Use of biomass gas in running internal combustion engine to generate electricity-a review
Dzombo, D. M.
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The world is faced with inadequate fuel supply for household and industrial application. Fossil fuels are mostly used to run machineries with the emission of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur oxides and particulates from their combustion affecting human health and the environment. Biomass also forms a larger percentage of energy utilized in the household and other areas. Apart from its emission after combustion, biomass waste contributes greatly to pollution. One of the alternatives to effective use of biomass such as rice husk waste is to generate electricity. In this paper a review of energy production from biomass gasification to run internal combustion engines is presented. The gasification process is discussed under drying, pyrolysis, reduction, and oxidation. Different types of designs of gasifiers are reviewed. The current status of gasification technology in developed and developing countries is discussed. The gas generated is introduced to a modified engine with small amounts of diesel used to ignite the mixture. This is because the producer gas cannot ignite by itself under the prevailing pressure. Thus for a compression ignition engine to run on producer gas they have to be either; a dual fuel engine or, converted into a spark ignition engines. Since diesel engines have compression ratios between 16 – 20 and are run at lower revolutions per minute than gasoline engines they are ideally suited to run on producer gases without spark ignition. The paper also looks at current work that has been done and identifies areas that need further research.