Indonesia Gasification Project and the Brazilian Experience

Ranjit, Anand, and Dr. Sanchez in Brazil.

Ranjit Deshmukh, Dr. Caio Sanchez, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Campinas, and Anand Gopal. (Photo credit SERC).

This article was written by Ranjit Deshmukh.

SERC is engaged in an exciting biomass to energy project in collaboration with the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) group at the University of California (UC) Berkeley. SERC and RAEL are studying the feasibility of using gasification of sugarcane residue, called bagasse, for efficient cogeneration (heat and electricity) in the sugar industry. The client, Indonesian Sugar Group, wants to set up low carbon sugar mills; in other words, mills that produce the most amount of heat and electricity per quantity of fuel. Gasification combined with gas and steam turbines has the potential to be more efficient than traditional direct combustion power generation systems. By installing high efficiency power generation systems, the mills will be able to produce surplus electricity that can then be exported to the grid. In addition to earning revenues through electricity sales, the mills stand to earn more by selling carbon credits through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol.

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Student Work at SERC

UNPEPP Interns with Ray Cozby

Redwood National and State Parks Chief of Facilities Management Ray Cozby with energy interns Jeffrey Hinton, Lucas Siegfried, and Teresa Persons. (Photo credit SERC).

SERC welcomes eight student employees to our program, a two- fold increase in just one month. Four Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) students joined our project researching the quality, performance, and cost of electric lanterns using white light emitting diode (WLED) technology: Ryan Vicente, James Apple, and Andrea Yarberry are quantifying the effects of indoor air pollution associated with the use of kerosene lanterns in Kenya; Patricia Lai is researching the issues associated with battery disposal due to the replacement of kerosene lanterns with WLED lamps.

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Biomass Gasification Update

Gasifier Installation

SERC Research Engineer Mark Rocheleau (front left) and student research assistants assemble the biomass gasifier. (Photo credit SERC).

This update was written by Joe Purdon.

The gasifier has safely arrived from India! It is currently being installed here at SERC (see photo, below) and we expect to be generating gas within a month or two. SERC also received the gas chromatograph (GC). This instrument will be used to analyze the producer gas from the gasifier. Over the past two months, we have been studying the accuracy and precision of the GC with calibration gas. This gas mimics what will eventually come from the gasifier. The GC appears to be functioning very well.

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A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

As I write this, we have 15 students studying and working at the Center, our largest number ever.    They range from graduate students serving as research assistants on various projects, to three undergraduate UNPEPPers working as summer interns on our 6th University-National Park Energy Partnership Program, to a local high school student helping with our HyTEC hydrogen education project. It’s wonderful having all that student enthusiasm and energy at the lab.

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