POTENTIAL OF BIOMASS GASIFICATION AND COMBUSTION TECHNOLOGY FOR SMALL-AND MEDIUM-SCALE APPLICATIONS IN GHANA

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ABSTRACT



This research discusses the biomass gasification technology and which potential feedstock is available and their location in Ghana. It further explains which type of distribution network will be appropriate and the target group who will benefit from the technology and how affordable and appropriate it would be to them. The thesis also discusses which policies will be needed to promote this kind of renewable energy for the small and medium scale gasification plants in Ghana.

The method employed in this paper was a desk top research, identifying the potential feed stock in Ghana, given an overview of solid biomass resources in Ghana, describing the gasification technology to generate electricity and the potential for the small and medium scale gasification plants on the Ghanaian market.

The outcome of this paper revels that, there is a great potential for the gasification technology in Ghana when the right polices and measures are put in place.


Keywords: Biomass gasification, feedstock, distribution network and policies.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Objective of the Research
1.2. The Research Questions
1.3. Structure of the Research

2 BIOENERGY AND RELATED TECHNOLOGIES
2.1 Definition of Bioenergy
2.2 Impact of Bioenergy
2.3 Conversion Technology
            2.3.1 Direct Combustion
            2.3.2 Gasification

3 RESEARCH METHODS
4 BIOENERGY POTENTIAL IN GHANA
4.1 An overview of Biomass Feedstock in Ghana
4.3 Gasification Technologies in Ghana
4.4 Potential Distribution Network
4.4.1    Feed stock production
4.4.2    Feedstock Logistics
4.4.3    Bioenergy production
4.4.4    Bioenergy Distribution
4.4.5    Bioenergy end user

5 BARRIERS TO GASIFICATION TECHNOLOGY IN GHANA
5.1 Bioenergy Policies
5.2 Stakeholders of Bioenergy in Ghana
5.3       Potential of Gasek in Ghana

6.         Conclusion
6.1 Recommendation


1.   INTRODUCTION
This research aims to uncover the potential of bioenergy in Ghana and how this form of energy can be sustained and afforded by the local Ghanaian community.

Renewable energy has become one of the strongest alternatives to improve the plight of about two billion people around the world who are living in mostly rural areas and have no access to any form of energy which is considered as modern. It is estimated that about half a billion people also have limited or unreliable access to energy. It must be noted that these people are living in the most remote parts of the world where population growth is on the increase. If there is any difference to be made in the lives of these people, then it must be a way of helping them to get connected to power sources. In spite of development in technology and economic viability of so many applications, renewable energy has been utilized to a small fraction of the total potentials it has. This is because of the presence of so many barriers to the penetration of renewable energy products. The barriers to renewable energy products may differ within technologies across countries. This research focuses on the identification of these barriers and if possible how to overcome them.


Ghana, a country on the West Coast of Africa, is one of the most thriving democracies on the continent. The country's economy is dominated by agriculture, which employs about 40 percent of the working population. Therefore there is a great potential for bio energy since there are a variety of biomass resources. In Ghana, the main energy supply is based on biomass, mainly firewood and charcoal (64%), petroleum (27%), and electricity (9%), Bio energy among the other renewal sources of energy sources has a great potential of improving the energy security of the nation, since Ghana is predominantly renowned in vegetation and agriculture. The considerable amount of biomass resources in the nation combined with the development of other conversion technologies suggest that bio energy will play a significant role in the future of Ghana’s energy sector. (Albert Adu Boahen- 2010).

The development of Ghana’s energy sector has been one of the priorities of the Ghanaian government as the world draws closer to an age where fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal may run out and the reality of climate change becomes more apparent and there is need to switch to renewable energy resources to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases becomes more urgent.

The demand for electricity in Ghana has increased in the past years as the population has grown so much and the need to meet the rising demand has become eminent. Reliance on the hydro dam alone cannot solve the high demand for the entire nation.

The development of Ghana’s energy system in the context of energy security will rely on energy efficiency and expanded renewable energy. For the past four years the government of Ghana have been putting together regulations and policies to embrace renewable energy into the energy sector and to promote investment in this area of energy which could become an alternative or supplementary source of energy generation for the country and its surroundings.

1.1.                      Objective of the Research
The following are some aspects in which this research intends to reveal the enormous potential of the gasification technology in Ghana. The objective of this research is to:

·         Identify the potential feedstock in Ghana

·         Give an overview of solid biomass resources in Ghana.

·         Describe the gasification and combustion conversion technologies that utilize solid biomass to generate electricity.


·         Access the market potential for small and medium scale gasification and combustion system.


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This is a General Thesis for both Undergraduate & Postgraduate Studies. The complete research material plus questionnaire and references can be obtained at an affordable price of N3,000 within Nigerian or its equivalent in other currencies.


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