CCRES – BIOMASS

 
 
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
 
 BIOMASS
 
The organic or waste materials obtained from the plants and animals, is known as biomass. Since plants and animals contain energy, the biomass also contains energy. Plants get energy from the sun by the process of photosynthesis, while the animals eat plants; hence biomass is an important source of energy.
 
The energy obtained from biomass is called as biomass energy. The biomass energy is type of alternative or renewable energy since the plants and trees will keep on growing and generating the wastes continuously, so this source of energy will be available for unlimited period of time.
 
The various types of garbage collected in our cities are also a type of biomass. Though the living plants are not considered to be the biomass, the garbage left by them in the form of fallen leaves, dead trees, broken branches of the trees, wasted and leftover crops, chips and pieces of wood etc are all considered to be biomass. The bark and saw dust left from the lumber mills and even the tires and livestock manure can be considered as biomass.
 
The trash from the house and offices contains some paper products that cannot be recycled back to the other paper products but they can also be used as the biomass. Recycling such wastes for producing biomass fuel would reduce pressure on our landfills. It is unbelievable that all these materials that create lots of disposal problems can be used to generate energy that too in the form of electricity.
 
In US, California itself produces almost 60 million bone dry tons of biomass every year, of which almost five million tons is used to produce biomass energy in the form of electricity. The biomass collected in California comprises of lumber mills wastes, wooden waste collected from urban areas, residues from the agricultural lands and forests, and other livestock.
 
The wastes generated by the humans and animals like cows are also types of biomass. By using this type of biomass for producing energy it becomes easier to manage and control the landfills.

Biomass used as the Source of Energy
 
All the types of biomass contain one or the types of plants and animals wastes. When the biomass obtained from plants it is burnt it catches fire instantly or after some time and releases a lot of heat. During burning the chemical energy stored within the biomass is converted into heat energy. The heat produced during the burning of biomass can be used for a number of applications like heating water, heating the rooms, producing steam, cooking the food, and for other domestic and industrial applications.
 
Some decomposing garbage, and wastes from humans and animals can also be used as biomass to produce methane gas, which can be used directly as the fuel. Methane is an important part of natural gas, which is used extensively as a cooking gas and also for running a number of vehicles like cars and trucks. The methane gas obtained by this method is also called as the landfill gas or biogas.

The Fuels Obtained from Biomass
 
Besides using the biomass for producing heat, it can also be used to produce fuels. The fuels produced from the biomass are called as biofuels. The biofuels can be used independently to or in combination with the other fuels like gasoline and diesel. Some of the popular biofuels made from the biomass are ethanol, biodiesel and natural gas.
 
Ethanol is produced by fermentation of sugar which can be found in sugarcane, grains like corn, sorghum and wheat, and other sources like potato skins, rice, sugar beets and yard clippings. The biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oil and animal fat feedstock. In this age of escalating fuel prices, biodiesel is one of the most popular types of alternative fuel for the vehicles. Biodiesel is mixed with traditional diesel in certain proportions to power the vehicles. The biodiesel is a clean fuel and does not produce any pollution. The natural gas can be obtained from the biomass like cow dung, human wastes, and livestock wastes. Methane, which is important part of the natural gas, is produced from the biomass.

Benefits of Using the Biomass Energy
 
Here are some of the important benefits of biomass energy:
 
1) Biomass energy is obtained mainly from the plants, animals, human wastes and garbage which would have otherwise created dirty environment and lots of disposal problems. When converted to biomass energy most of the wastes get burnt completely or they get converted to useful manure. Thus using biomass energy helps keeping our surroundings clean.
 
2) Biomass is a renewable source of energy that would last as long as there is plant, animal, and human life on the earth.
 
3) Biomass helps producing indigenous fuels and helps reducing dependency for fuels on other countries. 
 
 
CCRES 
special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc
 CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)

About CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)• was founded in 1988 as the non-profit European Association for Renewable Energy that conducts its work independently of political parties, institutions, commercial enterprises and interest groups, • is dedicated to the cause of completely substituting for nuclear and fossil energy through renewable energy, • regards solar energy supply as essential to preserve the natural resources and a prerequisite for a sustainable economy,• acts to change conventional political priorities and common infrastructures in favor of renewable energy, from the local to the international level, • brings together expertise from the fields of politics, economy, science, and culture to promote the entry of solar energy, • provides the opportunity to play a part in the sociocultural movement for renewable energy by joining the association for everyone, • considers full renewable energy supply a momentous and visionary goal - the challenge of the century to humanity. CCRES Željko Serdar Head of association solarserdar@gmail.com
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6 Responses to CCRES – BIOMASS

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  2. Most people just read my posts and do not comment on them. It is O.K. We are here to provide the truth about renewable energy.

  3. 2012:
    More than220 MWe of biomassprojectsin RES Registry
    Operating biomass power plants in Croatia:
    –Hrast Strizivojna3,5 MWe
    –Energana Varaždin 2,74 MWe
    –Lika Energo Eko 0,95 MW

  4. Harvested area of three main oilseeds crops in Croatia (soya, rapeseed and sunflower) in 2007
    was approximately 80 thousand hectares, with soybean dominating in acreage and yield. Oil
    from all three oilseed crops can be used for biodiesel production, although, besides economic
    justification, rapeseed oil is also the most suitable from the technical aspect of biodiesel
    production.
    Owing to its favourable climate conditions, Croatia has significant potential for biodiesel
    production from rapeseed oil. However, the production of oilseed rape has not been properly
    developed, so that there are difficulties in securing raw materials for biodiesel production.
    To understand the whole background of the national oilseed production and agriculture in
    general, it is important to stress the ongoing trend of decrease in agricultural production and
    abandonment of rural areas. The total surface under unused agricultural areas remains
    controversial. It varies from 102.422,97 ha (Agriculture Census, 2003) to as much as 377.370
    ha (Statistical Yearbook 2003) depending on the methodology used (UNIDO, 2006).
    The production area of rapeseed increased between 2000 and 2005 by more than 50% and it
    amounted to 20 thousand hectares in 2005. In 2006 the production strongly decreased to 8.4
    thousand hectares and in 2007 it again increased to 13 thousand hectares3. Unlike other
    agricultural plants, oil rape is mostly produced on a large agricultural areas owned by legal
    entities (around 60%). Production on family owned farms has been contracted between the
    farmers and processors.
    It is noticeable that a rapeseed yield per ha was quite low (ranging from 1.80 t/ha to 2.38 t/ha)
    until 2007 when it increased to 3 t/ha. Such low yields are understandable when one takes into
    consideration that rapeseed is often grown on the least improved soils, with poor water and air
    properties and with marked depressions in which the surface water tends to stagnate, which
    leads to a reduction of plant density and gap formation. Obsolete and inappropriate
    machinery, low level of technology applied, poor pest control and insufficient education of
    family farmers are other very important reasons for the small areas devoted to rapeseed and to
    the small average yields, that is, total production.
    The Government supports oilseed production in a way that this production is subsidised with
    the highest amount of subsidies compared to other annual crops. The subsidy for rapeseed,
    based on production area, amounts to 2,250 HRK4 /ha which is increased to 2,550 HRK/ha for
    rapeseed intended for biodiesel production.
    Even though, the subsidy for rapeseed is about three quarters higher than those for wheat and
    maize, farmers are still reluctant to switch from the traditional cultures to new ones, resulting
    in low experience and consequently low yield in rapeseed production. It is expected that only
    significantly higher margin could motivate farmers to switch to rapeseed production.
    Considering the present situation in Croatia, the quantities of rapeseed oil produced annually
    are at the moment insufficient for starting a larger industrial production of biodiesel and it is
    highly questionable whether in the near future an increase of rapeseed oil production could be
    expected. Recycled edible oil could thus serve as an important additional resource especially
    in the initial phase of biodiesel production in Croatia.
    There is no clear strategy or accepted plans how to fulfil Croatian goals to cover the total
    national biodiesel demand of approx. 45.000 t by the year 2010. Two main scenarios are
    ‘agricultural model‘ and ‘industrial model‘ of development. ‘Agricultural model‘ perceives
    biodiesel as one of the solutions for development of the rural communities through keeping
    business incentives and job creation in the rural areas. That is why they have a reasonable
    standing for an ongoing initiative to build several smaller plants which will have more
    positive impact on the local rural communities. The ‘industrial model‘ suppose development
    of one big biodiesel site that would cover national biodiesel demand.
    Future production of bioethanol in Croatia will certainly rely on production of wheat and
    maize as the two most important arable crops in Croatia.
    According to official data, the harvested area of wheat and maize in 2007 amounted to
    177,750 hectares and 289,000 hectares respectively. The area under wheat increased in the
    last 5 years by 13% while the harvested area of maize decreased by 5% in the same period.
    The average yield of wheat and maize between 2003 and 2007 was 4.3 tonnes and 5.8 tonnes
    per hectare respectively.
    Due to the unorganised market for cereals and uncontrolled exports of corn in some years
    there were severe problems in domestic livestock production.
    Therefore, in order to meet the needs for raw materials for future bio ethanol production, there
    should be an increase of corn and wheat production, which can be achieved by increasing the
    harvested area or by increasing the average yield per hectare.
    In order to estimate the potential of biomass for biofuel production (biodiesel and bioethanol)
    an analysis with four variants including improved yields, increased cultivated areas and a
    combination of these measures was made (Green paper draft, 2008).
    It is necessary to stress that this potential was calculated with the condition of satisfying food
    demands in Croatia, creating compulsory grain reserves and respecting cultivating timetables
    in order to avoid negative affects to the soil.
    Furthermore, the estimated potential from waste edible oil amounts to 4.4 million litres from
    which around 3,800 tonnes of biodiesel can be produced annually.

  5. Wooden and forestry materials
    Forests and forestland in the Republic of Croatia, covering an area of 2,688,687 ha (47% of
    land), contains 397,963,000 m3 of growing stock which increases 10,526,238 m3 a year.
    According to property structure, 75% or 2 018 987 ha of the woods are legally owned by the
    Republic of Croatia and managed by Hrvatske šume Ltd. Zagreb, and contains 302 500 000
    m³ of wood reserves with the annual total increase of about 8 000 000 m³. Private woods
    proprietors own 581 770 ha or 22% of the whole wooded area rich with 78 500 000 m³ of
    wood reserves and with the annual total increase of about 2 100 000 m³. The rest of 3 % of the
    wooded area or 87 930 ha is owned by legal subjects founded by the Republic of Croatia.
    There are about 17 000 000 m³ of wood reserves in these areas, with the annual total increase
    of about 400 000 m³.
    Under normal conditions, the application of tending and regenerating treatments in the forests
    according to the principles of sustainable development, or sustainability, provides the Croatian forestry profession with 6 560 000 m3 of diverse wood products for processing. Of
    this quantity, about 40% relates to stacked wood with 7 or more cm in diameter, which is
    suitable for energy production. Of this amount, a considerable percentage of smaller-diameter
    trees remain in the forest because of inadequate prices, the processing technology and the
    underestimated market value.
    Energy generation from wooden biomass has a long tradition, especially in rural areas in
    Croatia. In 1965 this energy made for almost one fourth of total energy consumption.
    However, today fuel wood contributes to total energy consumption with only 7% mainly due
    to poor knowledge about the modern use of biomass as an energy source.
    In recent years, the interest of investors in biomass plants increased notably. Fossil fuel boiler
    rooms are increasingly replaced with wood remains boiler rooms, the number of machines
    installed for the production of briquettes is growing, and significant investments in the pellet
    production technology and in the cogeneration plants are being planned.
    Out of 145 project drafts applied to a public tender opened in 2007 for the award of the state
    support of development and sustainability of the wood-processing industry, 52 draft projects
    refer to the implementation of the production of energy sources from wood remains.
    The first central heating system with a 1-MW biomass-fired boiler was installed in 1995, and
    the second forest biomass-fired district heating plant (1-MW) was put into operation in 2005.
    During 2007 and 2008 Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund approved
    funding for additional four centralized system of biomass plants, which are in the process of
    development.
    At the moment, there are 6 pellet producers in Croatia with the production of 142 300 tonnes
    in 2008 (source: http://www.poslovni.hr/105691.aspx). However, due to the undeveloped
    domestic market all produced pellets have been exported. There is one company producing
    pellets furnaces / boilers with the majority of production being exported.
    Having in mind the increasing trend of pellet demand in the foreign markets, implementing
    some incentive measures would enhance further broadening of pellet production and it would
    bring an additional source of income to their producers.
    In order to popularize the use of pellets the Ministry of Regional Development bought 300
    furnaces designed for pellet utilisation, and distributed them to schools and libraries.
    Thanks to great and still unused potential of natural forests in Croatia, there is still no need for
    planting rapid growing trees for the purpose of energy generation.
    However, according to media (http://www.nacional.hr/clanak/48066/za-biodizel-od-azijsketrstike-
    25-milijarde-eura) German company Genesis Projekt in collaboration with a group of
    local entrepreneurs, is planning to raise the plant Miscanthus on 140 thousand hectares for bio
    fuel production. There is a plan to build seven laboratories and as many plants for biofuels
    production. Planned start for construction of the first facility is mid-2010. Investment value of
    the project is two and a half billion euros in the next 20 years.
    In the Green paper draft (2008) the potential of wood biomass including possible energy
    forests is estimated. According to these estimates it is possible to generate 80.62 PJ of energy
    from solid biomass with additional 12.88 PJ from energy forests that could be cultivated on
    degraded forest land (it is estimated that there is around 600 – 800 thousand hectares of
    available land for this purpose).

  6. Wastes of agricultural production, e.g. liquid manure
    The cattle raised in Croatia in year 2003 produced more than 13 866 120 m3 excrements
    containing at least 418 467 540 Nm3 (302 113 544 tons) methane. If this gas was used in
    cogeneration plants more than 1.300 GWh of electricity and the same amount of heat energy could have been generated – corresponding to 10% of electric energy consumption in the
    respective year.
    The main market barriers for agricultural biogas project are small average size of animal
    farms, scattered farms, lack of updated data and structural problems of agriculture with low
    level of enforcement of environmental laws on farm waste management..
    Broadly speaking, biomass utilisation in Croatia is well promoted among renewables and
    many projects are pending for their implementation. However, among different biomass
    types, biogas was not enjoying special attention. For that reason, the main social barrier for a
    biogas project would be the low level of knowledge, information and awareness of biogas
    possibilities both in the sense of profitability and positive externalities for the local
    community (Kulišić, 2008).
    Modern, ecologically orientated waste management has a strong interest in reducing the
    volume of waste contained in landfills. In year 2005, approximately 1 450 000 tons of
    communal waste was collected in Croatia. Using the currently existing advanced technologies
    for mechanical-biological waste treatment (i.e. the one implemented in Lübeck plant)
    approximately 600 000 tons of fraction having high calorific value, which can be used as fuel
    in thermal power plants (combustion equivalent of 225 000 tons of fuel oil) could have been
    separated. By processing the organic matter separated in biogas plants, approximately 21 003
    000 Nm3 of biogas (respectively 10 500 000 Nm3 of methane) could have been generated
    (combustion equivalent to 10 500 tons of fuel oil). In addition the volume of the waste to be
    deposited in the landfills could have been reduced up to 55% (Jugović, 2007).
    Current legislation on RES electricity has demonstrated some difficulties in biogas
    production. Those difficulties are influencing biogas plants development strongly, especially
    in the part related to spatial planning and obtaining the location permit mandatory for
    registration at the RES Registry – the first step towards gaining the Eligible Producer status
    and benefiting from the feed-in tariff.
    Although related to agriculture policy, biogas is managed only by Ministry of Economy,
    Labour and Entrepreneurship. Due to the poor communication between the Ministries, biogas
    is not mentioned in the strategic document “IPARD Programme 2007 – 2013 Agriculture and
    Rural Development Plan” prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water
    Management in December 2007 (Kulišić, 2008).
    Absence of Biomass Action Plan brings overlapping of biomass project where several
    projects are developing on the basis of the same biomass feedstock which will result in failure
    of at least one of the projects (Kulišić, 2008).
    In the past year, biogas is frequently mentioned in media with “dazzling” statements on
    biogas potential, profitability and significance in energy sector coming from both scientific
    and commercial sector. It is reasonable to expect that either a success or failure of the first
    biogas plant venture will be covered by media with similar attention which will have
    significant impact on dynamics of biogas sector development in Croatia.
    Biogas production and utilisation will be left at modest contribution (up to 1% of the total
    gross electricity consumption in Croatia) if feedstock is not extended to energy crops and
    other sources such as food processing industry, kitchen waste, expired foodstuff, slaughterhouse waste and similar. So far, no research has been done in investigating biogas
    potentials in Croatia other than agriculture feedstock, namely animal manure.

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