Energy from agricultural products
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CTA. 2005. Energy from agricultural products. Spore 116. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47973
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore116.pdf
Producing energy that does not pollute the environment, affect the climate or cost too much money seems a difficult task. However, today, new technologies are enabling energy to be generated from a number of agricultural residues.
Producing energy that does not pollute the environment, affect the climate or cost too much money seems a difficult task. However, today, new technologies are enabling energy to be generated from a number of agricultural residues. In Mauritius, islanders use bagasse a fibrous residue left after the juice has been extracted from sugarcane to produce electricity. This development was the result of a major national plan that dates back to 1992, following the first Gulf War. Anxious about dwindling petroleum supplies, Mauritius decided to make the most of its renewable energy resources. Sugar and sunshine are currently combined to save the island from the need to import some 20,000 t of fuel per year and produce less pollution as a welcome spin-off. Bagasse, for which Mauritians previously had no use, is now used for fuel, but only from July to December as production is linked to sugarcane growth and processing cycles. To address this problem, the bagasse furnaces have been adapted to use coal as an alternative fuel. These dual-purpose power stations can produce electrical energy all year round at the low cost of about 6.1 eurocents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Mauritius would like to take a further step inspired by Brazil, which annually exports 700 million litres of ethanol, another sugar industry by-product which fuels cars and electric generators. Other biofuels, which allow power production of between 9 and 300 kilovolt-amperes (kVA), have been developed in recent years by the French Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD). In Fiji, slightly modified diesel engines, using copra oil from coconut kernels, provide electrical energy for four villages. Gilles Vaitilingom CIRAD-AMIS UPR Biomasse-Energie TA 40/15 34398 Montpellier cedex 5 France Fax: +33 4 67 61 44 49 E-mail: email@example.com