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.