World Bank 296

Small-Scale Biomass Gasifiers for Heat and Power: A Global Review

From the article:

This document is the final report of the Biomass Gasification Monitoring Program (BGMP) sponsored by ESMAP (the joint United Nations Development Programme/World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme) and administered by the World Bank Industry and Energy Department. The four-year biomass monitoring program (1986-90) compiled uniform data on the performance, economics, safety, and public acceptability of biomass gasifiers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The present report summarizes data obtained from field reports submitted during the life of the monitoring program and synthesizes the insights gained from the program as a whole. As the first comprehensive review of the state of the art of biomass gasification in developing countries, the report is intended as a reference manual and guide for policymakers, planners, investors, and entrepreneurs.

The report begins by explaining the revival of worldwide interest in biomass gasification for developing countries during the 1970s and 1980s as well as the rationale for the monitoring program. It continues, in chapter 2, by discussing the technical, commercial, economic, pollution, health, and safety aspects of biomass gasification technology. The methods used by the BGMP, the gasifiers monitored, and the results of the monitoring are described in chapter 3. The performance aspects of the technology, as revealed by the BGMP data, are discussed and analyzed in chapter 4; the BGMP data are also compared with the equipment manufacturers' specifications. Insights on the costs and economics of the use of biomass gasifiers in developing countries are provided in the following chapter.

The report summaries the project's conclusions about the value added by biomass gasifiers, costs and economics of gasification, and availability and reliability of gasification equipment in chapter 6. That chapter also includes suggestions for research and development work that may improve the competitiveness of the technology versus the use of prime movers fueled by petroleum derivatives and on the type of technology most likely to result in successful projects. A final chapter contains a "checklist," including background information, that could serve as a quick evaluation instrument for assessing the viability and applicability of proposed biomass gasifier projects.

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