Implications of Shifting Operation Conditions on the Economics of Biomass Fueled Boilers
The economics of biomass as a fuel for industry and domestic use remain a key challenge to its widespread application. Yet, in view of the numerous advantages offered by the use of biomass as industrial fuel, there continues to be interest in its use. Thus far, efforts at resolving the challenge of the economics of biomass use has centered predominantly on the use of local policy decisions and prudent management of the logistics supply chain of the biomass related business. However, there are other avenues by which the economics of biomass as fuel for industry can be improved such as those related to the efficiency of generation and use of biomass energy. This study examines the implications of varying composition of the biomass input, the chemistry of the biomass combustion, and the efficiency of the boiler on the economics of the operation of biomass fuelled boilers. The work uses a mathematical model previously developed by one of the authors to simulate the effect of these parameters on the expenditure patterns of a biomass fuelled boiler plant. The results showed that changes in these parameters have significant impact on the economics of the plant. The efficiency of the boiler has the most impact on the economics of biomass fueled boilers. A reduction in the boiler efficiency from the manufacturer’s stipulated value of 75% to 35% resulted in extra expenditure of 70.3% to the plant.