Friday, November 13, 2009

Electricity from sugarcane biomass...

Engineer Vikram Seebaluck of the University of Mauritius and energy technology Dipeeka Seeruttun of the Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden, have demonstrated that an optimal blend of sugarcane agricultural residues (30%) mixed with 70% sugarcane bagasse (the fibrous residue left after sugar production) can be used to generate electricity at a cost of just 0.06 US dollars per kilowatt hour. That figure is on a par with the costs of other renewable energies, including wind power at $0.05/kWh.

Currently, sugarcane bagasse is burnt for onsite heat and electricity production at sugar factories and surplus electricity is exported to the grid. That still leaves 24 tonnes per hectare of waste in the fields. As per the claim by the researchers, the waste has a similar energy content to bagasse, which could make it technically viable to use this material together with bagasse in a more effective way for electricity production. The 30:70 mixture of waste and bagasse reduces the risk of fouling or slagging of the furnaces used to burn the material. I would say a kannada proverb "kasadinda rasa"..(meaning sweet solution from the waste)

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