1. Biomass gasification is thermo-chemical conversion of biomass into a combustible gas mixture (producer gas) through a partial combustion route with air supply restricted to less than that theoretically required for full combustion. A gasifier system basically comprises of a reactor where the gas is generated, and is followed by a cooling and cleaning train which cools and cleans the gas. The clean combustible gas is available for power generation in diesel-gen-set or 100% producer gas engines.
2. The Ministry is promoting multifaceted biomass gasifier based power plants for producing electricity using locally available biomass resources such as wood chips, rice husk, arhar stalks, cotton stalks and other agro-residues in rural areas. The main components of the biomass gasifier programmes are:
i. Distributed / Off-grid power for Rural Areas
ii. Captive power generation applications in Rice Mills and other industries.
iii. Tail end grid connected power projects up to 2 MW capacities.
3. The focus of the biomass gasifier programme is to meet captive electrical and thermal needs of rice mills and other industries which in turn help in replacing / saving of conventional fuels such as coal, diesel, furnace oil etc. In addition, to provide unmet demand of electricity for villages for lighting, water pumping and micro-enterprises. Emphasis is also given for setting up of small biomass gasifier based power plants up to 2 MW capacities connected at the tail end of grid as it provides multiple benefits such as reducing T&D losses, ensuring sustainable supply of biomass, access to electricity in villages etc.
4. The prograame envisages implementation of such projects with involvement of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), industries, Co-operative, Panchayats, SHGs, NGOs, manufactures or entrepreneurs, industries, promoters & developers etc.
5. About 150 MW equivalent biomass gasifier systems have been set up for grid and off-grid projects. More than 300 rice mills and other industries are using gasifier systems for meeting their captive power and thermal applications. In addition, about biomass gasifier 70 systems are providing electricity to more than 230 villages in the country.