THE ROLE OF BIOMASS GASIFICATION IN RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN GHANA

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ABSTRACT
Through the years biomass gasification has indeed emerged potentially as a tech-nology choice for rural electrification for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) due to the potential of biomass resources in the sub region. Ghana in particular generates and produces in excess biomass materials, such as cocoa, palm kernel, and sugar, which could be sufficiently harnessed into electricity to improve productivity lev-el in the rural areas.
The purpose of the thesis was to analyze biomass gasification technology and its potential, specific barriers, and appropriate policies to promote such technology and finally how it can improve rural electrification in Ghana.
The study employs literature review, and shows that regulatory framework, na-tional support for R&D, education and information, community participation and financial incentives are factors that can promote biomass gasification for rural electrification in Ghana.


Key words: Biomass gasification, Rural electrification, Biomass resources


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

1 INTRODUCTION
            1.1 Background
            1.2 Research objectives
            1.3 Outline of the study

2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
            2.1 Research design types
            2.2 Exploratory research
            2.3 Exploratory research types

3 LITERATURE REVIEW
            3.1 Definition of biomass
            3.2 Kinds of biomass use today
            3.3 Fermentation
            3.4 Pros and cons
            3.5 Sub-Saharan Africa
            3.6 Biomass potential in Ghana
            3.7 Biomass potential in Sub-Saharan Africa
4 GASIFICATION
            4.1 Classification of gasifiers
            4.2 Processes of gasification
            4.3 Fortunes of gasification
            4.4 The updraft gasifier
            4.5 The downdraft gasifier
            4.6 The  fluidized  bed  gasifiers  (bubbling  fluidized  bed  &  circulating fluidized bed)
5   BARRIERS OF BIOMASS IMPLEMENTATION
            5.1 Barriers of biomass gasification
            5.2 Technical barriers
            5.3 Non-technical barriers
            5.4 Some characteristics of rural settings
            5.5 Rural electrification
            5.6 Benefits of rural electrification
            5.7 Why biomass gasification is appropriate for rural electrification
            5.8 Policies that can promote biomass gasification in Ghana
            5.9 Community participation

6 CONCLUSION
            6.1 Recommendation
            6.2 Limitation
7 REFERENCES


1    INTRODUCTION
1.1  Background
The demand for electricity for development is still on the ascendency. This re-quest poses a challenge for many African leaders even until now, In spite of the abundance of deposits of fossil fuels and potentials in natural renewable re-sources. In this connection the title of this paper;: The Role of Biomass Gasifica-tion in Rural Electrification, is so crucial to provide some information and techno-logical capabilities to meet most of the demand for energy in rural communities.

There are new enormous technologies for energy production in the market today. But one has to consider actually the economic activity, technical and engineering skills, sociocultural behavior and also the sustainability of the fuel supply etc. be-fore settling on one. It is apparent that Africa has not fully harnessed the available biomass potentials. The role of biomass gasification in rural electrification will go a long way of giving a boost in the social activities in the rural communities to curb the rampant urban migration, since it can be considered as a food basket most of the African countries. On the other hand, having the potentials alone without the specific technology for energy production will not solve the electricity prob-lems in the rural community.

The aim of this research is to provide some solutions to the challenges associated with the present traditional uses of the biomass feed stock in Ghana, and further to provide how gasification for now is the way forward for electricity off the grid in the rural communities. The direct burning for these feed stocks releases more car-bon dioxide into the atmosphere. Although, these emissions when compared to what is released by industry are still minimum, but all together contribute to the global warming. Furthermore, the process is also traditional and many times feed stocks are burned directly. The health implications of this practice have to be ad-dressed and subsequent dangers it poses to individuals and occupants. The transfer of this technology into the rural and local communities will not only provide them with the adequate energy they need for their day to day activities, but largely pro-vide them with some employment opportunities either directly or indirectly.

This project will not critically consider the composition of produces gases from Ghana. Because, the chemical composition for various biomass feed stocks might differ from location to location, as well as the moisture content. This actually de-termines the quality of the fuel and the tar compositions.

With respect to rural electrification it has been estimated that 55% of the popula-tion has no electricity connection or supply from the grid. Further proposals have been made for supply to more than 500 communities in the year 2020. This then makes this technology transfer so curtail and significant for electricity in the rural communities. Most of Africa’s economy, and Ghana for that matter, can be sup-ported effectively with some adequate power supply when much attention is given to the surplus biomass energy supply. It is still obvious that the supply of fossil fuels has a finite limit. (Panwar, and Athore, 2011)

1.2  Research objectives
The objective of this study was to consider the role of biomass gasification for electricity in rural Ghana. There are plenty of biomass resources available in the rural community, which when harnessed, can solve most of the energy challenges in rural Ghana.

The questions underneath provide the solid foundation, guiding the path of this thesis, it is expected that at the end of thesis all corresponding answers be docu-mented as such for future consumption.

Q.1.      What is the potential of biomass gasification in Ghana?

Q.2       What are the barriers of biomass gasification in Ghana?

Q.3       Policies that can promote biomass gasification in Ghana?


Q.4         How biomass gasification can improve rural electrification?


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