- to develop and assemble an efficient, compact, small "electricity farm power generator" of 100/150 KWe optimised for herbaceous crops, based on a fluidised bed thermochemical conversion unit feeding a small gas turbine generator with steam injection (STIG cycle) to improve the electrical efficiency.
- to assess the techno-economic interest of injecting into the combustion chamber of the gas turbine a mixture of water steam and ethanol vapours produced by boiling sweet-sorghum wine with the recovered heat of the gas turbine discharge
- to assess the nature and level of emission pollutants (NOx, CO, particulate)
- to evaluate the market possibilities for such type of generator in Italy.
A complete fast pyrolysis plant was constructed and the plant was operated in full pyrolysis mode, using biomass at flow rates of up to 70 kg/hour. The results showed that the plant operated in good agreement with computer simulations and models. Limited quantities of bio-oil could be produced with efficiencies of 55-65% on a weight basis, despite some technical problems being encountered. Engine tests achieved up to 10 kW of power output using this bio-oil as fuel. The addition of ethanol improved the fuel use in small furnaces and a small gas turbine combustor, but further improvements were needed for the oil to work effectively in diesel engines. There were no detrimental effects on emissions when the ethanol was included.
Electricity production from biomass appears to be the most promising near-term market. Low pollution electricity generation by advanced, low cost technologies is needed to start the electricity market penetration. In some EC countries (i.e. Italy, U.K. etc.), the situation is in particular very favourable due to the adoption of specific laws in support of bio-electricity. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the possibility of integrating the most up-to-date technology and the field of thermo-chemical conversion, STIG cycle, cleaning/filtering the operating fluid, scaled in small size to produce electricity in an efficient way and with low NOx, CO emission levels. The second scope will be to verify the idea of using not only the solid part of the crop (bagasse) but also it's liquid derived part (wine from sugar juice) in the same engine with it's "ad-hoc" thermodynamic cycle.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts