Evaluation of the Energy Potential of the Gorse (Ulex Europaeus) in the Generation of Electrical Energy by Gasification
Nino, Y.
Vega, L.
Ruiz, B.
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Nino Y., Vega L., Ruiz B., 2018, Evaluation of the Energy Potential of the Gorse (Ulex Europaeus) in the Generation of Electrical Energy by Gasification, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 64, 481-486.
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The gorse (Ulex europaeus) is an exotic invasive species, coming from Europe. This species has been spreading in several sectors inside and outside the City of Bogota, where due to its easy adaptation it has caused alterations in the diverse ecosystems where it is rooted. Since of 2008, it was declared an invasive species for Colombia. Since then authorities have looked for multiple options for the management, control and restoration of the invaded areas. The alternatives commonly used for the management of invasive species such as gorse are eradication and control. Within the control exists the biological control, the chemical control and the physical or mechanical control. On the other hand, are prevention, cultural measures, and the implementation of the "Bradley" method, as a strategy that combines containment and reduction, among others. Bogotá Botanical Garden José Celestino Mutis is developing a different technique, called bio extrusion. This consists in passing the material through a high temperature that sterilizes the seeds, and produces a powder rich in nutrients that can be used as fertilizer for ecological restoration processes.
In this article, we propose the exploitation of the high heat value of the Gorse trunks in the production of electric energy through gasification, evaluating its energetic potential, to determine the energetic potential, the physiochemical characterization and adequacy of the gorse trunks. Subsequently, an electric power generation system was used with the Gasification Power Pallet PP20®. Five gasification tests were carried out. Afterwards was determined the lower calorific value of the Gorse, the percentage of biomass utilization, the kilogram/kWh generated, and the generated power curve. The cost of kWh generated in situ and the potential of electric power generation was determined by gasification in Bogotá.
Among the main results, it was obtained an 85% use percentage of available biomass (gorse). The physiochemical characterization determined that the gorse has a lower calorific value of 14017.97kJ/kg °C. The cost of kWh generated is around US $ 0.23. The use of gorse as fuel for production of electric energy by gasification is viable, due to its physiochemical characteristics such as its low percentage of humidity and ashes, its slightly acid character and high calorific value. Considering the different options to complement the eradication and control processes, gasification is a complementary choice because the rate of use of biomass is higher than other kinds (Just requires 0.26kg/kWh generated).
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