ANALYSIS OF BIOMASS WASTE POTENTIAL FOR ELECTRICAL ENERGY GENERATION IN GHANA

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ABSTRACT

In order to attain economic growth and development, all the world‟s economies had placed greater emphasis on renewable energy development and production. This had led to the advancement of technologies to invent conversion machineries that could transform biomass residues into electrical energy. Ghana is a typical West African country that produces large quantity of biomass residues that could be effectively utilized for the production of electrical energy.

The goal of this thesis/research is to contribute to a sound energy market that would provide sufficient, viable and efficient energy services for the economic development of Ghana and other African countries through the formulation of a comprehensive program that would identify the optimal path for the development, exploitation and proficient management of biomass-energy resources available to the country and the needed technological means to convert them into electrical energy.


Among the various sources of Biomass residues, this research is specifically focused on five main agricultural wastes due to the nature of biomass diversities and also because it‟s the most produced in the country. These sources include sawdust, palm-kennel, cocoa pods, coconut shell, and sugarcane waste. Data was collected by conducting many comprehensive interviews with officials from the ministry of food and agriculture, the Energy commission of Ghana, Bonsu Agricultural Institute of Ghana and also with farmers, wood workers and other whose fields are within the study criteria. Information used are from well known organizational sources and their internet sites, such as the UNEP, US.EIA and other similar well known site as aids for calculating and converting the material sources into electrical energy (KWH).


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT


1. INTRODUCTION
            1.1. Background
            1.2. Aim of the thesis
            1.3. Research Questions of the Thesis
            1.4. Target and Limitation of the Thesis
2. THEORETICAL FRAM WORK
            2.1 Types of Biomass Residues
            2.1.1 Agricultural Wastes
            2.1.2. Forest Wastes
            2.1.3. Animal Waste
            2.1.4. Urban waste
            2.2. Some Facts to Consider about biomass
            2.3. Overview of case country (Ghana)
            2.4. Background Studies
            2.5. The present energy system of Ghana
            2.6. Future Demand for Energy

3. CONVERSION TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE
            3.1. Biomass for Power and Heat
            3.1.1. Combustion
            3.1.2.   Combined Heat and Power
3.2. Biogas
3.2.1. Gasification
3.2.2. Anaerobic Digestion
3.3. Bio Fuels
3.3.1.   Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO)/Pure Plant Oil (PPO)
3.3.2. Biodiesel
3.3.3. Alcohols
3.4. Biorefineries
3.5. Cooking and Related Applications
3.5.1.   Biomass Densification or Briquetting
3.5.3. Ethanol Gel
3.5.3. Improved Cooking Stoves
3.5.4. Biochar

4.         ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF BIOMASS ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
            4.1.   Advantages/Importance of Bioenergy Development in Ghana
            4.1.1. Ecological Importance
            4.1.2.   Waste Reduction and Health Improve
            4.1.3.   For the Production of Energy
            4.1.4. Income Generation
            4.1.5. Developments
            4.1.6.   Low cost, savings and improved living standard
            4.2.   Disadvantages of Biomass Energy Development

5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
            5.1.1. Quantitative Research
            Quantitative
            5.1.2. Qualitative Research
            5.2. Case studies
            5.3.1. Exploratory research
            5.3.2. Descriptive research
            5.3.4. Casual research
            5.3.5. Observatory research
            5.3.6. Focus group
            5.4. Research Method Used
            5.4.1. Qualitative
            5.4.2. Exploratory
            5.4.2a. Structured Questionnaire
            5.4.3. Focus Groups

6. EMPERICAL PART
            6.4. Agricultural waste
            6.2. The main Sources of Biomass in Ghana
            6.3. Cocoa Pod
            6.4. Palm-Kernel
            6.5. Wood Waste/Saw-Dust
            6.6. Coconut Husk
            6.7. Sugarcane Waste

7. ANALYSIS AND DEDUCTIONS OF RESEARCH RESULT
8. CONCLUSION
9. REFERENCES
10.       ABBREVIATIONS
11.       APENDIXIES


1.                 INTRODUCTION


1.1.       Background

Ever since the earliest inhabitants on earth, biomass in the form of burned wood in campfires for heat has been the main source of energy for meeting human needs. Today, Biomass is one of the well-known renewable energy sources for many people and industries. Using biomass for energy can have many benefits, some of which includes cutting back on waste accumulation and support for agricultural products grown round the world. Unlike other sources of energy, biomass fuels have lots of benefits both to humans needs and also to the environment, even as will be explained later.

By general definition, biomass is the organic matter in trees, agricultural crops, living organisms, humans, animals, plant materials and organic compounds used to produce heat or to generate electricity. In a simpler term biomass is plant materials and animal waste used as fuel or to generate energy.

Energy is a major requirement of every human need. For many millenniums man depended on the suns energy for warmth and light. Later when man discovered fire, it became the only controllable form of energy for many thousands of years. Today, thanks to scientific discoveries and improvements energy comes in many different forms and sources. Modern day scientific discoveries and technologies varies from simple forms of energy like coal to complex systems like electricity, ethanol, geothermal, hydropower, municipal solid waste, natural gas, nuclear, petroleum oil, photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, to mention just a few.


Energy aids in all aspect of life and has been a major source of economic growth and development. According to the economists and energy developers, there is a direct link between energy use, economic growth and standard of living. One major problem about energy unfortunately has been that, it appears as if very little ever comes at a cheap price today. Electrical power, connected to our homes, through the local electrical plant, is becoming more and more costly. The more comfortable you would like your home to be, the more money you need to compensate for it. Thus the cry of many has been to shift from their present costly source of energy to a less expensive source. Discussions on how to achieve this achieve this has been a hot topic for consideration both by energy users and energy developing scientist. Thanks to modern scientific improvement and technological advancement, the solution is right here with us in what is term as the renewable source of energy.

Renewable Energy Development is continually increasing in many forms and different ranges, erupting from a simple know-how source to a complex and incomprehensible systems, sources and development. Despite the diverse sources of energy development, most are obscure to especially those in the less developed and developing countries. The benefits of these ever increasing technologies in energy development have helped many to cut down cost on energy consumption and have thus contributed to savings and better living conditions.

There are various sources of biomass that could be used for the production of electrical energy. These may include sources like forest wood, crops wastes, cocoa and coconut chaffs, municipal manures, some garbage, etc. These are usually burnt to produce steam for electricity generation, or to provide heat to industrial housing and homes. In the United State and other part of the world for example, many manufacturing plants in the wood and paper products industry use wood waste to produce their own steam and electricity. This has resulted in money savings since these companies needed not to pay for waste disposal and don't have to buy much electricity as they use their own waste produces.

1.2.       Aim of the thesis

The goal of this thesis/research is to contribute to a sound energy market for all investors and to provide sufficient, viable and efficient energy services for the economic development of Ghana. This is to be achieved through the formulation of a comprehensive program that would identify the optimal path for the development, exploitation and proficient management of biomass-energy resources available to the country and the needed technological means to convert them into electrical energy.

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