GE and Petrobras In Biofuel-Fired Aeroderivative Generation Play

Brazil’s federal energy company Petrobras, together with GE, has developed the world’s first fully-commercial bio-ethanol-fired gas turbine power station.

Located in the south of Minas Gerais state, approximately 180 km north of Rio de Janeiro, the installation at the Juiz de Fora power plant uses ethanol derived from sugarcane in a simple-cycle turbine with a total capacity of 87 MW.

The plant has two aeroderivative GE LM6000 gas turbines installed, one of whose combustors has been modified by GE to enable the use of ethanol, making it dual-fuel with ethanol or natural gas.

There will be five months of demonstration runs to validate the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel, as well as to ensure that emissions are within the expected limits. GE is providing the conversion technology, engineering and field support during conversion and commissioning.

As the world’s second largest producer of ethanol and the world’s largest exporter, Brazil will benefit from incorporating ethanol into its thermal generation profile because of the abundant fuel supply, GE says.

Darryl L. Wilson, president and CEO of Aeroderivative Gas Turbines for GE Power & Water said: “This kind of collaboration demonstrates the exciting developments that can be achieved to provide economic, environmental and local solutions for our customers. We want to be a leader when it comes to providing more efficient and reliable power from a variety of fuel sources for our customers and we’ll continue to pursue these types of collaborative opportunities to develop those solutions.

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