Keywords: biomass waste, gasification, electric power generation, gas-supply system, down-draft gasifier, circulating fluidised-bed gasifier, demonstration project, economics, commercialisation, China
Energy from biomass and waste – case studies in China
With its vast territory and abundant biomass resources, China appears to have suitable conditions to develop biomass energy. It has long been recognised that it is important to develop advanced technologies for conversion of biomass into clean and convenient fuels in order to raise the efficiency of biomass energy utilisation and alleviate air pollution. Through past efforts some progress in biomass energy has been made, as illustrated in this paper by two case studies in China: 1. integrated biomass gasification and gas-supply system (Shandong Province) - in this project, a number of demonstration stations for biomass gasification and gas-supply have been constructed in various rural villages; these stations process agricultural residues, such as straw, into gas fuel using modern gasification technology and distribute the gas for household consumption. The size of the rural villages having such gas-supply stations ranges from as small as only 60 households, to as large as more than 1000 households. 2. A MW-scale biomass gasification and power generation system (Hainan Province) - in this project, an MW-scale biomass power plant was constructed at the Sanya Timber Factory. The central technology of this biomass power plant is an advanced circulating fluidised-bed (CFB) gasifier system. This power plant makes use of only the wood waste generated in the Sanya Timber Factory as fuel, and can supply electricity to partially meet the power demand of the Sanya Timber Factory. It is suggested that biomass energy projects have significant benefits in terms of environmental protection and energy conservation, although some aspects related to systems efficiency, secondary pollution by wastewater, and process economics, etc., are in need of further improvement.