energy stored in biomass to more useful forms of energy. These technologies can be classified according to the principal energy carrier produced in the conversion process. Carriers are in the form of heat, gas, liquid and/or solid products, depending on the extent to which oxygen […]

Renewable Energy Investment in Malaysia

The investment community has shown strong interest in Malaysian cleantech sector, especially solar PV panel production and oil palm biomass utilization. This may be attributed to excellent power supply, well developed transport and communication infrastructure, highly-skilled professionals, coupled with attractive fiscal incentives to foreign and local investors.  The strong support provided by the Malaysian Government has […]

Top 6 Benefits of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is defined as the type of energy which is derived from the imperishable resources of nature. Whenever thinking of renewable energy, most of the people think about solar and wind as they are quite popular. But in addition to that renewable energy resources also include the following: Hydrogen Geothermal energy Tidal energy Biomass […]

Applications of Biogas

The most common method for utilization of biogas in developing countries is for cooking and lighting, especially in rural areas. Conventional gas burners and gas lamps can easily be adjusted to biogas by changing the air to gas ratio. Burning biogas in a boiler is an established and reliable technology. Low demands are set on the […]

Clean Energy in Germany

Germany is one of the world’s most prolific users of clean energy for power, heating, and transport. Germany has rapidly expanded the use of clean energy which now contributes almost one-fourth to the national energy mix. Renewable energy contribute as much as one-fourth of the primary energy mix and the country has set a goal […]

Hotels: Future-proofing the Bottom Line Through Biomass Boilers

In today’s ever-competitive tourism market, ironing out the bottom line is just as important as attracting new business. Hotels are always under pressure to keep their expenditure down without compromising on quality, and little tweaks here and there can make a big difference overall. But what many clever accommodation managers are realising is that there’s […]

Biogas from Industrial Wastes

Biogas (or anaerobic digestion) technology is an attractive way to manage organic wastes in a sustainable manner. Organic waste includes a wide range of organic materials obtained from domestic, industrial and commercial operations. Most of the organic waste generated in developing countries is dumped into the landfills where it is not only responsible for large-scale greenhouse gas […]

The Promise of Biobutanol

The major technical and commercial limitations of existing biofuels has catalyzed the development of advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol and mixed alcohols. Biobutanol is generating good deal of interest as a potential green alternative to petroleum fuels. It is increasingly being considered as a superior automobile fuel in comparison to bioethanol as its […]

Jatropha – The Wonder Crop

Jatropha is a genus of nearly 175 species of shrubs, low-growing plants, and trees.  However, discussions of Jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock are actually means a particular species of the plant, Jatropha curcas. The plant is indigenous to parts of Central America, however it has spread to other tropical and subtropical regions in Africa and Asia. Jatropha […]

The Promise of Biochar and Bio Oil

Biomass pyrolysis transforms organic material such as agricultural residues and wood chips into three main components: syngas, bio-oil and biochar (which contain about 60 per cent of the carbon contained in the biomass. Biomass pyrolysis process can be used to sequester the carbon and  remove circulating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in virtually […]

Requirements of Agricultural Biomass Plants

Agricultural biomass as an energy source is a system of interdependent components. Economic and technical viability of this system relies on a guaranteed biomass feedstock supply, effective and efficient conversion technologies, guaranteed markets for the energy products, and cost-effective distribution systems. One of the most important factors in the efficient utilization of agricultural biomass resource is […]

Biomass Conversion Technologies

Biomass conversion technologies can be tailored for rural or urban environments, and utilized in domestic, commercial or industrial applications. A wide range of technologies are available for realizing the potential of biomass as an energy source, ranging from very simple systems for disposing of dry waste to more complex technologies capable of dealing with large amounts […]

Benefits of Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion is a well-proven and widely popular organic waste management technology having multiple environmental, energy, economic and social benefits. Anaerobic digestion (also known as AD)  is the natural biological process which stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and transforms it into biofertilizer and biogas. It is a reliable technology for the treatment […]

Insights into Biomass Pyrolysis

Biomass pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen. It is the fundamental chemical reaction that is the precursor of both the combustion and gasification processes and occurs naturally in the first two seconds. The products of biomass pyrolysis include biochar, bio-oil and gases including methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and […]

Biorefinery – Source of Advanced Biofuels

A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and value-added chemicals from biomass. A biorefinery is analogous to a petroleum refinery, which produces multiple fuels and products from petroleum. By producing several products, a biorefinery takes advantage of the various components in biomass and their intermediates, therefore […]

A Glance at Lignocellulosic Biomass

First-generation biofuels (produced primarily from food crops such as grains, sugar beet and oil seeds) are limited in their ability to achieve targets for oil-product substitution, climate change mitigation, and economic growth. Their sustainable production is under scanner, as is the possibility of creating undue competition for land and water used for food and fibre […]

Working of Modern Biogas Plants

An anaerobic digestion plant is a decentralized energy system, which can lead to self-sufficiency in heat and power needs, and at the same time reduces environmental pollution. The components of a modern anaerobic digestion plant include: manure collection system, anaerobic digester, effluent treatment plant, gas holder, and electricity generating equipment. The fresh organic waste is stored […]

Introduction to Biomass Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen. It is the fundamental chemical reaction that is the precursor of both the combustion and gasification processes and occurs naturally in the first two seconds. The products of biomass pyrolysis include biochar, bio-oil and gases including methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon […]

Cane Trash As Bioenergy Resource

Sugarcane is among the most ideal of bioenergy energy feedstocks in terms of efficiency and flexibility, providing gaseous, liquid and solid fuels. It offers the potential for climate change mitigation through substitution for fossil fuels without the need for excessive subsidies or expensive infrastructure development. Sugar industry can make a substantial contribution to the bioenergy […]

Global Biomass Energy Outlook

Biomass energy has rapidly become a vital part of the global renewable energy mix and account for an ever-growing share of electric capacity added worldwide. As per the REN 2014, global biopower (including solid, liquid and gaseous fuels) electricity generation capacity was 88 GW in the year 2013. With 4.4 GW capacity, India ranked 5th […]

Disposal of Palm Oil Mill Effluent

Palm Oil processing gives rise to highly polluting wastewater, known as Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), which is often discarded in disposal ponds, resulting in the leaching of contaminants that pollute the groundwater and soil, and in the release of methane gas into the atmosphere. Properties of POME POME is an oily wastewater generated by […]

Gasification of Tannery Wastes

Wastes generated by the leather processing industries pose a major challenge to the environment. According to conservative estimates, about 600,000 tons per year of solid waste are generated worldwide by leather industry and approximately 40–50% of the hides are lost to shavings and trimmings. Everyday a huge quantity of solid waste, including trimmings of finished […]

Biodiesel Industry in India

The biodiesel industry in India is still in infancy despite the fact that demand for diesel is five times higher than that for petrol. The government’s ambitious plan of producing sufficient biodiesel by 2011-2012 to meet its mandate of 20 percent diesel blending is unrealized due to a lack of sufficient Jatropha seeds to produce biodiesel. Currently,Jatropha occupies […]

Bioenergy Projects – Problems and Remedies

Biomass resources can be transformed into clean energy and/or fuels by thermal and biochemical technologies. Besides recovery of substantial energy, these technologies can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal. However, biomass energy projects worldwide are often hampered by a variety of techno-commercial issues. This article makes an attempt […]

Biomass Resources in MENA Region

In addition to tremendous solar and wind potential, MENA region also has abundant biomass energy resources which have remained unexplored to a great extent. MENA region offers almost 45 percent of the world’s total energy potential from all renewable sources that can generate more than three times the world’s total power demand.  Biomass potential in the Euro-Mediterranean region is […]

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of multiple forms of useful energy (usually mechanical and thermal) in a single, integrated system. In conventional electricity generation systems, about 35% of the energy potential contained in the fuel is converted on average into electricity, whilst the rest is lost as waste heat. CHP systems […]

Biomass Energy Prospects in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia, with its abundant biomass resources, holds a strategic position in the global biomass energy atlas. There is immense potential of biopower in Southeast Asian countries due to plentiful supply of diverse forms of wastes such as agricultural residues, woody biomass, animal wastes, municipal solid waste, etc. The rapid economic growth and industrialization in […]

Bioenergy Potential in Thailand

Thailand has tremendous biomass energy potential  with some studies projecting that biomass wastes can cover up to 15 % of the energy demand in Thailand. These estimations are primarily made from biomass waste from the extraction part of agricultural activities, and for large scale agricultural processing of crops etc. – as for instance saw and […]

Renewable Energy in Africa

With a sixth of the world’s population, Africa generates a measly four percent of the world’s electricity, three-quarters of which is used by South Africa and northern Africa. According to World Bank statistics, more than 500 million Africans (almost two-thirds of the total population) have no access to “modern energy.” Hydropower accounts for around 45% […]

Biodiesel Feedstock in India

Biodiesel is mostly produced from the oils extracted from the seeds of Jatropha. Apart from Jatropha, Pongamia pinnata, Mahua, Neem and Castor are also considered as good source of non-edible oil-based biodiesel. Jatropha is a genus of nearly 175 species of shrubs, low-growing plants, and trees.  However, discussions of Jatropha as a biodiesel are actually means a particular species of the […]

Biomass Energy in the Philippines

Like any developing country, the Philippines is facing a formidable challenge of fostering sustainable energy options to support the energy requirements of its economic and social development goals with minimal adverse effects on the environment. In the Philippines, renewable energy sources contribute 43 percent to the country’s primary energy mix, one of the highest in […]

A Glance at Wood-based Biomass Resources

Biomass power is the largest source of renewable energy as well as a vital part of the waste management infrastructure. Woody biomass is the most important renewable energy source if proper management of vegetation is ensured. The main benefits of woody biomass are as follows: Uniform distribution over the world’s surface, in contrast to finite […]

Biogas from Food Wastes

Food waste holds one of the highest biogas potential among different organic substrates as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be utilized as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry […]

Sustainable Utilization of Biomass

Bioenergy systems offer significant possibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to their immense potential to replace fossil fuels in energy production. Biomass reduces emissions and enhances carbon sequestration since short-rotation crops or forests established on abandoned agricultural land accumulate carbon in the soil. Bioenergy usually provides an irreversible mitigation effect by reducing carbon dioxide […]

An Introduction to Biofuels

‘Biofuel’ refers to liquid or gaseous fuels for the transport sector that are predominantly produced from biomass. A variety of biofuels can be produced from biomass resources including liquid fuels, such as ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and gaseous fuels, such as hydrogen and methane. The biomass resource base for biofuel production is composed of […]

Exploring Gasification of Solid Wastes

Gasification of solid wastes involve the reaction of carbonaceous feedstock with an oxygen-containing reagent, usually oxygen, air, steam or carbon dioxide, generally at temperatures in excess of 800°C. It involves the partial oxidation of a substance which implies that oxygen is added but the amounts are not sufficient to allow the fuel to be completely oxidised […]

Pathways for Waste-to-Energy Conversion

The conversion of waste-to-energy can proceed along three main pathways – thermochemical, biochemical and physicochemical. Thermochemical conversion, characterized by higher temperature and conversion rates, is best suited for lower moisture feedstock and is generally less selective for products. On the other hand, biochemical technologies are more suitable for wet wastes which are rich in organic […]

Peat as Energy Resource

Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation. One of the most common components is Sphagnum moss, although many other plants can contribute. Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding obstructs flows of oxygen from the atmosphere, reducing rates of decomposition. Bogs are the most important source of peat. Since organic matter accumulates over thousands of years, peat deposits also provide records […]

Energy from Woody Biomass

Processing of wood yields by-products and waste streams collectively called residues, which have significant energy potential. A wide range of woody biomass resources are available for transformation into energy in natural forests, rural areas and urban centres. There are many ways to generate electricity from woody biomass using thermo-chemical pathway. These include directly-fired or conventional steam […]

Renewable Energy in Jordan – Potential and Progress

Jordan is heavily dependent on oil imports from neighbouring countries to meet its energy requirements. The huge cost associated with energy imports creates a financial burden on the national economy. Electricity demand is growing rapidly, and the Jordanian government has been seeking ways to attract foreign investment to fund additional capacity. In 2008, the demand […]

Hydrogen Sulphide Removal from Biogas

Hydrogen sulphide, a major contaminant in biogas, is both poisonous and corrosive, and causes significant damage to piping, equipment and instrumentation. The concentration of various components of biogas has an impact on its ultimate end use. While boilers can withstand concentrations of H2S up to 1000 ppm, and relatively low pressures, internal combustion engines operate best when […]

Global Trends in Cogeneration of Bagasse

Cogeneration of Bagasse is one of the most attractive and successful energy projects that have already been demonstrated in many Sugarcane producing countries such as Mauritius, Reunion Island, India and Brazil. Combined heat and power from Sugarcane in the form of power generation offers renewable energy options that promote sustainable development, take advantage of domestic […]

Biomass Energy Prospects in Malaysia

Biomass is one of the most important sources of renewable energy in Malaysia. The National Biofuel Policy, launched in 2006 encourages the use of environmentally friendly, sustainable and viable sources of biomass energy. Under the Five Fuel Policy, the government of Malaysia has identified biomass as one of the potential renewable energy. Malaysia produces atleast […]

Biomass Energy Prospects in Indonesia

The development of renewable energy is one of priority targets in Indonesia. For power generation, it is important to increase electricity power in order to meet national demand and to change fossil fuel consumption by utilization of biomass wastes.The current pressure for cost savings and competitiveness in Indonesia’s most important biomass-based industries, along with the continually […]

Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Lignocellulosic biomass consists mainly of lignin and polysaccharides cellulose and hemicellulose. Compared with the production of ethanol from first-generation feedstocks, the use of lignocellulosic biomass is more complicated because the polysaccharides are more stable and the pentose sugars are not readily fermentable by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  In order to convert lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels the polysaccharides must […]

Renewable Energy in Malaysia

Malaysia, with population of about 28 million, is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. During the last decade, Malaysia has seen almost 20 percent increase in energy generating capacity from 13,000MW in the year 2000 to 15,500MW in 2009.  Under the 8th Malaysia Plan (2001–2005), the government of Malaysia changed the Four-Fuel Policy (based […]

Biomass from Sugar Industry

Sugarcane is one of the most promising agricultural sources of biomass energy in the world. It is the most appropriate agricultural energy crop in most sugarcane producing countries due to its resistance to cyclonic winds, drought, pests and diseases, and its geographically widespread cultivation. Due to its high energy-to-volume ratio, it is considered one of […]

Output from a Biogas Plant

A biogas plant produces two outputs, biogas and digestate; both can be further processed or utilized to produce secondary outputs. Biogas can be used for producing electricity and heat, as a natural gas substitute and also a transportation fuel. A combined heat and power plant system (CHP) not only generates power but also produces heat […]

Overview of Wood Wastes

Wood wastes are usually concentrated at the processing factories, e.g. plywood mills and sawmills. The amount of waste generated from wood processing industries varies from one type industry to another depending on the form of raw material and finished product. Type of Wood Wastes The waste resulted from a wood processing is influenced by the […]

Common Issues in Biopower Projects

Biopower projects in developing countries are often besieged by a wide range of issues. The issues enumerated below are not geography-specific and are usually a matter of concern for most of the biomass energy projects: Large Project Costs In India, a 1 MW gasification plant usually costs about USD 1-1.5 million. A combustion-based 1 MW plant would […]

Making of Biomass Pellets

Biomass pellets are a type of biomass fuel, generally made from wastes from wood products manufacture, agricultural wastes, forestry residues etc. Pellets are manufactured in several types and grades as fuels for electric power plants, homes, and other applications. Pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low moisture content (below 10%) that allows them […]

Biomass Energy Outlook for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia, with its abundant biomass resources, holds a strategic position in the global biomass energy atlas. There is immense potential of biopower in Southeast Asian countries due to plentiful supply of diverse forms of wastes such as agricultural residues, woody biomass, animal wastes, municipal solid waste, etc. The rapid economic growth and industrialization in […]

Rational Approach to Agricultural Waste Management

Traditional methods of farm waste management are unscientific and have several negative externalities associated with them. Being the emitter of stock pollutants, like CO, SOx, NOx, PAHs, and aerosols, which accumulates in the atmosphere, traditional practices have a regional impact apart from local damage. Crop burning decrease the fertility of soil. To meet increasing market demand […]

Biomass Storage Methods

Sufficient storage for biomass is necessary to accommodate seasonality of production and ensure regular supply to the biomass utilization plant. The type of storage will depend on the properties of the biomass, especially moisture content. For high?moisture biomass intended to be used wet, such as in fermentation and anaerobic digestion systems, wet?storage systems can be […]

Overview of Biomass CHP

Biomass CHP is the simultaneous generation of multiple forms of useful energy (usually mechanical and thermal) in a single, integrated system using biomass wastes. Biomass conversion technologies transform a variety of wastes into heat, electricity and biofuels by employing a host of strategies. Conversion routes are generally thermochemical or biochemical, but may also include chemical and physical. […]

Bioenergy in South Africa

South Africa is endowed with abundant renewable resources in the form of biomass, solar and wind energy. The Government’s White Paper on Renewable Energy Policy, released in 2003, supports the development of alternative energy systems with an ambitious target of generating 10,000 GWh green electricity by 2013. The introduction of Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (REFIT) has […]

Biomass Energy Resources in Malaysia

Malaysia is gifted with conventional energy resources such as oil and gas as well as renewables like hydro, biomass and solar energy. Malaysia’s commercial demand for energy is projected to continue its upward trend, from 1,244 PetaJoule (PJ) in 2000 to an estimated 2,218 PJ in 2010. This consumption growth is mainly driven by industrialisation. […]

Biogas from Food Waste

Food waste management is a big problem in all countries, especially affluent ones. There are numerous places which generate large amounts of food waste including hotels, restaurants, malls, residential societies, canteens, airline caterers, markets etc. A proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised for them to make sure that either they are disposed off […]

What is Biomethane

The typical composition of raw biogas does not meet the minimum CNG fuel specifications. In particular, the CO2 and sulfur content in raw biogas is too high for it to be used as vehicle fuel without additional processing. Biogas that has been upgraded by removing H2S, moisture and carbon dioxide is known as biomethane. Biomethane is […]

Anaerobic Digestion and Rural Development

The rural population of developing countries exhibit unique resource optimization capabilities as compared to urban populations. Tracts of land are cultivated and cattle are reared and the produce is sold off in the market or consumed. The wastes generated from crop cultivation and rearing animals are also utilised domestically. While the dung of animals is […]

Introduction to Hydrothermal Carbonization

Most would agree that the production of biofuels is important, even necessary, for our future. There are significant differences in the production of various biofuels, especially concerning the production of biocoal, which will impact the acceptance and use of biofuel in the future. This article focuses on one technology for the production of biocoal which […]

Bioenergy in Middle East and North Africa

There is a large potential for renewable resources in the Middle East which have remained more or less unharnessed. Apart from solar and wind, the Middle East also has abundant biomass energy resources which have remained unexplored to a great extent. According to conservative estimates, the potential of biomass energy in the Euro-Mediterranean region is […]

Biogas Cleanup Methods

Cleanup of biogas is primarily achieved by carbon dioxide removal which enhances the energy value of the gas to give longer, driving distances with a fixed gas storage volume. Removal of carbon dioxide also provides a consistent gas quality with respect to energy value. The latter is regarded to be of great importance from the vehicle […]

An Introduction to Biomass Energy

Biomass is the material derived from plants that use sunlight to grow which include plant and animal material such as wood from forests, material left over from agricultural and forestry processes, and organic industrial, human and animal wastes. In nature, if biomass is left lying around on the ground it will break down over a […]

Low Pressure Storage of Biogas

Selection of an appropriate biogas storage system makes a significant contribution to the efficiency and safety of a biogas plant.  A biogas storage system compensates fluctuations in the production and consumption of biogas as well as temperature-related changes in volume. There are two broad categories of biogas storage systems: Internal Biogas Storage Tanks are integrated into […]

A Primer on Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources. The fuel is a mixture of fatty acid alkyl esters made from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases. Where available, biodiesel can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines in its pure form with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, […]

Storage Systems for Biomass

Sufficient storage for biomass is necessary to accommodate seasonality of production and ensure regular supply to the biomass utilization plant. The type of storage will depend on the properties of the biomass, especially moisture content. For high?moisture biomass intended to be used wet, such as in fermentation and anaerobic digestion systems, wet?storage systems can be […]

Biogas from Leather Industry Wastes

The conventional leather tanning technology is highly polluting as it produces large amounts of organic, inorganic and other types of harmful pollutants. Wastes generated by the leather processing industries pose a major challenge to the environment. According to conservative estimates, about 600,000 tons per year of solid waste are generated worldwide by leather industry and […]