My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Ltd Bagasse Co-Generation and Biofuel Project - How Bagasse Biofuel and Cooking Oil can reduce Oil Bill

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Ltd Bagasse Co-Generation and Biofuel Project - How Bagasse Biofuel and Cooking Oil can reduce Oil Bill

“We are changing, St Thomas is changing next year, so we are talking to the OUR to ensure that they have the right policy that creates a correct pricing structure. They have two sets of people with two different views: One says that the price (net billing) must be very low. Boilers and turbines are very expensive”.

CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Pan Caribbean Dr Huaixiang (Harry) Wu on the use of Bagasse as Fuel for Boilers and as a potential Biofuel

Despite what you may want to say about the Chinese owning our Sugar Companies, they’re making some excellent decision with regards to Power Generation.

Chinese-owned Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited plans to switch over to using Bagasse, the leftover from Sugar processing, to make more extensive use of Bagasse both as a fuel for their Boilers as well as to make it into a Biofuel for Vehicles as stated in “Sugar-Cane power – Pan Carib to generate Electricity from bagasse”, Published Tuesday August 26, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

According to CEO (Chief Executive Officer ) of Pan Caribbean Dr Huaixiang (Harry) Wu, the use of Bagasse,  the fibrous matter that remains after Sugar Cane is crushed to extract juice, can provide enough heat for their boilers to generate Electricity and still have spare Electricity left over to sell to the National Grid.

To this end, Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited has been seeking regulatory approval for their medium term plan, which will see them using Bagasse as a fuel for Boilers in the next three years. This is similar to a plan by Seprod back in August 2012 to use Bagasse as fuel as documented in the article “Seprod Weighs Electricity Production From Bagasse”, Published Friday August 24, 2012 by Marcella Scarlett, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

A part of Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited's plan is to upgrade their boilers to a newer, more efficient design, which according to CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Pan Caribbean Dr Huaixiang (Harry) Wu will save them some 10% on Electricity costs. These Boilers produce steam which are used to power 2 Steam powered Generators, a 10 MW and a 5 MW Generator.

Combined, they can generate all the Electricity required to power the entire Sugar Mill during peak Season production.

During off peak, they plan to sell 5% of their Electricity to the National Grid, with talks already in progress to obtain an IPP (Independent Power Provider) License for the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) to sell this excess power to the JPS (Jamaica Power Service Company), to quote Senior Assistant to the CEO of Pan Caribbean, Delroy Armstrong, quote:  “We will have excess energy that we will be able to sell to the national grid. We are in discussions with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) regarding a licence and a power-purchase agreement”.

But it's their other plan that's caught my eye and is the main reason for me writing this article. They also plan to use some kind of biofuel reactor to convert Bagasse into a fuel that can be used in their Farm vehicles, possibly Diesel or even Ethanol or Gasoline, using the power from the 10 MW Generator powered by Bagasse.

Bagasse Biofuel - Dr Michael Coley and Dr Huaixiang Wu Joint Bagasse and Cooking Oil Recycling Project

This is somewhat similar to a joint Project between Lead Researcher on the Project Dr Michael Coley of the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science and Technology of the UWI (University of the West Indies).

Working in cooperation with a NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) YCWJ (Youth Crime Watch Jamaica), they are planning to convert Waste Cooking Oil into biofuel as described in my blog article entitled UWI and YCWJ team up to Recycle Waste Cooking Oil - Yendi Phillipps on How to make National Bio-Diesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil Insidious Chapter 2”.

That idea involves collecting Waste Cooking Oil, which would normally go down the drain and clog sinks and stay in the soil, taking along time to decompose. Taking advantage of the fact that there is no state sanctioned policy from the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) on recycling Waste Cooking Oil, Dr Michael Coley along with the YCWJ embarked on this Project that involves members of the Inner City Community and several High Schools.

Like Dr Michael Coley Project, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Pan Caribbean Dr Huaixiang (Harry) Wu Bagasse to biofuel Project has the potential to create Biofuel from a waste material that would otherwise clog waterways and clog the soil. Bagasse can not only be decomposed in ethanol via a cellulosic decomposition via special enzymes but it can also be converted via Biodigesters into Methane Gas as well as noted in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and The World - The Purple Cow and the Sun Salutes You”.

Bagasse can seen be decomposed via Vacuum Pyrolosys using concentrated sunlight through a Fresnel Lens array as described in my blog article entitled How to upgrade your Solar Desalinator to a Solar Cooker and make a Solar Foundry for Vacuum Pyrolysis” or even an array of Mirrors  into an oleum than can be used as a fertilizer in Sugar production or decomposed further into pure Carbon for sale as a raw material in manufacturing.

I'll even go as far as to state that Dr Michael Coley and Dr Huaixiang Wu need to start a Joint Bagasse and Cooking Oil Recycling Project, as the potential impact that this can have on the reduction of Fuel into Jamaica is enormous.

Bagasse as a VAS - More money in Bagasse to power Boilers and Generators and Biofuel than from Net Billing

With so many possible VAS (Value Added Products) possible from Bagasse, it's no wonder CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Pan Caribbean Dr Huaixiang (Harry) Wu is trying to convince Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell to allow them to upgrade the Boilers for all the Sugar estates under their portfolio to use Bagasse as well as also to convert Bagasse to these other VAS.

This as these upgrades by themselves, albeit saving on power and allowing the Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited to make money from Net Billing are significant, more money can be made from Sugar Cane if they could also make VAS from the Bagasse itself. Certainly sounds a lot better than growing sorghum on arable land just to make Ethanol as described in my blog article entitled “Russians see potential in Ethanol Fuel Plant in Jamaica – From Russia With Love for sorghum”.

With this initiative by the Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited, they’re converting cellulosic waste from Sugar Cane Production into biofuel and other VAS aside from Bagasse board.

Hopefully too, this idea of recycling Waste to fuel will also spread to even Vehicle tyres as is currently being contemplated in St. Lucia and which the US of A has been involved in doing for years as noted in my blog article entitled St. Lucia’s SLSWMA to make Fuel from Tyres - Why is Jamaica not converting Tyres at Riverton City Dump into Fuel”.

In the next three (3) years, you might be using Fuel made from Bagasse in your Motor Vehicle thanks to the Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited!

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