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  • Typically works well beyond 5 MW
  • Well established technology works on the regular rankine cycle
  • Comprises over 85% of installed capacity for biomass based power production in
  • India (excluding biomass cogeneration)
  • Works well for most types of biomass

Co-firing – This is a sub-set of combustion based power production. Some of the modern coalfired power plants use biomass for co-firing along with coal. It is quite efficient, cost-effective and requires moderate additional investment. In general, combustion efficiency of biomass can be 10 percentage points lower than for coal at the same installation, but co-firing efficiency in large-scale coal plants (35%-45%) is higher than the efficiency of biomass-dedicated plants. In the case of co-combustion of up to 5%-10% of biomass (in energy terms) only minor changes in the handling equipment are needed and the boiler is not noticeably de-rated. For biomass exceeding 10% or if biomass and coal are burned separately, then changes in mills, burners and dryers are needed. Many co-firing technology options have been demonstrated in several countries (Northern Europe, United States and Australia) in some 150 installations using different feedstock (wood biomass, residues and crops).

Cogeneration – When bagasse is also used as a feedstock for steam generation in boilers in sugar mills, the main objective is process heating, and thus power production is only an ancillary benefit (which is why the term cogeneration – generation of both heat and power). As a result, the capacity of the power production is set based on the heating requirements. Thus, during the cane season, these mills have enough bagasse to be used for both heating and power production. During the non-cane season, typically coal is used for power production, as there are no heating requirements.

Biomass-based Power Production Methods


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