Transforming Biomass Waste Into Electricity
Heat and electricity co-generation from biomass waste
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<div style="text-align: center;"“Today, the competitiveness of a rice mill is not only affected by the cost of managing this agricultural waste. It is also affected by the cost of the energy it uses. Rice millers will not only produce rice in the future. They will also be producers of fuel and electricity.”
• Provides flexible, on-demand base-load power generation
• Provides renewable heat and electricity from an agricultural waste product at less than EUR 0.10 (USD 0.11) per kWh
• Reduces a rice mill's overall operating costs by eliminating the need for electricity generation from diesel generators
• Reduces the costs for drying of rice by eliminating the use of diesel, gas or wood
• Eliminates agricultural waste and hazardous disposal practices, and thereby complies with more stringent environmental standards
• Turns agricultural waste into valuable ash to be used for fertilization and thereby reduces the need for fertilizers
• Can reduce up to 2 400 tonnes of CO2 per year
• Allows for easy operation and simple maintenance/servicing
• Provides a typical payback period of between 2 to 5 years
• Fast implementation (takes less than 4 weeks to set up)
Small to medium-sized farmers and agricultural producers, such as rice millers in rural, off-grid areas.
TEOPOWER can generate electricity from 40 to 240 kW per hour. It uses different sizes of TEO furnaces and modules of CraftEngines to match the power demand. Each 40kW electrical power module consumes about 200 kg of rice husk per hour, which prevents about 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually compared to CO2 emissions from diesel-generated electricity. If the excess heat is used for drying, a total of 600 tonnes of CO2 can be eliminated annually.
A demo plant of TEOPOWER (shown above) was commissioned at SuperBrix’s test facilities in Colombia in November 2016.
TEOPOWER minimizes the volume of rice husk waste and other types of biomass waste such as sawdust, olive pits, bagasse, coffee pulp and soya bean residue by turning it into green electricity and heat, essentially killing two birds with one stone.
TEOPOWER combines Viking Heat Engine’s electricity-generating heat engine, the CraftEngine, with SuperBrix’s award-winning TEO biomass furnace. By using the CraftEngine’s electricity-generating capability, the TEOPOWER can produce electricity in addition to heat for the drying process.
SuperBrix has developed a line of cyclone biomass furnaces, the most recent being the TEO IV. In this model, rice husk is being fed into the combustion chamber along with ambient air, where it’s being burnt by using a high-velocity cyclone to allow for complete combustion. The ash falls to the bottom of the chamber, while the hot air/flue gas is emitted through the upper section of the chamber where post combustion transforms it into a clean flue gas. The ash is cooled and discharged by means of a screw conveyer . This ash is a soil additive, and used to enhance the productivity of rice farms.
The CraftEngine operates on the principles of the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). Heat is transferred to the working fluid/refrigerant at a constant pressure, increasing the temperature and pressure of the working fluid until the boiling point is reached. The vapour then undergoes superheating, followed by adiabatic expansion in the piston engine (expander), causing a decrease in temperature and pressure, and thus generating power. Upon cooling in a condenser, the vapour is condensed to its original liquid state, allowing the process to be repeated.
1-2:Pre-heating the working fluid 2-3:Boiling and superheating 3-4:Adiabatic expansion 4-5:Desuperheating/recuperation 5-1:Condensing and pumping
Figure 3: CraftEngine (CE10) at a waste incinerator plant in Kristiansand, Norway
1) High flexibility and adaption to almost any fluctuation in the heat source
2) Efficient use of low-temperature heat
3) Low capital costs due to mass-production design that uses standard piston engine manufacturing processes
4) Low operating costs
The TEOPOWER integrates the CraftEngine into the TEO process. By using the CraftEngine’s power-generating capability, the TEOPOWER can produce electricity and heat for drying processes.
The demo plant in Barranquilla is used as a showcase for potential customers as well as for testing of different types of bulk biomass wastes. Tests using saw dust, olive peats, bagasse and chicken manure are currently being scheduled.
The first commercial application of a TEOPOWER will be installed at the rice milling facility of Hacienda La Palma, Colombia. Hacienda La Palma is already using TEO furnaces for heat generation. However, excess rice husk still need to be dumped from the milling process. Hacienda La Palma will use that rice husk to produce up to 160kW of power to stabilize the farm’s electrical grid connection, reduce the use of diesel backup power and make the operation more reliable. With the current power prices in Colombia and the added cost of running diesel generators, the payback period of this installation will be around 3.8 years. The TEOPOWER 160 will consist of a TEO 3000 furnace and four CE40 CraftEngines. The mode for this facility will be electricity generation only. Future installations may include heat output options.
The rice market is well established, vast and growing. Rice, corn and wheat are the three most important food crops. The world rice production is currently at 750 million tons per year, and growing steadily at about 2 per cent annually, which is in line with the world population growth.
Figure 4: World rice production in million tons/year 
 “Biomass to Energy Overview”. Internal VHE study paper
 “Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Oct-2016,” [Online].
 “Alliance for Rural Electricifaction,” [Online].
TEOPOWER provides a solution to the growing need for food production, and especially in rural areas where access to electricity is unreliable and scarce.
The TEOPOWER produces power from rice husk at less than EUR 0.10 per kWh, and can transform a rice facility into a self-sufficient renewable energy facility. By burning rice husk, the TEOPOWER can reduce up to 2 400 tonnes of CO2 per year. Other typical biomass waste products that fit the TEOPOWER scope include sawdust, olive pits, bagasse, coffee pulp, soya bean residue and more.