Rice husk waste

No more nonsense about bioenergy

In our first blog post, we highlight the potential with biomass waste and why bioenergy will be an important fuel in the future.

“An enormous amount of nonsense” has been told about bioenergy, says André Faaij, Scientific Director of Energy Academy Europe and Professor Energy Systems Analysis at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Faaij, one of the top experts of the bio-based energy economy in Europe, was recently interviewed by the energypost.eu where he highlights the most common misconceptions about bioenergy and why it should be regarded as an important fuel in our efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

One of his key messages is that by the second half of the century 20 to 30 per cent of the energy demand must come from biomass. To achieve this, Faaij points out that it’s possible to both feed the world and produce biomass for energy by applying better agricultural methods on already farmed land. “With relatively simple improvements, such as better use of soils, water and fertilizers, you can increase food production by a factor of 3 to 4,” he argues.

It's true there’s no need to produce bioenergy at the expense of food. Every year, Colombia alone generates 340,000 metric tonnes of rice husk waste from rice production. This has an adverse impact on the environment since much of it is either burned or simply dumped in fields.

Our combined heat and power system, TEOPOWER, turns this waste product into energy (electricity and heat) to power farms and mills in rural, off-grid areas. Thanks to TEOPOWER, farmers can dispose of their waste in a profitable and environmentally friendly way. 

The first installation of a TEOPOWER will be at Hacienda La Palma, a rice milling facility in Colombia, where low-grid stability forces the owners to battle with power outages and use expensive diesel generators as backup.

Rural off grid areas are where biomass can make the biggest difference to sustainable development and by transforming farmers into energy producers we hope to help entire communities in the long run.

To learn more about TEOPOWER, check out our website or read our white paper.

Main benefits of TEOPOWER:

  • Provides flexible, on-demand base-load power generation
  • Provides renewable heat and electricity from an agricultural waste product at less than EUR 0.10 (USD 0.11) per kWh
  • Reduces a rice mill's overall operating costs by eliminating the need for electricity generation from diesel generators
  • Reduces the costs for drying of rice by eliminating the use of diesel, gas or wood
  • Eliminates agricultural waste and hazardous disposal practices, and thereby complies with more stringent environmental standards
  • Turns agricultural waste into valuable ash to be used for fertilization and thereby reduces the need for fertilizers
  • Can reduce up to 2 400 tonnes of CO2 per year
  • Allows for easy operation and simple maintenance/servicing
  • Provides a typical payback period of between 2 to 5 years
  • Fast implementation (takes less than 4 weeks to set up)

This blog post has been written by Dirk Nuber, CEO of Viking Heat Engines Caribbean. You can reach Dirk at dirk.nuber@vikingheatengines.com.

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