Biomass boiler-fast track to clean and green power
Although the Indian government is taking urgent action to accelerate its power production, power demand continues to grow at an exponential rate to keep outpacing the available sources. Faster economic growth rates not only encourages industrial and housing growth but also increases consumer spending on computers, refrigerators, TV’s, air-conditioners, washing machines and other energy demanding appliances both in urban and rural areas. India’s past reliance on coal based thermal power is also a serious environment concern with the increasing global awareness about global warming so the Government is actively encouraging green power. Hydro power projects are slow but a number of wind power projects are moving rapidly and several nuclear power projects in the public and private sector are being developed after the international sanctions were removed.
Biomass power plant boiler potential
The most widely available and also the most wasted energy source are a wide variety of agricultural wastes. While some of it is used for cattle fodder huge amounts of paddy straw, cane trash and other farm wastes are simply burned in the fields unlike wheat straw that is completely utilised as fodder.
After China, India is the world’s largest producer of paddy. India now produces 98 million tonnes of paddy with roughly 130 million tonnes of straw of which only about half is used for fodder. India also produces about 350,000 tonnes of cane that will yield about 50 million tonnes of cane trash that is also an excellent biomass fuel. With high silica content it has no commercial use and is therefore almost entirely burned. Other agro wastes are maize, cotton, millets, pulse, sunflower and other stalks, bull rushes (sirkanda), groundnut shells, coconut trash, etc., all make good biofuels. The farmers with time constraints to their crop cycles have to burn huge quantities of biomass that contributes to great haze and global...