【Big Candidate for GFP list】Visit to Power Generation Plant by Wastes
GFP had a trip to see an ESG project, which is now a candidate to be listed on the Green Funding Platform on 23rd January 2019. The location was in Yamanashi Prefecture, where there stood a demonstration facility of power generation, converting household garbage to hydrogen by a special gasification technique.
The venture of this project started as a start-up in a university. They advance developments with industry-university joint alliance. Also, it has been adopted for many government-affiliated subsidiary projects of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or the Ministry of the Environment. The facility for this visit was also built with government subvention, and is now a highly recognized facility in public. We believe it has drawn a lot of attention among the concerned because, on the day of our visit, there was also a university professor specializing in gasification and processing of organic matters on the site.
The flow of hydrogen power generation system is as shown in the diagram below. The wastes are torrefied and turned into gas at super high temperature. On the site, the technical engineer, Mr.Hashimoto, explained the process to us.
① Torrefaction Process
② Gasification Process
③ Gas Purification Process
1. Torrefaction Apparatus
2. Super-heated gasification system
3. Ash (non-organic)
A. Organic wastes
D. Dry Distilled Gas
G. Feedback of generated gas (10%
H. Collection of heat waste & Gas Purification
Diagram: The Flow of Hydrogen Power Generation System (Extraction from materials of project)
First of all, rice bran, RPF (mixture of paper and plastic), wood pellet, or polypropylene are loaded into the apparatus. As this is a demonstration facility, these are used as materials. However, organic wastes like domestic garbage shall be used as materials in actual.
The loaded materials become gas in the gasification furnace after torrefaction. The temperature inside goes up over 1,000 degrees Celsius. When super-heated steam meets carbon included in wastes, there appear hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Tar that causes dioxide can be gasified by high temperature. 60% of generated gas is hydrogen, and the composition of gas is measured every 15 minutes to see if all is going well.
The generated gas passes through the purification apparatus, by which foreign substances, moisture and hazardous components within the gas are removed before storage.
The stored hydrogen is vacuumed out of the tank by generator and mixed up with light oil for power generation. The more hydrogen is contained in the gas, the less light oil is spent. However, light oil is always needed. Hydrogen alone can generate power only if fuel cell is used. They cover the electricity within the facility with this in-house power generation.
This technique will help us process mountains of wastes and generate power at the same time.
While the population of the earth is looking at an increase, so is growing concern over the increase of wastes.
We also learnt that currently the construction of garbage disposal center by local government was ongoing next to this facility. With a broad smile, the technical engineer Mr.Hashimoto, said to us “if this technique of power generation is adopted to the disposal center there, we can contribute to the generation of eco energy as well as the reduction of wastes”.
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