Emission free power projects | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 25, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 25, 2011

Emission free power projects

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In recent days, Bangladesh is facing serious problem due to the shortage of natural gas supply. Most of the gas wells are old and need renovation and maintenance. Exploration of new wells in a time-taking matter and also needs huge investment. The natural gas is mainly consumed in power generation 55% (including captive) and the other major uses are industries 17%, domestic 11.5% and fertilizer 11% as per Petrobangla statistics, January 2010. There is no possibility of improving the situation quickly and government has stopped giving gas connection to new users. In this crucial situation, we need to plan for alternative energy source for power generation.
Energy from waste is a traditional concept practiced worldwide since long mainly through incineration or gasification which causes huge air pollution. Technology is developing day by day and now emission free waste-to-energy project has been introduced in Europe and America. Bangladesh is still far behind in waste management compared even to the neighbouring countries. For such a big population, we have no planned waste management system in place for the solid waste generated from domestic, industrial and commercial sources. These are creating serious health problem among the people and making the nation puzzled with concerns day after day.
BNL Clean Energy AB (www.bnlce.com), a Swiss company, has developed and patented a new emission free process for producing energy, power and synthetic fuels from most substances containing carbon. This emission free system uses a thermo-chemical process suitable for most organic feedstock containing sufficient carbon such as biomass, chemicals, hazardous waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), oil and its sludge, plastics, rubber, waste tyres, waste water sludge, wood etc. It does not have any CO2 or GHG emissions and causes no harm to the environment.
The process produces valuable energy and products such as electricity and heating or cooling, synthetic fuels (diesel and jet fuel), chemical residues (which are supplied to the chemical industry) and an inert non-toxic ash (which is used as a filler asphalt on tarmac). Since it doesn't produce any flue gas, no complex and expensive flue gas treatment and scrubber are required, which significantly reduces investment and operational costs compared to conventional technologies.
This power plant can be designed for any size from 1-2000 MW capacity. For example, a 10 MW power output project needs 10 MT domestic and industrial waste per hour which also subsequently produces diesel/kerosene and steam as by product. This technology is also suitable for any kind of fossil fuel like natural gas, furnace oil or coal of any nature, by which we can save 30%-40% fuel unlike other traditional fossil fuel fired power plants. Additionally, BNL has other by-products such as steam, heat, biodiesel etc but no emission. At the end, BNL being an emission free project can claim for carbon benefit from UNFCC.
The gas scarcity in Bangladesh is well known now and we need some power projects that consume alternative energy. Government and any big organisation can think for this type of project. We have some big industries (textile, food, paper & pulp etc) which need electric power and steam both for their production process. At this moment, most of them are using gas based captive power plant for power generation and separate gas fired boiler for steam generation. BNL technology is the best solution for them to produce everything from one operation by coal or coal+waste based emission free power plant, which would ultimately supply them electric power, steam, potable water and bio-fuel at the same time.
Bangladesh government is now planning to import power from India or Myanmar, which might not be a good decision since we shouldn't rely on others for anything which is related to the national security and economic growth. We better plan to import coal from India now and install coal based emission free power project and afterwards these plants can be operated by Phulbari coal when the Phulbari coal mine be in operation.
Dhaka City Corporation is responsible for the waste management in an area of 360 sq. km with a population of 8 million which generates an estimated solid waste of 3000 to 4000 tons everyday. Out of which 40-50 percent is disposed of in the landfills and the rest left unattended or locally dumped. There are many areas in Dhaka city not covered by the DCC and the current estimated population in Dhaka City is around 12-15 million. Even considering the DCC's jurisdiction, it is possible to generate 150-200 MW of electricity from this solid waste by this emission free technology as well as significant amount of diesel/kerosene and steam as by-product.
If we include the entire Dhaka city and the surrounding industries around Dhaka, it would be possible to generate more than 500 MW electricity by only the solid waste management. This doesn't relate to any big involvement, government can develop a plan to implement in phases by installing small units in different places in and around Dhaka city. This concept can be replicated for other district and divisional cities in future.
Process flow chart of BNL emission free power project:
1. Feed
2. High temperature pyrolysis
3. Oxidation / Gasification
4. Catalytic conversion to hydrocarbons, with surplus gas recycling
5. Products such as diesel, kerosene or wax
6. Power generation and energy for heating, cooling and/or sea water desalination
7. Residues such as sulfur, phosphorus and heavy metals
8. Inert ash without contaminations or heavy metals
The process is simpler and consumes 40% less space than traditional power project. The project implementation period is 8-20 months depending on the size of the project.

Dr. Nasir Uddin Khan, writes from UK.
Email: nukhan05@gmail.com

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