Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuelcombustion is raising new interest in using renewable biomass for energy. Modest-scale cogeneration systems using air-blown gasifiers coupled to aeroderivative gas turbines are expected tohave high efficiencies andlow unit capital costs, making them well-suited for use with biomass. Biomass-gasifier/gas turbine (BIG/GT) technology is not commercial, but efforts aimed at near-term commercialization are ongoing worldwide. Estimated performance and cost and prospects for commercial development of twoBIG/GT systems are described, one using solid biomass fuel (e.g., wood chips), the other using kraft black liquor. At an energy-efficient kraft pulp mill, a BIG/GT cogeneration system could produce over three times as much electricity as is typically produced today. Themill’s on-site energy needs could be met and a large surplus of electricity would be available for export. Using in addition currently unutilized forest residues for fuel, electricity production would be nearly five times today’s level. The total cost to produce the electricityin excess of on-site needs is estimated to be below 4 cents per kWh in most cases. At projected growth rates for kraft pulp production, the associated biomass residue fuels could support up to 100 GW of BIG/GT capacity at kraft pulp mills worldwide in 2020 (30 GW in the US). The excess electricity production worldwide in 2020 would be equivalent to 10 percent of today’s electricity production from fossil fuels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Aerospace Engineering
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Mechanical Engineering