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Biomass gasification: Environmentally sound technology for decentralized power generation, a case study from India

Ravindranath, NH (1993) Biomass gasification: Environmentally sound technology for decentralized power generation, a case study from India. In: Biomass and Bioenergy, 4 (1). pp. 49-60.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0961-9534(93)90026-Z


This study aims at understanding the need for decentralized power generation systems and to explore the potential, feasibility and environmental implications of biomass gasifier-based electricity generation systems for village electrification. Electricity needs of villages are in the range of 5–20 kW depending on the size of the village. Decentralized power generation systems are desirable for low load village situations as the cost of power transmission lines is reduced and transmission and distribution losses are minimised. A biomass gasifier-based electricity generation system is one of the feasible options; the technology is readily available and has already been field tested. To meet the lighting and stationary power needs of 500,000 villages in India the land required is only 16 Mha compared to over 100 Mha of degraded land available for tree planting. In fact all the 95 Mt of woody biomass required for gasification could be obtained through biomass conservation programmes such as biogas and improved cook stoves. Thus dedication of land for energy plantations may not be required. A shift to a biomass gasifier-based power generation system leads to local benefits such as village self reliance, local employment and skill generation and promotion of in situ plant diversity plus global benefits like no net CO2 emission (as sustainable biomass harvests are possible) and a reduction in CO2 emissions (when used to substitute thermal power and diesel in irrigation pump sets).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords: Biomass gasification;decentralized power;village energy;CO2 emissions;bioenergy;India.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2011 07:17
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2011 07:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/35350

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