The world is facing
energy crisis because of overuse of conventional fuels in automobile, power
generation and various thermal applications. Imposition of emission norms by
government regulating bodies to reduce environmental pollution lead to search
for cleaner burning fuel. The natural choice is nonconventional energy sources.
One of the non-conventional energy resources is a biomass. Biomass is an
organic matter produced by plants, both terrestrial and aquatic and derivatives
energy from biomass can be acquired through conversion technologies such as:
direct combustion, biochemical conversion and thermo chemical conversion. Thermo
chemical conversion occurs two forms: gasification and liquefaction.
In recent times, gaseous fuels are gaining
prominence as cleaner fuels for power generation through internal combustion
engine route; power generation package including both reciprocating engines and
gas turbine machinery. Complete combustion with minimal emission is key feature
of gaseous fuels and this feature is currently being exploited the world-over
for power generation purposes. Among the clean sources of fuel for power
generation, natural gas had been exploited largely due to significant availability
in specific locations. Similarly, there is also an impetus on using gas
generated from industrial and municipal wastes, namely diluted natural gas
biogas and land-fill gas. As distinct from gas generation from biological or organic
wastes by biological conversion process, which limits to non-lignaceous matter,
the thermo chemical conversion route (also termed gasification) can process
solid organic matter. Recently producer gas combustor finds its application in
domestic area also.
The range of biomass includes agro-residues
like rice husk, sugarcane trash and bagasse in compact or briquctted form. The
resultant gas known as `Producer gas’ can be used for fuelling a compression
ignition (CI) engine in dual-fuel mode or a spark ignition (SI)
engine in gas alone mode. Harnessing of energy from biomass through
gasification route is not only proving to be economical.