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Open AccessArticle

Energy Calculator for Solar Processing of Biomass with Application to Uganda

1
School of Chemical and Process and Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2
Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061485
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Resource Assessment and Forecasting)
Rural areas of developing countries often have poor energy infrastructure and so rely on a very local supply. A local energy supply in rural Uganda frequently has problems such as limited accessibility, unreliability, a high expense, harmful to health and deforestation. By carbonizing waste biomass streams, available to those in rural areas of developing countries through a solar resource, it would be possible to create stable, reliable fuels with more consistent calorific values. An energy demand calculator is reported to assess the different energy demands of various thermochemical processes that can be used to create biofuel. The energy demand calculator then relates the energy required to the area of solar collector required for an integrated system. Pyrolysis was shown to require the least amount of energy to process 1 kg of biomass when compared to steam treatment and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). This was due to the large amount of water required for steam treatment and HTC. A resource assessment of Uganda is reported, to which the energy demand calculator has been applied. Quantitative data are presented for agricultural residues, forestry residues, animal manure and aquatic weeds found within Uganda. In application to rural areas of Uganda, a linear Fresnel HTC integration shows to be the most practical fit. Integration with a low temperature steam treatment would require more solar input for less carbonization due to the energy required to vaporize liquid water. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; energy resource assessment; developing countries; concentrated solar; thermochemical biomass; energy resource assessment; developing countries; concentrated solar; thermochemical
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MDPI and ACS Style

Green, T.; Miria, O.I.; Crook, R.; Ross, A. Energy Calculator for Solar Processing of Biomass with Application to Uganda. Energies 2020, 13, 1485.

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