Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A high efficiency option for the conversion of biomass to electricity

The objective was to investigate the use of powdered biomass as a fuel in mass-produced internal combustion engines. The project investigated the energy needed to mill sorghum, Arundo Donax and wood to a prescribed fine particle size for use as the fuel in engines of approximately 1.4 and 2.5 litres capacity. The fuel was introduced to the engine as an air-fuel mixture fed into the inlet manifold. Effective ignition and powder combustion was achieved with a clean engine but unburnt and partly burnt powder rapidly accumulated within the piston rings and caused seizure and malfunctioning.

In comparison with fossil fuels, biomass sources as diffuse and energy yields, per unit volume, are low. If biofuels are to compete successfully in European energy markets, with a minimum of statutory aid, these disadvantages must be countered effectively. The objective of this project was to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of direct electricity generation from biomass using generator sets powered by existing, mass-produced internal combustion engines converted to burn suitable but readily available forms of raw biomass.

Reported by

Progressive Energy Technology Ltd
Pennington House Lower Woodside RES_OG_PCD SO41 8AL
United Kingdom
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