By: Rubina Obaid
Bagasse is the by-product of sugarcane, which is used for energy generation. Bagasse is the residual fiber leftover in the process which gets accumulated as landfills and ultimately sold as fertilizer, if not utilized for energy generation
Numerous agricultural commodities and organic wastes are having latent potential to produce biomass, whereas sugarcane stands out among them. However, biomass yield through sugarcane is comparatively underappreciated and hence underutilized. Once the sugarcane is used for obtaining the extract and turned to sugar crystals, the residual part has been recognized as the source of obtaining renewable energy. Sugarcane contains cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin which is useful in converting to biofuels. Biomass obtained from organic waste contributes greatly to switching towards a climate-friendly sustainable energy source while efficiently replacing fossil-based fuel. Obtaining bioethanol from sugarcane is considered as the world’s most commercially viable biofuel production system, that delivers second-generation fuels with a high positive energy balance in the most competitive cost.
Bagasse is the by-product of sugarcane, which is used for energy generation. Bagasse is the residual fiber leftover in the process which gets accumulated as landfills and ultimately sold as fertilizer, if not utilized for energy generation. This means that an average sugar mill with a capacity of 6000 tonnes of sugarcane crushed per day has the capability to produce a maximum of 49MW of electricity. It also generates the process steam or heat needed to cook the extracted sugar. Nowadays more and more mill owners across the world are taking the opportunity of producing electricity, not only for their own mill but also contributing to forwarding surplus energy into the national grids.
The Sales Manager Asia Pacific at Siemens Energy, Lew Bent Fei says ” Government in Asia and South Asia have been recently pushing ahead with support for biomass-to-energy plants as these continents try to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel power generation and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promote renewable energy” He further added that Japanese government is offering high biomass power generation tariff of 20cent/kwh. This is encouraging developers to build biomass plants for power generation and helps them in turning away from coal. Similarly, the Philippines has also launched biomass portfolio standards to boost the country’s renewable energy use. In Thailand, they have also introduced “Small power producer” and very small power producer initiative to substantially promote biomass power generation.
Steam Turbine technology introduced by Siemens does not only convert sugar, but also useful for a gamut of biomass products and waste into useful heat and power. The objective of the company is to improve efficiency and bring down the cost of recovering biomass. Siemens Energy offers a comprehensive range of versatile steam turbines for power output that ranges from <1 to 250 MW. This helps mill owners to earn more profits while having more fuel-efficient plants. To improve the overall efficiency of the whole conversion process it is also important to generate improved sugarcane cultivars having optimum biomass yield, fiber content, and also better biomass degradability for conversion to biofuels.