BIOMASS. The plant requires regular-shape biomass (3-4 cm for wood chips, briquettes ø 30 mm – h 20 mm) with a low moisture level (10-15 % max). Should the biomass have different characteristics, it will require to be pre-treated and transformed into a suitable biofuel for SyngaSmart gasification technology. The pre-treatment varies depending on raw biomass characteristics and can include one or more of the following processes: drying, chipping, screening, shredding, densification (transformation into briquette). Some feedstock showing very low energy content (heating value) and not containing lignin, will need to be blended with a structuring biomass (e.g. wood shavings) in order to be turned into a suitable, compact biofuel briquette. For example, sludge requires blending with wood residues, while dried pomace or digestate generally do not.
PLANT USE AND OPERATION. Despite being equipped with the highest level of plant automation, the system requires the availability of a properly trained operator for daily operations, with an average commitment of 2/4 hours a day depending on the complexity of the installation and presence of additional equipment, such as pretreatment systems. Although the plant can be remotely turned on-off, monitored and controlled, the presence and availability of the operator is important for timely intervention in case of mechanical anomalies. SyngaSmart is designed for continuous operation– excluding downtime for ordinary and extraordinary maintenance. This does not mean that it cannot be used discontinuously (for example during 8/10 working hours), but it is important to know that any thermochemical plant has a start-up time during which energy is consumed to reach proper temperatures, therefore shutdowns should be ideally reduced to a minimum. The plant produces electricity, heat and biochar: consequently, the highest economic profitability is achieved when all the outputs are used and adequately valorized.
SYNGASMART GASIFICATION CHP IS NOT:
These goals can be achieved with asingle, integrated technological solution, capable of improving corporate image and giving to the community an environmental added value.
It ranges between 5.500 and 6.500 EUR per kW installed, in line with the average cost indicated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report Renewable Energy Cost Analysis – Biomass for Power Generation for the specific “Gasifier CHP” technology. The cost includes all the equipment required to operate the plant with standard biomass (i.e. biomass transport and feeding systems, gasifier, syngas cleaning system, genset, automation, software…). The need for additional pretreatment equipment is normally assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the characteristics of the biomass itself and the specific installation requirements.
Download here some examples of suitable feedstock.
The standard fuel is represented by lignocellulosic biomass with a regular shape and low moisture level (10-15%), such as wood chips G30-G50, and tree nut shells. Other lignocellulosic biomass such as prunings, branches and agricultural residues can be used upon proper pretreatment – for example drying, chipping, shredding and/or briquetting. It is also possible to process organic waste such as pomace, chicken manure, digestate and sewage sludge, once properly pre-treated and transformed into dry briquettes (Ø 3 cm) and with a residual moisture content not exceeding 10/15%. In some cases, these waste biomass need to be blended with a structuring biomass (for example wood shavings) in order to obtain a solid briquette, ready for the gasification process.
The need for a pre-treatment system (for example drying, shredding, screening…) is strictly related to the type of biomass and its conditions “as is”. RESET can supply additional equipment to transform raw biomass into biofuel , in a single integrated solution. Different types of biomass will result in different performances, depending on their chemical and physical characteristics.
Biomass consumption is determined according to the following “rule of thumb”:
1.2 kg of dry biomass = 1 kWh electric + 1.5 kWh thermal + 80 g of biochar.
Consequently a 100 kWe plant will require 120 kg / hour of biomass, and in a year it will consume about 900 tons at full capacity. These data refer to standard biomass.
Three-phase electrical power at 50 Hz and 380 V, ready for grid connection and customizable according to local electrical standards and requirements.
Thermal power is available as hot water at 80/85 °C with a flow rate between 3 and 30 m3/h depending on the model.
Furthermore, depending on the system configuration, other low temperature thermal sources are available for any use:
Other configurations are possible, for example connection to a battery for storage, or off-grid mode.
SyngaSmart CHPs, depending on the model, requires from 2 to 4 hours/day for normal plant supervision and ordinary maintenance, visual check, and biomass loading in case there is no automatic storage system. Having said that, the system can be monitored and operated via computer/app through internet connection. There is no need for constant control as the system is fully automated and equipped with remote control. However, what is important is the availability of a trained technician for timely intervention in case of mechanical anomalies, failures or need for manual operations that must be carried out on-site.
Ordinary maintenance can be performed by on-site trained technicians, or through a full maintenance contract offered by RESET. The extraordinary one must be carried out by RESET according to the maintenance plan supplied with the plant.
The plant is covered by all legal warranties on parts and components and is designed to operate for the number of hours indicated in the technical plant offer – normally from 5.000 to 7.200 hours / year , depending on the complexity of the installation and the type of biomass used, which can affect the amount of requested maintenance.
RESET offers full support to ensure proper plant operation from a technical standpoint. However, full operational hours can only be achieved if there is constant and timely availability of proper biomass, and a correct use and maintenance of the plant.
That depends fundamentally on where you are located. Consult your local energy and environmental agencies and regulatory bodies, searching for information about biomass renewable energy generation for export/sale, feed in tariffs, feed in premiums, support schemes, net metering, renewable energy communities. Visit our tax benefits article to learn more.
SyngaSmart plants emissions comply with most emission restriction regulations for biomass plants, and consist predominantly of water vapor, CO2 of non-fossil origin, small quantities of carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides typical of any internal combustion engine (such as those of non-electric cars), despite showing lower concentrations compared to an equivalent diesel or gas generator. According to the “Consolidated Environmental Act”, SyngaSmart plants are included in the “plants and activities whose emissions are negligible” (see T.U.A. – Part Five – Title 1 – art. 272 “Plants and activities in derogation” and Part I of Annex IV to Part Five – plants and activities referred to in art. 272, paragraph 1 – 1.)
Regarding CO2 emissions, it is very important to underline how the use of locally and sustainably sourced biomass with SyngaSmart technology does not cause a net CO2 increase, as opposed to what occurs when burning natural gas, oil or coal. In fact, the Carbon in the biomass already belongs to the atmospheric cycle and, once recombined with oxygen, would return to it in form of CO2 even in the case that biomass is not used. The atmospheric CO2 feeds photosynthesis thus supporting the growth of new biomass and therefore the release of new oxygen. In the case of non-woody biomass, the concept is further strengthened by the fact that landfill diversion (i.e. using waste biomass instead of landfilling) leads to the reduction of GHG emissions associated with transportation and biological degradation.
In the current environmental scenario, it appears more than necessary to find alternative and more sustainable and productive ways of managing waste organic feedstock, envisioning new scenarios and limiting the use of landfills. Practices such as biomass disposal and burning in open fields are no longer acceptable, as these circumstances generate negative environmental impacts without recovering any useful resource, such as energy. All this is certainly questionable in the case of large biomass combustion plants (> 1 MW) which require large amounts of fuel, almost always travelling long distances before reaching the plant. RESET SyngaSmart technology is a completely different concept, being designed for decentralized energy generation with locally available resources.
As far as waste production is concerned, the operation and maintenance of the plant naturally involves the use of consumables and spare parts that must be properly disposed of (for example engine lube, cleaning liquids, engine oil filter cartridges, air filter cartridges) along with small quantities of water, condensates and eventually TAR (a wide class of condensable compounds, mainly hydrocarbons, which originate from a pyrolytic process) that can form due to excessive humidity in the biomass or in the gasifying agent (air).
The average space requirement goes from 50 to 150 square meters , including the recommended space for operation and maintenance. The necessary space depends on both SyngaSmart model and accessories, which may be needed depending on the biomass type. PowerSkid+ models are intended for indoor installation and use, while CHP containerized units can also be installed outdoor.
A standard installation includes:
The average electric self-consumption is about 10% of plant rated power, and basically depends on SyngaSmart model which show a certain amount of electronic devices, including electromechanical components, sensors, valves, probes, gearmotors, augers, pumps, inverters… These components have variable duty cycles, therefore energy consumption is variable as well. The plant can be powered either from an external source or from its own production, depending on what is more convenient.
Industries and businesses willing to take advantage of the availability of residual biomass from production processes (e.g. woodworking industry), energy intensive users (e.g. industries, energy communities, large condos…), operators who generate by-products and waste with disposal costs, users who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.
The advantages are represented by an improved economic valorization of a residue, or even better by a reduction / elimination of a disposal cost, even without any energy consumption.
For energy-intensive industries, the benefits of cogeneration derive from the reduced use of grid power or other forms of power generation, as well as reduced consumption of natural gas, diesel or LPG for the production of thermal energy, thus increasing the overall energy efficiency.
RESET provides a free plant configurator on its website www.reset-energy.com that allows to get an idea of the financial outcome associated with energy generation with SyngaSmart systems, according to plant configuration, biomass availability, electricity price. Upon clicking on “get in touch” the request is assessed by RESET technical office, that will provide a feedback or use case representation by which it is possible to determine the profitability of the investment.
For a more accurate, in-depth analysis, it is possible to request the drafting of a Feasibility Study which includes the release of project documents, detailed both from a technical and financial standpoint, which will give evidence of the business opportunity for the client. RESET also provides its know-how to access any economic benefits and funding formulas. The Feasibility Study includes:
The cost of the Feasibility Study will subsequently be deducted from the purchase price of the system.
It ranges from 10 to 150 EUR/MWh depending on the specific characteristics of the installation, the type of biomass and associated disposal costs, the use of thermal energy, and biochar sale. It goes without saying that maximum profitability is achieved when all the outputs of the plant are used: electricity, thermal power, biochar. The Levelized Cost Of Electricity [LCOE] drops subsequently. [LCOE] To accurately determine the LCOE produced with SyngaSmart technology, it is therefore necessary to analyze all the parameters mentioned above, keeping in mind that, in the range of small plants (<200 kW), it is absolutely misleading to compare a biomass CHP with other technologies from renewable sources, as they basically do not deliver the same output and operate differently.
Yes, it is possible, although the system is designed to operate on a continuous basis. The average start time is approx. 30 minutes, and the plant can also be turned on remotely through the ReMotica software / app supplied with the system, which obviously also allows the monitoring and management of the system. The plant does not require fossil fuels for start-up, it normally starts with the available biomass.
Biomass is the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste.
Biochar is a form of vegetable charcoal that is generated by exposing biomass to a thermochemical process such as gasification or pyrolysis. Depending on biomass quality, kind of process, operating temperatures, biomass residence time and obviously the type of biomass used, biochar assumes certain chemical-physical characteristics, which determine its properties, among which the best known is that of agricultural soil improver.
Currently there is not a universal legislation on biochar, particularly about restrictions on the raw feedstock. For example, in Italy biochar can be defined as such only if generated from vegetable biomass originating from agriculture and forestry, as well as from olive pomace, bran, kernels and fruit shells, and obviously untreated waste from wood processing such as wood chips. However, starting from 16 July 2022, the new European Regulation on Fertilizers (EU Regulation 2019/1009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019) will apply, and the range of eligible biomass will be expanded.
Discover more about biochar here
It is a thermochemical process in which solid organic matter is transformed into fuel synthesis gas. This is achieved by using high temperatures (sometimes exceeding 1000 °C) in a closed vessel, where oxygen supply is limited and controlled in order to avoid the complete combustion of the input material. The resulting gas will therefore maintain an energy content.
It is the simultaneous production of mechanical power (convertible into electric power) and thermal power, for example hot water.