Biomass gasification or combustion for generating electricity in Spain: Review of its current situation according to the opinion of specialists in the field
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This paper seeks to set out the problems of biomass-based electricity generation according to the opinions of specialists in the sector with considerable experience both in the undertaking of projects involving the management and operation of facilities, and in research projects involving combustion and gasification technologies. The aim is to analyse both technologies and decide which is the more suitable and in what circumstances, and to describe the technological and circumstantial problems each one currently faces. In general, it is stressed that these two technologies are still in their infancy, and they require major efforts in research, although the first fruits are already being gathered for each one at an appropriate scale. Some experts recommend using the gasification technique in plants with an installed electric power of between 0.5 and 2 MWe, while in plants between 2 and 10 MWe combustion is considered to be more reliable. A key factor in the viability of both types of facilities is the need to increase operating times. The estimated requirement is 7000 to 8000 operating hours, which is well above the current figure. A common problem with both technologies is biomass logistics. This is a factor that needs to be taken very much into account when conducting a feasibility study on a facility. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.
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