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Pakistan-based UAF installs 100kW biomass gasification plant

Pakistan-based University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) has installed a 100kW-biomass gasification power plant at its site to promote green energy.

In a statement, the UAF said its new biomass plant will overcome a powers shortfall touching 5000MW.

UAF vice chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan inaugurated the energy plant. It was launched in co-operation with the Punjab Bio Energy Institute, Postgraduate Research Station, and link up with bioenergy specialists in China, as part of an initiative with the Punjab government.

Chinese expert Hai Bin Li from Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, China and Xiaobo Wang; UAF Agri Engineering Dean Allah Buksh, Ehsan Ali,  Anjum Munir and other key speakers also spoke at the event.

Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the Pakistan was producing a huge quantity of biomass and crop residues every year and stressed that these materials should be converted into electricity as an alternative to fossil fuels. He termed the project a solution to meet the country’s electricity needs, especially at village level. He said that this initiative was set up by the Punjab chief minister who had invited China to provide the technology for the biomass plant.

The plant converts agricultural waste into power via a process of gasification. The UAF said the plant has enough energy to power 50 houses.

Khan said that the combination of biogas, biomass, and solar energy would help to become self-sufficient in the energy sector. He said in Pakistan, post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables are 25-40% and 15-18% in food grains. He also said the plant will be used for the research and development activities as step towards to reach it out to every corner of the province.

Hai Bin Li said that China is producing 650 million tonnes of agricultural wastes. It is unclear whether this waste is produced yearly.  A total of 50% of this waste is being used to produce energy.

China produces around 270 million tonnes of forest waste. Around 30% is used for energy outlets.

Li said that China is meeting 10% of its power demands from the bioenergy. He explained that the promotion of such technology would promote the country to meet its energy demands. He said 4,700-scaled land poultry farm biogas plants and 1600 scaled industrial organic waste biogas plants were in operation in China by 2010. Totally about 4 billion m3 biogas was produced each year.

Dean Faculty of Agri Engineering Allah Buksh suggested using the agricultural wastes for the production of energy. He said that reserves of fossil fuels could finish after half a century and the University had launched a programme of energy system engineering that would also help to fight the challenge with the help of trained manpower.

Anjum Munir said that Pakistan spends $14 billion (€12bn) yearly on import of oils. He explained that electricity shortfall was greater than 5000MW resulting in daily load shedding. He added that the current energy resources are unable to meet the required energy demand of the country.