1361 Advanced Biomass Conversion Technologies

Throughout the world, there is extensive interest in increasing the use of biomass for power generation. This interest arises primarily from environmental considerations related to global warming. To encourage the expanded use of biomass for power, governments and industries are sponsoring ongoing research and development programs. Current efforts include the following:

• Cofiring biomass with coal — cocombustion of biomass with coal reduces SOx emissions and reduces net CO2 emissions. By adding a biomass feed-handling system, existing coal-fired power generation facilities can use biomass. This approach allows the amount of biomass to be rapidly increased and creates the infrastructure for future biopower from dedicated energy crops. This is appropriate for existing, large-scale facilities.

• Advanced conversion technologies — research is being conducted on systems to improve the efficiency of power generation from biomass, which would be suitable for small-scale applications. In most cases, biomass would first be gasified to produce a clean fuel gas. The gasification process can either be thermochemical or biological in nature The gas would then be used in applications such as gas turbines (250 kWe to, perhaps, 50 MWe), fuel cells (less than 1 MWe), Stirling engines (less than 1 MWe), and IC engines (a few hundred kWe).

It may also be possible to produce a low-cost liquid "biocrude" through emerging pyrolysis technologies. These fuels may be suitable for fueling gas turbines, IC engines, or Stirling engines.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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