Rabu, 28 April 2010

Biomass Oil Palm Utilization: Sustainable Waste to Renewable Energy Solution



All economic activity begins with physical materials and energy carriers (fuels and electric power). Without materials, there can be no food, shelter technology; without energy, there is no work—and no economic activity. In this transformation era, we need reliable sustainable resource to sufficient the need of energy. Biomass waste from oil palm is one become reliable resource because availability, continuity and capacity for renewable energy solution. Additional fact that in current situation the most biomass oil palm is environmental problem and not yet exploitated. Many consideration such economic, energy balance, technological and environmental must keep balance to meet best solution of utilization biomass oil palm.

Abundance raw material available because around 90% of palm tree consist of biomass and the rest that around 10% consist of oil become very attractive business, since the market of the product wide open, technology available and reliable resources from two biomass rich countries, Indonesia and Malaysia. Malaysia current oil palm plantation around 4.2 M ha, it means 20% from Malaysian land and Indonesia have approximately 7 M ha oil palm plantation.


JFE become the best choice on this field, since the technology can produce salable products with very attractive bottom line or convert all that waste into money. Integrated plant with combination CHP and biochemical plant is the next option to expand this business. While CHP for local used especially to develop economic growth in rural area or add efficiency in palm oil mill then biochar or torrified wood become attractive export commodity and the last biochemical industry can be build in this area using biooil as raw material. This program also inline with decentralization and deployment policy of renewable energy based on local resources. Industry efficiency of palm oil mill can be reach because the CHP will produce electrity and steam that reduce energy bill of the palm oil mill.



In this current situation (2010), Indonesia only have electricity ratio around 62% and 80% targeting in 2014. Of course this need much effort to reach the target. JFE will help you become electricity provider (Independent Power Producer) using the syngas as side product generate electricity to sufficient the need of electricity. Indonesian Ministerial Regulation No. 002/2006 concerning (Distributed Renewable Energy Medium Scale Power Plant): Mandate that PT. PLN should purchase renewable energy power plants in the range of 1 - 10 MW for a period 10 years with a purchase price of 0.8 local production cost if connected at high voltage and 0.6 of production cost if connected at low voltage.

Jumat, 16 April 2010

Torrefaction is The Most Efficient Way of Harnessing Biomass Energy and especially the best solution for EFB problem in SE Asian POMs


Taiwan's Minister Stephen Shu-hung Shen has suggestion that Torrefaction is The Most Efficient Way of Harnessing Biomass Energy . He explain it as part of an effort to gain participation in the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. Torrefaction is the roasting of wood or other biomass to create a product that (1) has increased energy density; (2) has characteristics that make it easy to handle and transport; and (3) is practical to co-fire in existing coal plants.

Then, Portland General Electric submitted a letter to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission laying out a plan to either shut down the Boardman coal-fired power plant or discontinue use of coal as the fuel source for that plant. Portland General Electric's letter follows a November 5, 2009 Integrated Resource Plan in which the utility recommended the installation of $520 million to $560 million of emissions control retrofits to comply with new rules from the state Environmental Quality Commission (EQC).

Portland General Electric then suggested that they are considering torrefied wood as a fuel source:
PGE spokesman Steve Corson said the company is keeping a close eye on research around a biomass technology called “torrefaction.”
The end product could be a direct substitute for coal, allowing the Boardman plant to continue operating but using a renewable and carbon-friendly feedstock. Torrefaction removes moisture and low energy volatiles from the roasted wood, producing a product that is more energy dense (more energy per unit of weight) than wood and almost as dense as coal. The significance of this increased energy density is shown in the following comparison.

The other benefit of torrified wood is more economical to transport than units of green wood or wood pellets with similar total energy content. Torrefied wood is also more durable than green wood or wood pellets because it (1) is moisture resistant and can be shipped in bulk open containers and stored uncovered and handled in a manner similar to coal, and (2) can withstand 1.5 to 2 times the crushing force of wood pellets. Thus, when compared to green wood or wood pellets, torrefied wood can be transported cheaper, farther and with less environmental impact from transportation operations.

Grinds Similar to Coal. Torrefied material grinds similar to coal. It can be ground in many existing facilities, easing its integration into existing coal facilities. By comparison, wood pellets are difficult to grind, effectively prohibiting their use in most existing coal plants. Burns Similar to Coal. While torrefied wood is a renewable, carbon neutral resource, it burns similar to coal. Certain volatiles and other compounds (hemi-cellulose material contained in wood) are largely eliminated in the torrefaction process, making torrefied materials easier to co-fire in power plants originally designed to use only coal.

This change in the chemical composition of the wood not only increases the energy density, but also improves the manner in which the wood is burned in a coal gasifier, thus permitting more of the energy to be converted into electricity. This makes the energy content of torrefied wood more valuable. By comparison, wood pellets contain volatile organic compounds that release smoke when burned. These volatiles can create slag or ash in existing coal power plants and restrict the use of wood pellets in such plants.

The integration of torrefied wood into existing coal power plants requires no upfront capital investment by the coal plant operator. Thus, torrefied wood provides existing coal burning utilities the ability to produce green energy with no upfront cost. Torrefied wood is a renewable resource under current EU law and the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (as passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year and currently pending in the Senate). As a result, coal plant operators can obtain renewable energy and/or carbon trading credits by incorporating torrefied wood into their production process.

JFE believe that torrefied wood presents current economically viable opportunities for large scale production of renewable energy. Indonesian has a renewable energy source with huge potential and abundant, but their utilization is still very limited.The first sequence is solar, then the second is biomass and geothermal in the third (please refer table below). Abundant biomass waste and will decompose (fermented to produce methane) causes environmental problems need to be addressed immediately.

Indonesia and Malaysia is the biggest CPO producer in the world with more than 500 Palm Oil Mills. There are number of solid and liquid waste streams from the Palm Oil Mill processes. Solid wastes include empty fruit bunch (EFB), fiber and shell with liquid wastes including oil sludge and Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME).
Based on a PALM OIL MILL capacity 30 T FFB / hour, the following solid waste
streams are produced:
EFB: 6.9 T/hour or 165.6 T/day
Fiber: 3.9 T/hour or 93.6 T/day
Shell: 1.95 T/hour or 46.8 T/day.

The key to the success of the JFBC systems is the simplicity of design and ease of operations. Once the plant is up to a specific temperature using fuel oil, simply load the feed bin, keep an eye on the temperature and charcoal, bio-oil and biogas comes out, each into its own holding tanks.

The heart of the JFBC patent pending system is the air absent retorts. In a continuous process, raw organic material of any kind is passed through the retorts and cooked into marketable products. While some of the biogas is used to fuel its own process, on site gas turbines or steam boilers can be fueled by the same gas. Variable speed drives give the operator total control on product quality by altering the residence time of the feed stock.

The operator can also vary the percentage split between the bio-oil and charcoal by changing the temperature. Higher temp will yield more oil while lower will get you more charcoal or torrified Wood.JFBS Pyrolysis technology can produce biochar (charcoal) or torrified wood. Priority to processing it depends on many consideration especially yielded added value and availability of raw material.

Jumat, 02 April 2010

Biochar Carbon Sequestration – A Manipulation of the Carbon Cycle by Dr Christoph Steiner


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and stored in organic matter. When plants grow they utilize sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O)to synthesize organic matter and release oxygen (O2). This accumulated organic matter is returned to the atmosphere by decomposition of dead plant tissue or disturbances, such as fire, in which large amounts of organic matter are oxidized and rapidly transferred into CO2.

Reduced decomposition is an advantage of carbonized organic matter (charcoal, biochar). Thus, biochar formation has important implications for the global carbon cycle. In natural and agroecosystems residual charcoal is produced by incomplete burning. As the soil carbon pool declines due to cultivation, the more resistant biochar fraction increases as a portion of the total carbon pool and may constitute up to 35% of the total soil organic carbon (SOC). The half-life of biochar was estimated to be 1400 years, and thus a permanent form of carbon sequestration.
Biochar can be produced by thermo-chemical conversion of biomass.

Burning biomass in the absence of oxygen produces biochar and products of incomplete combustion (PIC). The PIC include burnable gases such as H2 and CH4. These gases can be used to fuel the conversion of biomass into biochar and/or renewable energy generation. Larger molecules can be condensed into bio-oil and also used as a renewable fuel. The resulting biochar consists of mainly carbon and is characterized by a very high recalcitrance against decomposition. Thus biochar decelerates
(manipulates) the second part of the carbon cycle (decay, mineralization) and its non-fuel use would establish a carbon sink. Lenton and Vaughan (2009) rated biochar as the best geo-engineering option to reduce CO2 levels.

It is predicted that 109 hectares of natural ecosystems would be converted to agriculture by 2050. This would cause a further massive loss of ecosystem function and species extinction. Reducing these impacts and at the same time doubling and sustaining food production, and mitigating climate change and adapting to a changing climate probably represents the greatest challenge facing humankind.


There is hope that biochar carbon sequestration could sequester significant amounts of carbon while simultaneously increasing the resilience of agricultural systems to environmental influences. Throughout the world intensive agricultural land use often has resulted in soil physical and chemical degradation, and higher losses than input rates of nutrients and organic materials. In contrast, the intentional and unintentional deposition of nutrient-rich materials within human habitation sites and field areas has in many cases produced conditions of heightened fertility status. An anthropogenically-enriched dark soil found throughout the lowland portion of the Amazon Basin and termed Terra Preta de ├Źndio is one such example. Its fertility is the secondary result of the transport of natural and produced foods, building materials, and fuel to prehistoric dwelling places.

These materials and their byproducts were then transformed and differentially distributed within the zone of habitation and associated garden areas. This is in contrast to today’s urban wastes which are deposited as contaminated toxic material far away from settlements or agricultural fields.

Sustainable agricultural practices will need to reverse soil degradation without an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, despite the challenge to double food production until 2050. This will require a material flow management involving both nutrients and carbon. This presentation will summarize the present knowledge, historical use and global prospects of biochar carbon sequestration.