A review of biomass integrated-gasifier/gas turbine combined cycle technology and its application in sugarcane industries, with an analysis for Cuba

Eric D. Larson, Robert H. Williams, M. Regis L.V. Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biomass integrated-gasifier/gas turbine combined cycle (BIG/GTCC) systems will be capable of producing up to twice as much electricity per unit of biomass consumed and are expected to have lower capital investment requirements per kW of capacity than condensing-extraction steam turbine (CEST) systems, the present-day commercial technology for electricity production from biomass. The significant levels of biomass available as by-products of sugarcane-processing offer a potentially attractive application for BIG/GTCC systems. We review BIG/GTCC designs and ongoing demonstration and commercial projects and present estimates of the performance of two different BIG/GTCC plant configurations integrated into sugar or sugar-and-ethanol factories. Because of the importance of operating a cogeneration facility the year round in order to achieve attractive economics, we present estimates of the availability of and collection cost for sugarcane trash (tops and leaves) as a fuel supplementary to bagasse. We present estimated costs for electricity generated by commercially mature BIG/GTCC systems using sugarcane-biomass for fuel in a Southeast Brazilian context. The electricity costs are prospectively competitive with CEST-generated electricity, which motivates our analysis of how many BIG/GTCC units might need building (and at what cost) in order to reduce capital costs to competitive levels. We conclude with an assessment of the potential impacts on the Cuban energy sector of the introduction of BIG/GTCC cogeneration systems in that country's sugarcane industry. Cuba's high per-capita production of sugarcane and its heavy dependence on oil for energy provide attractive conditions for a large-scale energy-from-sugarcane program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-76
Number of pages23
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A review of biomass integrated-gasifier/gas turbine combined cycle technology and its application in sugarcane industries, with an analysis for Cuba'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this