Trigeneration using biomass energy for sustainable development

Vasudevan, Padma, Sen, P.K., Singh, S.N., Singh, Prahlad, Davies, Philip, Dey, Prasanta K. and Berry, Robert (2013). Trigeneration using biomass energy for sustainable development. International Journal of Energy Sector Management, 7 (3), pp. 309-320.


Purpose: The paper aims to design and prove the concept of micro-industry using trigeneration fuelled by biomass, for sustainable development in rural NW India. Design/methodology/approach: This is being tested at village Malunga, near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The system components comprise burning of waste biomass for steam generation and its use for power generation, cooling system for fruit ripening and the use of steam for producing distilled water. Site was selected taking into account the local economic and social needs, biomass resources available from agricultural activities, and the presence of a NGO which is competent to facilitate running of the enterprise. The trigeneration system was designed to integrate off-the-shelf equipment for power generation using boilers of approximate total capacity 1 tonne of fuel per hour, and a back-pressure steam turbo-generator (200 kW). Cooling is provided by a vapour absorption machine (VAM). Findings: The financial analysis indicates a payback time of less than two years. Nevertheless, this is sensitive to market fluctuations and availabilities of raw materials. Originality/value: Although comparable trigeneration systems already exist in large food processing industries and in space heating and cooling applications, they have not previously been used for rural micro-industry. The small-scale (1-2 m3/h output) multiple effect distillation (3 effect plus condenser) unit has not previously been deployed at field level.

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Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences > Mechanical engineering & design
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Sustainable environment research group
Aston Business School > Operations & information management research group
Aston Business School > Operations & information management
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Computer science
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Computer science research group
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomass energy,decentralized rural industrialization,energy balance,energy efficiency,environmental benefits,field application,micro-industry model,sustainable development,water cycle,trigeneration,solar energy,supply chain
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Published Date: 2013
Authors: Vasudevan, Padma
Sen, P.K.
Singh, S.N.
Singh, Prahlad
Davies, Philip
Dey, Prasanta K.
Berry, Robert


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