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Pelletization: an alternative for polygeneration in the palm oil industry
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3950-0809
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7972-0876
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3661-7016
2013 (English)In: Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, ISSN 2190-6815, Vol. 3, no 3, 213-229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agricultural residues continue to attract interest for energy recovery purposes as a renewable, CO2 neutral and increasingly cost-competitive alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Furthermore, some of these residues, like palm oil residues, represent a disposal problem for the processing industries, or they are not used efficiently. Several palm oil mills (POM) lack efficient energy systems and thus there is a considerable potential for improvement. These factors represent a strong driving force for the development of innovative polygeneration plants with combined electricity, heat and refined fuel production based on conversion of solid residues. This paper aims at analyzing the use of agro-industrial residues as fuel. For that, we propose different technology configurations based on the case of a small-scale palm oil mill in Colombia processing 30 tons of fresh fruit bunch per hour. The technology configurations include steam cycles using backpressure turbines, condensing-extraction turbines and also gasification-gas engine cycles in hybrid configurations. The possibilities to produce pellets from the residues from palm oil were also analyzed. The steam cycle base operational parameters were 20 bar and 350 °C. However, more advanced steam conditions (40 bar) were also considered and evaluated. All the analyses performed included a maximum of 60 % of the empty fruit bunch (EFB) produced in the POM for energy purposes due to its value as natural fertilizer in the palm oil plantations. The results show that the POM under study and other POMs that use electricity from the national grid have the capacity of being self-sufficient to cover of all their energy needs using the solid residues available. This means that POMs that currently only generate the required heat for the process can generate the electricity required and in some cases even an excess of energy that could be sold to other users with an adequate use of the residues available. Furthermore, based on the modeling done in Aspen Utilities Planner® it is shown that it is possible to cover the demand of the POM, the required energy demand for EFB preparation included possible pelletization of these residues and even generate an excess of electricity. In several of the configurations, excess electricity generation could be achieved in the range of 0.5–8 MW.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 3, 213-229 p.
Keyword [en]
Bioenergy, Polygeneration, Palm oil residues, Pellets, EFB
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-123159DOI: 10.1007/s13399-013-0075-5OAI: diva2:624944

QC 20150624

Available from: 2013-06-03 Created: 2013-06-03 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On the optimal use of industrial-generated biomass residues for polygeneration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the optimal use of industrial-generated biomass residues for polygeneration
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increasing energy demand as well as climate change concerns call for an analysis and optimization of energy services. Efficient use of energy resources, mitigation of environmental effects and supply an increasing demand are just some of the issues that are relevant nowadays in the energy system. In this regard, worldwide efforts are being made to increase the use of renewable energy and to promote energy efficiency measures in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Thus, sustainable solutions that take a holistic approach on covering the demands of the society are needed.  The work presented herein addresses the use of industrial derived biomass residues for energy purposes in different contexts. The analysis was focused on: a) different alternatives to use solid palm oil residues in the Colombian mills for energy purposes including services b) the possibilities of implementing biomass-based heat and power plants in the Swedish energy system and their integration with already established biomass processing industries for polygeneration purposes.

The assessment of the palm oil residues consisted on a technical analysis of the possible alternatives for electricity, heat, and biofuels production. For that, a thermodynamic approach was used to evaluate different alternatives.  The assessment of biomass power plant integrated with the Swedish industry considered the thermodynamic, economic and environmental factors associated with certain energy conversion technologies. In this case a multiobjective optimization methodology was used to perform the thermoeconomic analysis. This allowed the evaluation of two contrasting scenarios were polygeneration at industrial level could be suggested: a less economically developed country where environmental policies are limited and industrial energy efficiency has not been implemented and a high income country with energy and environmental policies well established and energy efficiency measures being encouraged.

Results show that the palm oil industry in Colombia has the capacity of being self-sufficient to cover of all their energy needs using the solid residues available. In the case of the thermoeconomic assessment of biomass-based integrated polygeneration plants in Sweden the results indicate that it is feasible to produce power while supplying the process steam required by nearby industries and district heating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xx, 100 p.
TRITA-KRV, ISSN 1100-7990 ; 2014:01
Polygeneration, Optimization, Palm Oil, Biomass, forest residues, Colombia, Sweden
National Category
Energy Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140312 (URN)978-91-7501-990-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-04, B3, Brinellvägen 23, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE-2005-386Swedish Energy Agency, P30148

QC 20140121

Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-20 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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