[Gasification] The Enigma of Gasification
TK at tke.dk
Sun Jan 2 08:59:13 CST 2011
Many, many years ago lived an emperor, who thought so much of gasifiers that he spent all his money in order to obtain them; his only ambition was to have a biomass gasifier operating ...................................(many years and words and tons of reports later) ..................................................there was a meeting in council of emperors called IEA.
Because the the last many meetings had been so terribly boring they had decided to invite the senior-super-chief-gasification-jester to chear up the emperors to tell some joles and sing and dance ....................
"But it does not work," said a bright little student at last. "Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child," said the professor, and one whispered to the other what the student had said. "But it does not work," cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, "Now I must bear up to the end." But the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.
I am not surpriced that you get a lot of responce to your interesting and wise mail.
I simply cannot ignore your call for debate and discussion. But I have to start with a comment to you second last line in your mail:
"So, if you all want to participate with a common voice from all countries, give me something to work with, but stick to facts that can be verified."
We have developed a culture that is not optimal for development of new technology. Lot of bacis mechanisms have been ofset.
The distance between the customer and the payer is too long - the demands from the customer are too foggy - and by the way who are the customers?
And why do who pay for what - and what happens if they do not get what they pay for?
This has created a culture of charmerlains - advisores - civil servants etc now suddenly must justify their existence eg by telling carefully spinned stories at conferences all over the world. Common sense in the application procedure can be almost ignored - for 10 years a business plan have been a part of an application for support money but as far as I know very few - if any at all - of the projects have created any business - even on near commercial terms.
Who are evaluating these business plans? Why do "they" ask for them? Do "they" actually read them?
I am afraid that the same thing is happening for many other technological areas - Wave power - 2 gen bioetanol - SOFC - Torrefaction - to mention a few.
In this culture the sharp brains are concentrated on how to get the next grant and the revards are given for the process instead of the product. The one that can identify the subject for the next years call is the winner - the one that trys to get things to work out in real life is the looser - the one you can measure and conclude failed.
You ask for facts - let me try to give you some although cultural facts are not real facts.
Here in Denmark we have several gasification projects. Harboøre - Weiss - Viking - Skive - Gjøl (where I went down in 2007) - Stirling.dk - Biosynergi. All projects are facing challenges and they all have a hard time matching funds and technical results.
But one of them are outstandingly innovative when it comes to approach to go-to-market-strategy. Biosynergi have formed http://www.bioforgasning.dk/ and sold for approx 1 MEUR shares in their 300 KWe gasifier - CONGRATULATIONS HENRIK!!!
I ask my selves: - why was Henrik Houmann not the Main keynote head speaker on the IEA copenhagen meeting? - he has a real interesting forward looking story to tell which we all should listen carefully to - and he will probably disseminate more information about gasification technology to the "non believers" than all IEA members together?
One consequese of Henriks work was that my bank became less sceptic to biomass gasification since you can now buy shares in this type of projects!!
An other example:
Vølund have developed an updraft gasification technology. They have done a good job. It took approx 15-17 years from the start of the prototype in Kyndby (started in 1986) until the gasifier in Harboøre was working. http://media.godashboard.com/gti/IEA/March07BrusselsTaskMeeting/IEA_brussels_country_DK_03_2007.pdf se slide no 17 Vølund bought a set of construction drawings from a german technology thus they did not start from the beginning.
During this process Vølund was supported by many different public funds - national as well as international - the total support is not known to me - but my gestimation is 25-40 MEUR in total support.
In 2008 Vølund sold 2,25 G DKK = 300 MEUR worth of gasifier - se below to Italy where the green electricity price is (was?) 266,7 EUR/MWh
Translation fra Danish to English
Billion Contract to Vølund16. May 2008 - By Henry Eilers
Babcock & Wilcox Volund, Volund
A group of Danish-Italian investors have ordered gasification technology for billions in environmental group Babcock & Vilcox Volund.
In total, the Danish-American company with gasification technology for 2.25 billion. million over the next decade. It is 25 plants which should be established in Italy, where the settlement price of power from such plants is extremely beneficial. It provides news magazine The Engineer.
- The contract marks the commercial breakthrough of our gasification technology, and it shows that it was right to stick with development work on our prototype facility in Harboøre, which has now been running for more than 100,000 hours, says CEO John Veje Olesen, Babcock & Wilcox Volund to News magazine The Engineer.
He expects a boom in sales of technology in the coming years, where he estimates that in Europe, sold 200 plants over a period of 10 years. That brings the production of coal gasification plants to be up to half of Vølund turnover.
NO matter how I look at it - it is a fantastic job Vølund did - and they are among the chosen few that has really operated a gasifier in the 1 MW range for a large number of hours.
But what happend? As far as i know not much --- why?
I look forward to see you slides from the IEA meeting
Fra: doug.williams [mailto:Doug.Williams at orcon.net.nz]
Sendt: sø 02-01-2011 03:38
Til: Thomas Koch; Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification
Emne: Re: [Gasification] The Enigma of Gasification
Hi Thomas and Colleagues,
You kindly replied:
>Thank you very much for your contribution.
>I take the liberty to assume that part of your refelxtions and thoughts are adressed to me.
I opened my mail at lunch time, and am staggered at the public and private responses of this posting, and it is crazy for me to try and reply individually. Thomas did inspire me to write about "the Enigma", because as we all know, our technology and what it represents in the right place, has no part in the grandiose schemes paying lip service to fossil fuel reduction. Well, now this is your chance to have a voice.
In March I have been asked to be a Keynote speaker, at a Workshop following the next round of the IEA Gasification Task Force Meetings, at Canterbury University, here in New Zealand. I'm sure they must be desperate, or need comic relief from the tedium of it all, but I have no topic specified, just talk gasification!!
Since the beginning of gasification again in the 1970's, money has flowed through any number of projects that end up dead in the water. When I see what you guys can do with a few strokes of the key board, it should be no problem to assemble a heft body of evidence to prove those who are tasked to find answers, are not cutting the Mustard, and as public servants, also answerable to us, the tax payer. If they cannot solve the bigger picture, we need opportunity to at least supply the appropriate bottom end of energy markets their policies refuse to acknowledge.
Energy budgets of most countries are staggering, and gasification in all it's applications would not even cause a crack in their pie charts, but it would create jobs, solve local energy issues and provide a solid foundation for future growth. This is not bull, it's a way forward for a lot of people, and you Minister of Energy should be told this in no uncertain terms. Governments cannot tax income from equipment not sold, or the new jobs created, but it would be easy to waiver sales tax, and give tax breaks to these smaller projects to give them some legs. We had no sales tax on all renewable energy equipment here in NZ during the 1970's, probably the only country to do so at that time.
So, if you all want to participate with a common voice from all countries, give me something to work with, but stick to facts that can be verified. I will also need very fast work on this, and help to assemble it into a PowerPoint presentation. I'm computer illiterate remember!
Yes or No. but don't stuff about.
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