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Energy Crops for Biomass power generation, energy crops in india, biomass energy companies india, emerging energy crops, castor bean, water hyacinths, Marjestica, Beema Bamboo and Melia dubia, algae, tissue culture, tree adaption process, chinese tallow, kudzu, castor seed, sesame, jatropha, solid biomass, liquid biomass, biodiesel, beema bamboo yield,


                    TABLE OF CONTENTS


















* Miscanthus Grass For Biomass An Economic Alternative For Unusable Land

North Carolina farmers and landowners are participating in program to grow giant miscanthus grass for renewable products using underutilized and marginal land.

Giant miscanthus grass is a rapidly renewable biomass crop that provides a viable economic alternative for many farmers and landowners with underutilized and marginal land that might otherwise lay dormant or fail to provide annual profits.

Perennial giant miscanthus grows well under a range of soil and environmental conditions. It requires little to grow and maintain. It's a simple, convenient and profitable crop to raise.

Planting biomass at commercial scale includes solving the significant challenge of establishing rhizome-propagated crops.

Miscanthus can turn out to be viable in india too.

more 26/5/14

* Miscanthus



Miscanthus, a relative of sugar cane that looks like bamboo, could be the Midwest’s next energy crop. But in a region dominated by corn and soybeans, it has yet to fully catch on, even as advocates tout its advantages.


The tall, stalky grass is native to Southeast Asia. It would remind Vietnam veterans of something they called “elephant grass” and often destroyed with Agent Orange. And miscanthus is the king of biomass fiber – one acre can yield 15 tons. Plant this perennial once and it keeps on giving for up to 20 years, with limited chemicals necessary.

Miscanthus is a genus of about 15 species of perennial grasses native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia, with one species (M. sinensis) extending north into temperate eastern Asia. Miscanthus giganteus.  The sterile hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus, Miscanthus giganteus or "E-grass", has been trialed as a biofuel in Europe since the early 1980s. The rapid growth, low mineral content and high biomass yield of Miscanthus make it a favorite choice as a biofuel. After harvest, it can be burned to produce heat and steam for power turbines.


At this point, though, Iowa’s total crop is a mere 50 acres or so, and farmers in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and other states have planted small amounts. But miscanthus is a viable fuel; it’s fairly common in Europe.


“Miscanthus is such a new crop that we are the first 16 acres to be planted in Iowa,” said Steve Schomberg, who has Iowa’s largest miscanthus farm, in Muscatine County. “It gets gawkers, yes. People stop along the road and talk about it, (and ask) ‘What are you growing there?’”

Miscanthus is native to Asia. It was brought into the United States primarily for ornamental purposes. It has been introduced or spread throughout the eastern United States, Colorado, and California. Relatively unknown in France, Miscanthus giganteus is now in the European spotlight as a biofuel crop. Currently miscanthus giganteus is the energy crop of choice in Europe. It is grown there commercially to provide fuel for clean, affordable electricity and heat. Miscanthus will grow in relatively cold (Zone 5) as well as warm climates (Zone 9).Miscanthus also shows promise as a leading feedstock crop, based on its exceptional biomass yields with minimal production inputs in recent European and U.S. field trials.


Schomberg’s crop will be mixed with coal and turned into steam and electricity at the University of Iowa power plant. The key challenge, according to the campus utility’s principal engineer, Ferman Milster, is the absence of a biomass market.


“It’s not like a commodities market like coal or natural gas or oil,” Milster said. “But I think, given time and continued movement toward a more sustainable energy source, we will see biomass develop and continue to look more like a commodity.”


As a component in the school’s renewable energy plan, the University of Iowa recently planted 13 more acres of miscanthus and is recruiting Iowa farmers with the goal of having 2,500 acres in production by the end of 2016. 


In Illinois, grain farmer Eric Rund is promoting miscanthus as a heating fuel on the farm, instead of using the more expensive liquid propane. He says farmers in Austria and Germany grow miscanthus and burn it on their farms to heat their homes and livestock buildings. And Rund isn’t the only one, according to Travis Hedrick at bioenergy company Repreve Renewables.

One acre of Giant Miscanthus, yielding 13 tons of harvestable dry matter, can produce the same amount of energy as 12 tons of Powder River Basin coal. Miscanthus x giganteus is a perennial grass that grows as tall as 12 feet high and can produce an impressive 15 tons of biomass per acre annually, according to University of Illinois research.


“This year in our 2014 trailblazer program, we’ve propagated over 1,000 acres in North Carolina, Mississippi, Iowa and Wisconsin,” Hedrick said. 

  • Miscanthus is a large perennial grass with potential for use in energy production.
  • Non-invasive- planted fields land easily reclaimed for corn/soy bean.
  • High yielding, low/no input.
  • Excellent for carbon sequestration and soil building.
  • Yield estimates from 10-15 tons per acre.
  • Potential income generation through carbon credits
  • Stores carbon in soil - soil restoration and carbon sink tool
  • Low nutrient content - low ash content -- very clean burning High water use efficiency
  • Harvested using existing farm equipment
  • Alternative markets: high quality paper, building materials, and fermentation


�         High planting costs.

�         Some related strains of Miscanthus that are so fertile that it may become invasive.


Using biomass crops for energy could create more environmentally friendly fuels. Researchers want to blend miscanthus with existing fuel sources, said Iowa State University agronomist Emily Heaton.


“When I look at a crop like this, I see a chance to make fossil fuels cleaner,” Heaton said. “Because what we’re talking about is blending this clean grassy biomass with coal, so it just cleans up coal a little bit.”


* Miscanthus grass for renewable energy goals


Giant miscanthus — a warm-season grass native to Eastern Asia and known for its high yields — could play a role in changing that, said Ferman Milster, principal engineer of renewables at the University of Iowa's Office of Sustainability.

For starters, however, miscanthus will be part of UI's Biomass Fuel Project, which has a goal of achieving 40 percent renewable energy by 2020. Finding biomass, such as miscanthus, to co-fire with coal and burn in the university power plant is an important part of the initiative because it reduces the consumption of fossil fuels.

But miscanthus also can be good for Iowa farmers.

Iowa has been under pressure for years to diversify its farming methods to cut down on soil erosion and nutrient run off. Miscanthus can do both — and everything it needs to grow is in Iowa.

"Soil and solar are two natural resources we have," Milster said. "All we have to do is employ them to get our energy."



Biomass Power In India, Market Outlook to 2025 : Report

"Biomass Power in India, Market Outlook to 2025, 2013 Update - Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy, Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles" is the latest report from GlobalData, the industry analysis specialists that offer comprehensive information and understanding of the biomass power market in India. The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global biomass power market with forecasts up to 2025. The report analyzes the power market scenario in India (includes thermal conventional, nuclear, large hydro and renewables) and provides future outlook with forecasts up to 2025. The research details renewable power market outlook in the country (includes wind, small hydro, biopower and solar PV) and provides forecasts up to 2025. The report highlights installed capacity, power generation, biopower market segmentation based on feedstock and number of homes powered during 2001-2025 in India biomass power market. The research analyzes deals, investment trends and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for biomass power in India during 2012-2025. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to biomass market development is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants

The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalData's team of industry experts
. Courtesy

Buy here

*New company launched focusing on innovative cellulosic biomass :Purdue University

In Indiana, Purdue University researchers are launching a company focusing on an innovative process that could revolutionize how lignocellulosic biomass is used to make biofuels and other bio-based products and chemicals. Spero Energy Inc., which is based in the Purdue Research Park, will be led by Mahdi Abu-Omar, the R.B. Wetherill Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and associate director of Purdue’s Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio). more..

*NEW Biomass technology revealed


Wood chippings can be converted into high energy gas using the MILENA gasification process.  

The MILENA gasification process that converts waste and biomass into combustible gas with high energy content (12-15 MJ/Nm3), developed by Dutch energy institute ECN, will be applied on a global scale in the next few years. ECN has signed a license agreement with Dutch company Royal Dahlman, which will implement this technology in various countries and across many different projects.

With innovative MILENA gasification, various kinds of waste and biomass can be converted into high energy gas. In ECN’s testing facility wood and agricultural waste from soya or rice was used. The gas MILENA produces can be converted to a) electricity through combined heat and power stations or gas turbines, b) into bio diesel and other transportation fuels or c) into biogas for the grid. Thus, MILENA helps solve both waste and energy problems.

To remove tar from the gas ECN has developed “OLGA” technology. Royal Dahlman uses both technologies. In the Dutch city of Alkmaar a testing plant has been constructed for the gasification of waste. Meanwhile in India, a testing facility has been built to generate electricity from agricultural waste. And finally in the UK the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has selected Royal Dahlman to design cost effective waste-to-energy plant, combining MILENA and OLGA.more.

* Biomass energy the new grid stabalizer : US

As energy costs rise, more Americans are turning to bioenergy to provide power to their homes and workplaces. Bioenergy is renewable energy made from organic sources, such as biomass. Technology has advanced enough that biomass power plants small enough to fit on a farm can be built at relatively low costs. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that creating a bioenergy grid with these small plants could benefit people in rural areas of the country as well as provide relief to an overworked national power grid.


"Transporting power through power lines to remote, rural areas is very inefficient and can be expensive for farmers and other rural citizens," said Tom Johnson, the Frank Miller Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the MU College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources and professor in the MU Truman School of Public Affairs. "Farmers already have access to a large amount of biomass material left over each year after harvests. If they had access to small biomass power plants, they could become close to self-sustaining in terms of power. If the grid was improved enough, they could even provide additional power to other people around the country, helping to stabilize the national power grid. This could help save rural citizens money and be a boon for rural economies."


Johnson says that as citizens of rural areas become bioenergy producers, they will realize other advantages. First, local transportation costs are lower compared to regions that must import transportation fuels providing local businesses with an advantage over urban centers. Second, major consumers of processed energy, such as some manufacturers and firms with large air conditioning needs, will find rural areas more attractive because of their lower prices for energy. Johnson says none of these benefits will be realized unless policymakers work with people from rural areas to provide funding to grow the infrastructure.


"This is unlikely to occur without clearly articulated goals coupled with strategic guidance from policy," Johnson said. "We need an integration of policy and programs among community leaders, rural entrepreneurs and economic developers or practitioners who act as conduits between entrepreneurs and policy. In order to grow this bioeconomy, the goals of these actors need to be aligned."


Johnson does warn that if this bioeconomy system is created, safeguards must be in place to protect the renewable resources, such as biomass. He also says mechanisms must be in place to ensure an equitable distribution of the rewards from investing; otherwise, local citizens risk becoming impoverished by the destruction of renewable resources and potential environmental degradation.Courtesy MU Truman School of public affairs and University of Missouri-Columbia


*Organic biomass into electricity

Maple Reinders were recipients of the annual Canadian Construction Association (CCA) National Awards Program in the Environmental category, for their innovative Harvest Energy Garden project.  

In addition, KPMG has named the project one of the Top 100 Infrastructure Projects in the World. 

The first of its kind in North America, The Harvest Energy Garden in Richmond is able to convert organic waste into electricity.  Using commercial and residential kitchen scraps and yard waste the facility will generate enough energy to power 900 homes and also provide high-quality compost for local farms and gardens.

It utilizes an innovative High Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) technology to process solid waste material first into biogas, and subsequently into electricity generation (energy outputs of up to 20Mwh per day), and finally as high quality compost.  

The economic, social and environmental benefits of the Energy Garden are enormous.

Annually, the facility will continue to reduce carbon emissions of approximately 23,000 tonnes of C02 while generating both reusable products and renewable energy for local markets; and will process more than 30,000 tonnes of food scraps and yard trimmings diverted from British Columbia landfill sites.more..


Handbook for Solid Biomass Sustainability Certification *Biomass workshop to be held...:US

There will be a Bioenergy and Bioproducts priority theme workshop held in Upper Carson Gulley Commons (map) on Monday, March 24 from 1–3 pm. This will be a working meeting. Please come with a few ideas for new or existing projects you would like to propose. We will spend the meeting working in small groups developing ideas further and sharing them with others.more..

* Biomass energy suitable only for the rural!? 

A grid of rural power plants fueled by biomass could prove to be an energy solution for farmers while also reducing strain on the national power grid, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

Writing in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy, Tom Johnson, a professor of agriculture and applied economics, reports that as bioenergy becomes an evermore feasible option in rural communities, it will make more sense to generate energy locally, rather than relying on an overworked grid system.


Johnson said that transporting power to rural areas through power lines is expensive and inefficient in most cases, and that the biomass that is abundant in rural communities can be easily turned into energy. Biomass is any organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy, such as wood, wood waste, straw, manure and sugarcane. Bioenergy is the energy extracted from biomass.

It's possible now to build a biomass power plant at relatively low cost and on small plots of land, Johnson said.

"Farmers already have access to a large amount of biomass material left over each year after harvests," he said. "If they had access to small biomass power plants, they could become close to self-sustaining in terms of power. If the grid was improved enough, they could even provide additional power to other people around the country, helping to stabilize the national power grid. This could help save rural citizens money and be a boon for rural economies."

As time goes by, Johnson contends the bioenergy option will become a clear choice in rural communities. He backs this up by citing the lower transportation costs associated with sourcing fuel locally. And with abundant fuel, Johnson says large companies with large energy needs will begin to find rural areas attractive because of their low cost of energy, which could improve economies.

However, current policy that does not favor the construction of rural biofuel power plants stands in the way of this becoming a reality, Johnson said.

"This is unlikely to occur without clearly articulated goals coupled with strategic guidance from policy," he said. "We need an integration of policy and programs among community leaders, rural entrepreneurs and economic developers or practitioners who act as conduits between entrepreneurs and policy. In order to grow this bioeconomy, the goals of these actors need to be aligned."

Johnson contends that an effort will also need to be made to treat biomass as a resource and protect it as one as well. Protecting locals will be another important condition, Johnson suggests. Otherwise, local citizens living around bioenergy power stations run the risk of becoming affected by the destruction of renewable resources and potential environmental degradation. more..


* Bio energy research centre has been inaugurated : ultra modern facility

Marking an important event in the development of technology for advanced biofuels in the country, the bio-energy research centre was dedicated to the nation by Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, in the presence of Mr. R S Butola, Chairman, Indian OilBSE -1.56 % and Functional Directors at the sprawling Research & Development Centre of Indian Oil located in Faridabad. Costing about Rs. 50 crore, this centre for advanced bio-energy research has been set up jointly by Indian Oil's R&D Centre and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. 

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Vijay Raghavan advocated application of knowledge of advanced genetic engineering for designer biofuels. He said, "The DBT-IOC Centre for advanced biofuel research, with its advanced facilities, can act as a nucleus of innovative technologies Mr. Butola, Chairman, Indian Oil, said, "Indian Oil realized early on the importance of alternative fuels in our energy basket. Over the last few years, we have allocated considerable resources for research in this area. The dedication of this Centre for Advanced Bio-energy Research marks a significant step in the nation's quest for affordable, clean and secure energy." more info...





Dutch power plant successfully tests torrefied biomass pellets

A consortium consisting of Topell Energy, three electricity companies, including Essent, Nuon and GDF SUEZ, and ECN has successfully completed a large-scale cofiring test with an innovative renewable energy source at the Amer power plant in Geertruidenberg, Netherlands. With the test, the consortium proves an innovative technology to produce renewable energy with “biopellets” from biomass. The cofiring test was conducted under the “Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation Bio-based Economy” (TKI BBE) initiative.  

Nikolaus Valerius, head of the Dutch Essent power plants, explains the importance of the successful test. “Biomass is an important cost efficient and available pillar of the future renewable energy supply,” he said. “We find it important to make efficient use of this renewable energy source. Therefore, we tested the ‘torrefaction’ technology at the Amer power plant, where we have been producing green electricity with sustainable biomass for over 10 years. In the test, we efficiently dried biomass and converted it into light, dry and very energy-dense ‘biopellets’. The successful large scale cofiring of the biopellets is an important step in our contribution to a renewable energy supply where green materials are most efficiently and sustainably used.”

In the trial, a total of 2,300 tons of biopellets have been successfully transported, handled, co-milled and cofired to produce green electricity. Rob Voncken, CEO of Topell Energy, said, “The cofiring test took place in percentages ranging between 5 percent and 25 percent (on one mill) between Nov. 1 and Dec. 30, 2013 at the Amer power plant. No adverse effect on milling and burning was detected in any of the tests. The trial therefore confirms that high quality biopellets can be produced and cofired at large commercial scale. Together with its high energy content and density, this confirmation makes torrefied biomass a potential better alternative to conventional wood pellets to substitute fossil fuels.'

Kees de Gooijer, director of the TKI BBE program, said, “I am very pleased with the positive outcome of the cofiring trial. They constitute a convincing proof that torrefied biomass can contribute meaningfully to the Energy Agreement targets of the Dutch government - 25 PJ of electricity generated from biomass by 2020 - aimed at promoting green electricity and at phasing out fossil fuels. We also view this torrefaction technology as an important enabling technology for the future production of bio-based chemicals and materials.”

After this successful trial, some of the parties involved in the TKI BBE program are now discussing the next steps to mobilize larger quantities of torrefied pellets for the production of green electricity, in view of the requisites of the Dutch Energy Agreement which will come into force in 2015.   more..



Company for generating power using biomass by MNRE


In a bid to encourage renewable energy sources of power generation in India, the union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is looking at setting up a company for biomass-based power generation and promotion on the lines of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).


The proposed company would focus on promotion and generation of biomass-based power and execute projects in the country. "We are focusing to promote biomass-based power generation in the country. For this, the ministry is planning to set up a company for biomass energy same as we set up SECI last year," said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, MNRE on the sidelines of 11th Green Power conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday.





According to MNRE data, currently biomass availability in India is estimated at about 500 millions tones per year, while studies have estimated surplus biomass availability at about 120–150 million tones per annum, covering agricultural and forestry residues corresponding to a potential of about 18,000 Mw of power generation.


It may be noted here that MNRE had set up Solar Energy Corporation of India on September 2011 under section-25 of the Companies Act, 1956 with an aim to set up state-sponsored solar power projects in the country.


"Of the over 200,000 Mw of installed power generation capacities in India, nearly 12 per cent or 25,000 Mw is generated from renewable sources. Looking at the growing need for electricity and issues faced in the conventional power generation, we need to increase our focus on renewable sources," said Kapoor.


The ministry has set a target to achieve 30,000 Mw of renewable energy generation capacities in India in the current five-year plan. However, the estimated investment is pegged at Rs 2.5 lakh crore. The ministry is exploring possibilities of setting up a fund aimed at renewable energy generation. "We are also looking to set up a fund for renewable energy generation," said the official.


Also, the ministry is working on a possibility to offer special subsidy for rooftop solar projects. "Rooftop solar projects has to take off in such a manner that people can generate power for their own use from their rooftops and sell the surplus power directly into the grid, without storing in batteries. For this, we are coming out with a separate subsidy scheme to give a push to rooftops," he said.


According to him, cost of solar rooftops would be around Rs 8 to 9 per unit and with subsidy, it can come down to Rs 5 to 6 per unit.


It may be noted here that Gujarat has already started a pilot project for rooftop solar power generation in the state capital Gandhinagar with generation capacity of 5 Mw on a public-private partnership model.


Meanwhile, the state government is also looking at spreading the project in other cities and towns of the state. "We are working with 20 municipalities and seven municipal corporations in the state to roll out the rooftop solar power generation projects. We are aiming at solar power generation to the tune of 100-200 Mw from this initiative," said D P Joshi, director, Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) during the conference.


On the solar energy front, few states including Gujarat, Rajasthan Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh were found to be doing well, while some others including Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also taken up initiatives at their respective states, informed the central government official.

====================================================================energy plantations should only be promoted in designated non-farmland areas. The availability of water for such areas is a big question.
 Furthermore, the projected yield figures 200 acres/MW for species like Beema bamboo and Napier bajra grass seem to be very high considering traditional yields of other energy plantation species. 
Even if the yield is assumed to be sustainable, land utilization for energy plantation at 1.25 MW/sq. km is simply too low as compared to wind at 7MW/sq. km and solar PV at 50 MW/sq. km.
Considering the unproven capability of these new energy plantation species, it would be advisable to establish a pilot project to validate the capability of this alternative before actually making a large-scale policy commitment.



*Crops suited for biomass generation has to have  non edible seeds of high oil content , capable of growing easily in arid fallow land. it should be low cost, low maintenance harvest, used to make biofuels or combusted for heat generation or electricity generation.

Commercial energy crops are typically densely planted. Marjestica, Beema Bamboo and Melia dubia.


Marjestica can be got thru  tissue culture saplings that have been treated with the Tree Adaption Process (Polyploidisation) and Beema Bamboo from micro propagated saplings produced from tissue culture. Melia dubia saplingscan be got  from a cloned variety originating from a clonal farm.

switchgrass, arundo donax, camelina, chinese tallow, kudzu  are also some of the emerging energy crops. Not necessarily in india. 



Beema Bamboo


“Beema”  has a potential to grow very fast  and yields very high biomass due to the fact that the wall thickness of “Beema” Bamboo is 3 times more than other bamboo. 

 The carbon content of “Beema” Bamboo is between 46 to 48%.  The dry matter production of “Beema” Bamboo under optimum condition reaches 40 to 50 tons per acre or 100 to 125 tons per hectare.  

The total carbon accumulation every year, after 5 years of growth is from 18 tons to 23 tons per acre, which is equivalent to 69 tons  to 80 tons per acre respectively. 

Due to this fact, “Beema” Bamboo acts as a “Carbon Sink”.  When “Beema” Bamboo is grown individually in the gardens and parks, it sequester 400 to 500 kg. Of carbon di-oxide every year, thereby reduces the Carbon di-oxide in the surrounding places.  “Beema” Bamboo generates 70 to 80 CER per acre / year, which is equivalent to 175 to 200 CER per hectare every year. 

Carbon sequestration also can be obtained by generating electricity from the renewable biomass of bamboo.  One acre of Bamboo produces sufficient biomass to produce 45 MW of electricity through gasification method.  Apart from providing 45 CER as Carbon credit directly from the power generation,  the process of Pyrolysis generates 7 ½ tons of carbon as bio-char.  When the bio-char is supplied to the soil it is eligible for 28 CER as Carbon Credit.  The application of bio-char to the soil enhances the crop productivity, improves soil tilth, fertility, water retention.  The bio-char in the soil reduces the fertilizer quantity required as well as improves the soil quality of adverse soil resulting in growth of dense vegetation which additionally reduces the soil erosion. 

Application of bio-char as soil amendment creates virtually a permanent carbon sink for over 1000 to 2000 years.




Melia dubia, in india

Melia dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species of tree to India, South East Asia and Australia, where it has been cultivated as a source of firewood. The tree can be cultivated in all types of soil and requiring a low supply of water on a daily basis. Melia dubia has the unique feature of growing to 40 feet within 2 years from planting and can be mechanically pruned and harvested. As an energy crop, Melia dubia has the potential of yielding in excess 40 tonnes of biomass on average per acre per annum over a 10 year period (before replanting is required). it’s high calorific value makes it a viable source of feedstock for biomass power plants.


Melia dubia is a variety from the Neem species of tree that grows to 40 feet within two years.

  •  It can be cultivated in all types of soil and requires minimal watering;
  •  It grows up to 40 feet within two years of planting;
  •  It can be mechanically pruned and harvested;
  •  It can yield more than 40 tons of biomass on average, per acre, every eighteen months, for up to ten years (when replanting is typically required).



Pongamia seems to meet all these requirements.

Pongamia is a tree native to India and found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Pongamia is a legume tree that bears non-edible seeds containing a high percentage of oils that are composed of fatty acids and triglycerides ideal for biodiesel production. Apart from the advantage of not being a food crop, Pongamia can be grown on non productive lands not destined for food crops, particularly lands with high levels of salt and little water. In addition, through its ability to capture and convert nitrogen from the air, this legume tree enriches soils with low nitrogen levels and eliminates the need for nitrogen fertiliser. A single tree produces up to 40 kg seeds per year and a yield of about ten tonnes of oil per hectare per year,.


Researchers at the CJP are currently researching the Genomic and Genetic of Pongamia, which will enable highly productive plantations of Pongamia to be grown. CJP has developed DI03SAPÔ, the process of cloning and maintaining an elite sapling. It has been created from over a decade of research in horticulture and agriculture with the best characteristics of yield, survivability and longevity. Standard Package of Practices (SOP) enable the DI03SAP ™ sapling to enhance productivity to achieve greater yields over the lifetime of the plantation with the right crop inputs and management.

Pongamia has attracted attention as pressure mounts to find sustainable alternative fuels to help meet countries’ renewable energy targets and cut greenhouse gas emissions, without interfering with agricultural production. The medium-sized evergreen pongamia can grow on marginal arid or semi-arid land and is a nitrogen-fixing tree, which means that it helps fertilize the soil.

“The tree and oil composition look basically promising. Researchers at India’s CJP have the honor of establishing this untapped resource as alternative source for the future biodiesel, as pongamia is a strong candidate to contribute significant amounts of biofuel feedstock.

CJP’S next 5-day Global Jatropha Hi-tech Integrated Nonfood Biodiesel Farming & Technology Training Programme in India from September 5-9, 2012 is all set to introduce you the real world of nonfood biodiesel



Marjestica (Paulownia)

Marjestica (Paulownia) is ideally suited for tropical plantations managed specifically for highly efficient renewable biomass production.

  •  It will grow up to 26 feet within a year of planting;
  •  It has a low water requirement;
  •  It is ideally suited as an energy crop because it develops several stems after the first harvest;
  •  It can be mechanically pruned and harvested;
  •  It has the potential to yield an annual average of more than 40 tonnes per acre over an eight year period before replanting is necessary

Many industrial segments exist along the biomass to energy value chain starting from biomass feedstock producers to power producers and biofuel producers. Provided below are key players in India that are associated in the biomass to energy industry in India.
Biomass Feedstock Producers


Energy crops

Plantation Site



Marjestica, Beema Bamboo and Melia dubia

Valliyur, Tamilnadu

Feedstock for 32MW/h biomass power plant

Growmore Biotech Ltd

Beema Bamboo

Not known

Feedstock for heat and power

Abellon Cleanenergy Limited

Bamboo and Moringa

Gujarat, India (Exact location not known)

Feedstock for biomass power plant at Gandhidham

Biomass Pre-Processing




LN Biomass & Fuels

Coconut Charcoal

Gondia , Maharashtra

Jaipur Green Fuels             

Mustard Briquette

Gangore, Jaipur

Broil Biomass

White Coal Briquette


Abellon Clean Energy

BioRich Pellets


Krone Carbon

Coconut Charcoal Briquette

Coimbatore. Tamil Nadu

Arun Agro Coal

Briquette  from  Saw Dust, Ground Nut Shells, Castor Seed Shells 

Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh

K.P Biocoal

Briquette  from Woody Biomass, Saw Dust, Agro Waste

Nanded, Maharashtra

Biomass To Heat






Beach Minerals


Minerals (Beach Sand Mineral Products)

Tirunelveli/ Chennai

Fluidized Bed Mineral Drying

600 KW

Minerals (Beach Sand Mineral Products)

Tuticorin/ Chennai

Rotary Kiln Mineral Drying

1200 KW

Tamilnadu Heat Treatment and Fettling Services Pvt. Ltd (TAHAFET)

Heat Treatment


Heat treatment furnaces

250 kg/h



Chemicals (Flourine Chemicals)


Drying Of Aluminum Fluoride

3.3 MW

Synthite Industrial Chemicals Ltd


Food Processing

(spice oleoresin manufacturing)

Coimbatore/ Kerala

Drying of marigold flower

2 MWth (450 kg/hr)



Biomass To Power -Independent Power Producers

Company & Location



Production Capacity

Clenergen, Chennai

Woody plants including Bamboo, Paulownia tree species, Mela dubia and Marjestica

Gasification, Combustion, Anaerobic digestion and Co-firing

80 MW

Auro mira, Chennai

Julifera, Coconut Husk, Rice Husk, Ground nut Shells.0

Biomass combustion

17.5 MW

Orient Green Power Company Limited, Chennai

rice, mustard and soya bean husks, straw, cotton and maize stalks, coconut and ground nut shells, wood chips, poultry litter, and bagasse

Biogas generation (Biomethanation), simply they mentioned as biomass based power generation projects(no specific explanation for applied technologies)

55 MW

Green Infra Limited, New Delhi

waste from agriculture crops such as rice, mustard and sugarcane

Gasification and combustion(Choice of technology on basis of local fuel availability)

52 MW

Shalivahana Group of Companies, Hyderabad

rice husk, paddy straw, saw dust cotton stalk and coconut shell

Combustion and co-firing of biomass with coal

50.4 MW

Husk power, Patna

Rice Husk


35-100kW plants; 25 plants in Bihar

All Green Energy, Bengaluru

Waste fruits, vegetables and their debris.

Biomass Intergrated Combined Cycle Gasification Technology from IISC

65 MW


Biomass To Power – Captive Power Producers (CPP)





BMC, Kuttam

Biomass gasification

Tamil Nadu

1.5 MW


Biomass gasification and CHP

Tamil Nadu

1 MW

Nuchem Ltd

Biomass gasification and co-generation


4 MW

Indus Green Bio Energy Pvt. Ltd

Biogas based power generation


5.6 MW

Globus Spirits Limited

Biogas based power generation


3 MW


Biomass gasification


0.5 MW


Biomass gasification

Tamil Nadu

0.9 MW


Biomass gasification

Tamil Nadu

1 MW

Hindustan Pencils

Biomass gasification


0.4 MW

Ashoka Distilleries & Chemicals Pvt. Ltd

Biomass gasification


1 MW

Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa

Biomass gasification


0.2 MW





Technology Providers - Biomass To Power/Heat




Combustion Gasification & Propulsion Laboratory (CGPL), Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore - 560 012


T. R Krishnaswamy, Casablanca Apartments, Casa majar road Egmore, Chennai


Mr. Hemant Bajaj (V.P.), BT- l/90, Mangolpuri Indl. Area, Phase-l,New Delhi -110083


S-2, Digvijay Apartments, 1st Cross, Ganesha Block Sultanplaya, R.T. Nagar Bangalore - 560 032


NETPRO Renewable Energy (I) Pvt. Ltd, No.4, 2nd Floor, Above Amanath Cooperative Bank, 4th Main, KHM Block, R.T.Nagar Main Road, Bangalore 560032, India


Arrya Hi-Tech Energy, 76,Patel Road, Ramnagar, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

Biomass To Transportation Fuel


Main Line of activity

Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd (BREL)

Jatropha and Pongamia cultivation

Praj Industries Ltd

Technology Provider( biofuel)

Mission New Energy Limited

Renewable energy

IFK Green Fuel

Jatropha biodiesel

AE Biofuels

Cellulosic ethanol

Godavari Biorefineries Ltd

Sugar manufacturer

Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute

Sustainable energy and Development

Krishnamurthy Institute of Algology, Chennai (KIA)

Consultancy for algae based industries

Centre for Conservation & Utilization of Blue Green Algae, Indian institute of Agricultural research (IARI), Delhi

Depository centre in the country for algal isolates

Birla Institute of Scientific Research, Jaipur

Science and technology

National Institute of Ocean Technology

Ocean resources.

Hash BioTech Labs Pvt. Ltd

Algae products

The DBT-ICT Centre of Energy Biosciences, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai

Renewable resources

Enhanced Biofuels & Technologies (I) Pvt Ltd.

Renewable energy

The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI)

Renewable energy technologies

TRA International

Green solutions

Energy Microalgae

Algae bioenergy

Phyco Spectrum Consultants Private limited.

Research and development of algae based technology

Shirke Biohealthcare Pvt. Ltd


Beckons Industries Ltd.

Biofuels from algae




Water Hyacinths                                                                     

Water  hyacinths have the chance to become economic-friendly as plans are on to extract bioethanol from these plants.

  A  major resource that's obtainable from water hyacinth is biogas. Kerala already has a biogas plant meant to produce biogas and electricity from water hyacinth at Kuttanad, as part of the Kuttanad package.

   Bioethanol production has been kept limited because bioethanol is commonly derived from food crops, like corn. An increased utilisation of food corps and the land used for cultivating the food corps for the production of bioethanol, could damage the economy with food shortage and high prices. But in Kerala, this same potential fuel lies spread endlessly in its coastal water ways. The greatest defect of the plant, that of its difficult-to-control growth and spreading, turns around to become its greatest advantage in such a scenario.


Castor Bean

Castor bean, an annual oil crop, produces a seed that contains approximately 50 percent oil. The oil is of a high quality and there is a growing market for it among biodiesel manufacturers. The oil also has wide ranging applications in the industrial bio-chemical sector.

  The plant  grows in arid/semi arid areas, as a feedstock for biodiesel. The crop will not compete with food crops, provides a cover crop during the season, and could bring area growers additional revenues.

Castor farming is being developed by CJP in conjunction with Pongamia Pinnata and Indian mustard, and has shown to be a heartier and higher yielding variety as companion crop.

Being a companion crop, castor bean can give the grower the ability to double crop and earn more — it’s like adding a second shift to the factory of agriculture. The double oil crop adds to the farmer’s income, creates jobs in the crushing operations, and the oil derived from the seed will help decrease foreign oil dependency. It’s a very attractive proposition for all stake holders involved.

Vast scope exists for exploitation of castor as a bioenergy crop although there are still some technological challenges to overcome. A combination of conventional breeding methods with biotechnological techniques provides newer routes for designing oils for biofuel purpose.

Estimates of yields, prices and cost vary greatly, making it difficult for potential growers to make informed investment decisions about growing the crop.

 overnment Incentives for Biomass Power Projects in General (National Level and State Level)

Project Type

Capital Subsidy -Special Category States (NE Region, Sikkim, J&K, HP & Uttaranchal)

Capital subsidy-For other states

Biomass Power projects

  25 lakh X (C MW)^0.646

20 lakh X (C MW)^0.646

Bagasse Co-generation by private sugar mills

  18 lakh X (C MW)^0.646

15 lakh X (C MW)^0.646

Bagasse - Co-generation projects by cooperative/ public sector sugar mills

40 bar & above

40 lakh *

40 lakh *

60 bar & above

50 lakh *

50 lakh *

80 bar & above

60 lakh *

60 lakh *


Per MW of surplus power **

Per MW of surplus power **

(maximum support `8.0 crore per project)

(maximum support `8.0 crore per project)

*For new sugar mills, which are yet to start production and existing sugar mills employing backpressure route/seasonal/incidental cogeneration, which exports surplus power to the grid, subsidies shall be one-half of the level mentioned above.

** Power generated in a sugar mill (-) power used for captive purpose i.e. net power fed to the grid during season by a sugar mill.


Depreciation Benefits for Biomass power, biomass heat and co-generation



Accelerated Depreciation

IREDA says

100 % depreciation in the first year can be claimed for the following power generation equipment

1. Fluidized Bed Boilers
2. Back pressure, pass-out, controlled extraction, extraction and condensing turbine for Power generation with boilers
3. High efficiency boilers
4. Waste heat recovery equipment

MNRE says

80% depreciation in the first year can be claimed for the following  equipment required

1. Back pressure, pass-out, controlled extraction, extraction–cum-condensing turbine for co-generation with pressure boilers

2. Vapor absorption refrigeration systems

3. Organic rankine cycle power systems 
4. Low inlet pressures small steam turbines

Income Tax Holiday

Ten years tax holidays.

Customs and Excise Duty

Concessional customs and excise duty exemption for machinery and components for initial setting up of projects.

General Sales Tax

Exemption is available in certain States





Collapse of Jatropha

A short while ago Jatropha was hailed as the golden seed for biofuel.China and India reserved large tracts of dry land for its cultivation.

However they realized that while Jatropha grows in arid condition, seed bearing improves with moisture.

The jatropha plantations were unable to produce  adequate seeds for biodiesel plants erected nearby.It seized to be a viable proposition.


Millettia Pinnata

Millettia Pinnata is among the most productive green oil producing biofuel species for several reasons:

  •  It’s resistant to adverse climatic conditions, including drought, light frost, water logging, moisture stress and salinity;
  •  It’s tolerant of extremely poor soil types and does not require prime arable land that is typically used for food crops;
  •  It’s carbon-fixing qualities qualify the tree for carbon credits;
  •  It’s annual oil yield increases for 15 years;
  •  Millettia plantations are can be managed by a smaller, unskilled work force due to its lower crop maintenance and the ability to use mechanical pruning and harvesting equipment;
  •  It’s huge yield – each tree regularly produces 800-1,000 kilograms of seed a year;
  •  It’s an environmentally friendly species – intensive Millettia crops sequestrate more than 50 tons of CO2 per hectare, per year.

Millettia Pinnata is invasive if not grown properly.  It is imperative to have a commercially proven growing process to maintain a non-invasive plantation.  



Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan

Chairman and Co-founder, Sea6 Energy Pvt. Ltd

He was formerly the President of Research and Development at Biocon Limited, Bangalore India and the Chief Scientific Advisor to the company. He was associated with Biocon for over 25 years.
He served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Translational Health Sciences Institute at the National Capital Region Biosciences Cluster, Government of India from 2009-2010.
His other appointments include an Honorary Adjunct Professorship at the Department of Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises of India (ABLE), headquartered at Bangalore.
In 2009, Shrikumar received the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


here is an urgent need to replace fossil fuels with an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative. Liquid fuels derived from fossil fuel are the bedrock of the modern industrialized world . Today, converting photosynthetic biomass (plants, grasses, algae, etc) into fuels is our only possible route for creating a sustainable drop-in replacement to crude oil.


But deciding which crop to grow is not simply a matter of which crop can be converted to fuel. The real problem is in growing huge quantities of biomass because nearly all biomass feedstocks make use of the same limited resources (arable land, fresh water and fertilizer) which go into agriculture. This already has and would leads to further problems in our food supply. These are conflicts that are best avoided.


Sea6 Energy believes that seaweeds circumvent exactly this problem. Seaweeds, technically known as macro-algae, offer an unmatched potential for scalability by growing directly on the ocean surface and extracting nutrients from flowing water. They have a proven high productivity and are cultivated across the world for various speciality food products at a very nominal price.


Sea6 Energy has identified the crucial technology elements that will be needed to develop seaweed biomass derived biofuel as a viable replacement for liquid fuel. Along with our network of partners, we are working towards improving the cultivation and conversion technology of seaweed to fuel.


Sea6 Energy envisions a future where the abundant oceans will be our energy farms of tomorrow.




Dr. K.S. Nagabhushana

Senior Scientist, Tata Chemicals Innovation Centre

Dr.K.S.Nagabhushana is a Senior Scientist at the Advanced Material and Green Chemistry Division at Tata Chemicals Limited – Innovation Centre in Pune. His specific areas of research interest include natural products chemistry, nanochemistry and nanotechnology, organic synthesis, biofuels, separation technologies, organometallic chemistry and biotechnology.




Senthil Chinnasamy

Chief Technology Officer, ABAN

Expertise Area:Algae Bio-fuels

Dr. Senthil Chinnasamy is the Chief Technology Officer at ABAN’s Biotechnology Division where he leads the algae biofuels R&D program. Senthil has both research and managerial experience.

Insights and Perspectives on:Research and commercialization trends in algae fuels



Dr. Senthil Chinnasamy is currently heading the Biotechnology Division of ABAN group based in Chennai as Chief Technology Officer. He is leading ABAN’s algae biofuels and bioenergy R&D projects to develop commercial-scale technologies for the production of biofuels/bioenergy/green chemicals from algae.

During 2007, he initiated microalgae biofuels and anaerobic digestion research programs at the University of Georgia (UGA), Athens, USA, under Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program funded by US Department of Energy at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Senthil has over 10 years of industrial experience in heading the R&D operations at a sugar/ethanol industry in South India with major focus on waste management and pollution control.

Dr. Senthil Chinnasamy has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and a Masters and Ph.D in Microbiology from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

Contribution in prominent events:

ICS – UNIDO Expert Group Meeting- 2012- Italy, India’s Biotech Vision 2025- Bangalore

About the Company:

The ABAN Group was born as a small engineering firm in Chennai, Aban Constructions, established by late Mr. M. A. Abraham in 1986. The Group took giant strides into newer arenas of operation like the execution of high-pressure systems and cross-country pipelines for refineries and fertilizer and petrochemical industries. Inevitably, Aban ventured into the high-powered domains of drilling, power generation and IT Enabled Services (ITES).

Aban believes in providing its clients an unmatched value proposition, through its proven experience, modern technology and diverse range of services.




T S Venkataraman

Managing Director, Esvin Advanced Technologies

Expertise Area:Biomass, Biofuels, Waste Management & Treatment

T S Venkataraman is the Managing Director of Esvin Advanced Technologies Ltd and has been associated with the company since 1988. He has over 30 years of experience in the Paper and pulp Industry, to which he has contributed immensely.

Insights and Perspectives on:Deriving diverse hydrocarbon fuels from biomass through gasification.

Mr. T S Venkataraman is the Managing Director of Esvin Advanced Technologies Limited. He is one of the Promoter Directors and also has been the Managing Director of the Company since its incorporation in 1988. He has more than three decades of experience in the pulp and paper industry, since starting his career in Seshasayee Paper and Boards Limited in 1969.

He has contributed in several ways to the technological growth of Indian Paper Industry including the joint development of technology (with erstwhile Beloit of USA) for manufacture of bagasse-based Newsprint at Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd (TNPL), Tamil Nadu, India.

He is also a Member of the Research Advisory Committee of Central Pulp and Paper Research Institute (CPPRI), constituted by the Department of Industry, Government of India, for Pulp and Paper Industry.

T S Venkataraman holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Madras and PG Diploma in Pulp and Paper from University of Norway.

Contribution in prominent events: An international summit on Waste to Energy- An Emerging Trend Towards Sustainable Environment..

About The Company

Esvin Advanced Technologies Limited (Esvin Tech) belongs to Esvin Group of Companies consisting of Seshasayee Paper & Boards Limited (SPB), Ponni Sugars (Erode) Limited (Ponni Sugars), High Energy Batteries (India) Limited, and SPB Projects & Consultancy Limited (SPB-PC).

The company has acquired exclusive license for gasification of Black Liquor from paper mills and Effluents from distilleries for Indian Territory. Esvin Tech has also been involved in promoting bio-bleaching of Pulp by using Xylanase Enzyme for reduction of Chlorine usage in Paper mills.

Encouraged by the Government of India’s thrust in introducing biotechnology in the agricultural sector, Esvin Tech has recently forayed into Bio-Agri products. The Company has also developed a range of Biopesticides, which are to be used along with Biofertilizers towards Organic Farming.



Venkatesh Balan

Professor – Material Sciences, Michigan State University

Expertise Area:Protein engineering, Biofuels Process engineering, Pretreatment, Enzyme hydrolysis and Microbial Fermentation, Biomass conversion, Renewable energy, Value added products from agricultural residues and Modelling integrated agricultural operations.

Venkatesh Balan is currently Research Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences at the Michigan State University and is the Project lead for two projects funded by Great Lakes Bioenergy Centre- one of the three energy centres funded by DOE. He is involved in developing cost effective technology on pre-treatment, hydrolysis and fermentation using industrial relevant conditions.



Mr. Venkatesh Balan is currently working as a research associate professor in Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science at Michigan State University.

In the beginning stages of Venkatesh’s research career, he was working on bio-inorganic chemistry of hemoglobin and bioluminescent properties of luciferases.

In the last five years, his research expertise has been towards process optimization to convert lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels using Ammonia Fiber Expansion pretreatment techniques, enzyme hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation using different microbes. In addition, he also has expertise in economic analysis of mixed integrated farming with energy operations. He has a post-doctoral and research associate experience of over 10 years working in four different laboratories.

He has published over 75 research articles and filed 12 provisional patents. Recently he has chaired couple of sessions at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) society and has been reviewer to several biotechnology related journals.

Venkatesh Balan has completed MS (Chemistry) from Madras University and Ph.D in Biophysical Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology- Madras.

Contribution in prominent events: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE)- Advances In Biofuels: DOE Bioenergy Research Centers II, Midwest Consortium for Biobased Products & Bioenergy..

About the Institution

Michigan State University (MSU), founded in 1855, is the first land-grant institution and serves as a model for future land-grant colleges in the US under the 1862 Morrill Act.

MSU pioneered the studies of packaging, hospitality business, and telecommunication. Today its study-abroad program is the largest of any single-campus university in the country, offering more than 200 programs in more than 60 countries on all continents including Antarctica.

It is considered to be one of America’s Public Ivy universities, which recognizes top public research universities in the United States. Today, MSU is the ninth-largest university in the United States, with 47,800 students and 2,954 faculty members. The school’s nuclear physics, engineering, packaging engineering, political science, business, journalism, education, economics, law, criminal justice and osteopathic medicine programs are among the nation’s best.













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  • joyishkumar
    joyishkumar -

    Good compilation of biomass energy companies in India and energy crops along with their yield.

    I would like to bring to your notice the potential of tiny aquatic plants, namely, azolla and duckweed.

    ·         They can double their mass in 1- 3 days under favourable conditions. Their annual yield is about 1000T/hectare (76T dry weight) with possibility to scale vertically using multilevel trays/channels where land is scarce.

    ·         They can be grown anywhere from backyards or terrace (using trays/ channels/ pits) to ponds or large water bodies.

    ·         Easy to harvest as they are free floating. Can start harvesting from 3rd week of planting and can continue harvesting daily. Less energy need to be spent on harvesting or processing compared to water hyacinth or algae.

    ·         They grow well on waste water (They are being used in waste water recycling).

    ·         They have been used as a feed supplement for cattle, poultry and fish because of their high protein content (around 30% dry weight). 

    ·         Azolla has been used as a bio-fertilizer or companion plant for rice because they fix nitrogen directly from atmosphere with the help of blue-green algae.

    ·         They are not toxic (humans also eat them) and do not clog waterways as they are tiny plants.

    Biomass to energy using super aquatic plants - azolla and duckweed (forget algae) 

    Super plants – a solution to food-water-energy shortage



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