Biomass Gasification Update

Gasifier Start Up

SERC staff gathers for the much-anticipated initial system start-up. See additional start-up photos on the back page. (Photo credit SERC).

This article was written by Ranjit Deshmukh.

We have successfully completed the first phase of our three- year Indonesian Gasification project in collaboration with the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley. The project is designed to provide support and advice to the Indonesian Sugar Group (ISG) to play a role in the emerging clean energy markets.

During the first year of the project, we focused on two main areas. The first one included a preliminary study of low carbon bio-fuels and identifying opportunities for the ISG to market their low carbon ethanol. The second one is associated with the combined sale of renewable electricity and carbon credits. The Indonesian sugar factories are not designed to efficiently generate surplus electricity since they are not connected to the electricity grid. However, once connected to the grid, the factories have the opportunity to generate surplus electricity by installing high-pressure boiler and turbine systems or integrated gasification combined cycle systems. We developed thermodynamic models for different scenarios of sugar factories incorporating high efficiency direct combustion or gasification systems to estimate the electricity export potential for ISG. We also completed a study of carbon markets identifying opportunities for ISG to generate additional revenues via the sale of carbon credits through the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto protocol or voluntary carbon markets.