275991 Gasification Potential of Jatropha De-Oiled Resiude Cake
Due to global environment and national energy security considerations, a non-polluting and renewable energy source needs to be developed. Biomass sources are the most promising, sustainable and least polluting among the other renewable energy sources. The potential for greenhouse gases production is less using the biomass energy. Biomass has very similar characteristics as fossil fuels, but having less energy density with relatively much less emission problems. Biomass an important energy source and contributes 14% of the world energy and 38% of energy in developing countries. Clean, domestic and renewable energy is commonly accepted as the key for future life (Sheth and Babu, 2010).The thermochemical conversion of biomass (pyrolysis, gasification, combustion) is one of the promising route amongst the renewable energy options of future energy. It is a unique renewable form of energy with many ecological advantages. In the thermo-chemical conversion technologies, biomass gasification has attracted the highest interest as it offers higher efficiencies compared to combustion and pyrolysis. A process of conversion of solid carbonaceous fuel into combustible gas by partial combustion is known as gasification. The resulting gas, known as producer gas, is more versatile in its use than the original solid biomass (Sheth and Babu, 2009).
In the present study, an Imbert downdraft biomass gasifier is used to carry out the gasification experiments with the jatropha de-oiled residue cake as a biomass material. There is a growing interest in Jatropha Curcas as a biodiesel “miracle tree” to help alleviate the energy crisis. Jatropha plant has potential as a renewable energy crop as its oil upgraded via transesterification to conventional biodiesel. Extraction of Jatrophaoil results in residue cake that is needed to be disposed. The oil production from Jatropha seed results in by product of a one-ton per day biodiesel plant, produces 2.5 to 3 tons of seed cake (Srividhya et al., 2010). Residue cake has a high percentage of crude protein, which makes it unsuitable for animal feed. Generally, collection and disposal of residues are becoming more difficult and expensive and may create environmental problems if not properly done (Sricharoenchaikul and Atong, 2009).
In this study, the effects of air flow rate and moisture content on biomass consumption rate and composition of the producer gas generated are studied by conducting experiments with varying operating conditions. The producer gas is sampled and analyzed using Gas chromatograph using TCD as a detector. The performance of the biomass gasifier system is evaluated in terms of the equivalence ratio, producer gas composition, calorific value of the producer gas, gas production rate, zone temperatures and cold gas efficiency.
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