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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Biomass as Solution to Marinduque's Power Crises

Image from planetoverhaul.com

In my posting yesterday, I discussed the possible alternate energy sources to solve the long term Power Crises in Marinduque. On the top of the list is biomass. I personally believe that is the most feasible solution compared to other alternate energy sources( Geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, solar etc..)because Marinduque has an abundance of agricultural waste. This includes both terrestrial as well as aquatic matter such as wood, herbaceous plants, algae, aquatic plants and residues, like straw, husks, corncobs, cow dung, saw-dust, wood shavings and other wastes like disposable garbage, night soil, sewage solids, industrial refuse etc..So what is biomass? Please continue reading..

The term biomass refers to all organic matter generated through photosynthesis and other biological processes. In order to utilise these resources properly, biomass should be converted to energy. Three main approaches can be adopted for generation and proper utilization.

1. Collection of agricultural and forest residues to produce fuels, organic manures and chemical feed stock.

2. Collection of urban and industrial wastes as fuel in boilers and as a feedstock for producing methane and some liquid fuels.

3. Growth of some specific energy plants for use as energy feed stock and cultivation of commercial forestry, aquatic and marine plants for different products.

By a number of processes, the collected wastes can be converted into solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. The technologies include thermal, thermo-chemical and bio-chemical conversions. The actual processes in these technologies are combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, alcoholic fermentation, liquefaction etc.

The main products of conversion technologies are energy (thermal, steam, electricity), solid fuels (charcoal, combustibles) and synthetic fuels (methanol, methane, hydrogen gas etc.). These can be used for different purposes like cooking, lighting, heating, water pumping, electricity generation and as industrial and transport fuels.

Types of Biomass
Depending on the nature and availability of these wastes and organic residues they can be utilized in different manners as described here.

1. Fuel biomass

By some processes and procedures, biomass products like fuel gas, liquid fuels, gaseous fuels etc. are obtained, which are given here

a. Biomass from plants or animal origin are directly burnt for cooking and other purposes. Municipal and sewage wastes, industrial wastes and agricultural wastes are converted to energy which can meet the demand for energy in rural sector.

b. Paddy straw and rice husk can be profitably converted to fuel gas by thermal decomposition (Combustion)

c. Ethanol, which is used as a liquid fuel can be produced from carbohydrates by alcoholic fermentation.

d. When wood and agricultural residues are heated in the absence of air (pyrolysis), charcoal is the resultant product which can be used as a fuel more advantageously than wood.

e. By the process of gasification, gas is evolved which can be used as a fuel for engines.

f. Biogas, which is popular in rural areas is produced by anaerobic fermentation from farm wastes.

2. Feed biomass

Conventionally, crop residues are used as cattle-feed. However, some of them with high percentage of lignin or non-digestible constituents need certain treatments such as soaking in water, alkali/alcohol to make their use as a fuel. The oil-cakes of various crop seed like cotton, rubber, tobacco etc. can also be used as a feed after extraction of toxic materials.

3. Organic fertilizer biomass

Dry fermented slurry can be used as a direct organic fertilizer for crop land.

4. Fibre biomass

The fibrous agricultural wastes and residues are being profitably utilised for making pulp for cheap grade paper.

5. Chemical biomass

Highly siliconous agricultural residues like rice husk and rice straw can be converted into useful chemicals like morphous silicon, silicate products and solar grade silicon. Furfural an another chemical can be produced from biogases, cotton seed hulls, corn-cobs, flax fibres, oat hulls etc., which is used as a solvent for some petroleum products.

Source: www.world-agriculture.com

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