Bioenergy

UK Biomass Testing Given Go-Ahead

Doosan Babcock, in collaboration with the UK’s Carbon Trust, is developing new technology for the recovery of energy from the bio-ethanol production process. The testing project will be the first stage in the development of a new generation of low-carbon bio-ethanol plants, the company says, which will rely on the combustion of the solid biomass residues of bio-ethanol production.

Current bio-ethanol production is energy intensive, involving the combustion of fossil fuels to power the process. Doosan Babcock aims to develop and test technology that will substantially reduce the carbon intensity of bio-ethanol production and improve the carbon balance of the product through the successful demonstration of a novel combustion process on a 1 megawatt/thermal test rig, with the collection of test data on the combustion process, ash behaviour and emissions.

The project will also investigate the relevant design processes and address the environmental control requirements. Some £114,000 [US $228,000] of support will come from the Carbon Trust. The project will be completed by September 2008.

“Through the Applied Research programme, the Carbon Trust aims to speed the development of technologies that have significant carbon-saving potential. Doosan Babcock’s approach to improving the performance of bio-ethanol production technology could significantly improve the overall carbon efficiency of the process,” said Garry Staunton, technology director at the Carbon Trust.