Home > Biofuel power plants from Wartsila Australia now a commercial reality

Biofuel power plants from Wartsila Australia now a commercial reality

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article image Biofuel power plants from Wartsila Australia now a commercial reality

Wartsila Australia liquid bio-fuel power plants successfully use highly efficient reciprocating diesel engines to turn clarified crude vegetable oils into electricity and heat. Liquid bio-fuel can be produced from practically any oil-rich crop, from oil palm, soy, rapeseed and olive to sunflower seeds, grown in many regions all around the world. Electricity provided for the grid should be stable. Many green energy solutions – like solar and wind power – depend on weather conditions. Wärtsilä liquid bio-fuel power plants rely on dependable, renewable resources and offer high overall plant performance at all times.

In many countries, owners of power plants with low greenhouse emissions benefit twice over: firstly from selling their electricity to the national grids, and secondly from green incentives. Still, the future of liquid bio-fuels depends on the availability of the fuel and the solutions to produce it in an environmentally and economically sound manner. At its best, bio-fuel production creates local job opportunities, thus promoting social and economic cohesion. It also improves regional fuel supply security by reducing the need for imported fuels. In some cases, energy crop cultivation might even help to fight soil erosion. Liquid bio-fuel has been known since the beginning of the industrial revolution. But it is only recently that environmental and commercial pressures have resulted in substantial research into maximizing efficiency for electrical power generation.

While optimising their standard engine design, Wärtsilä has also developed a fuel feed system, which controls the temperature and viscosity throughout the power plant. This eliminates over-heating or cold points, which can lead to changes in fuel characteristics. Decades of experience and a system of filters, separators, pre-heaters and coolers have helped the company to develop optimal solutions for maximum fuel efficiency and a minimum of emissions.

To reduce the total of greenhouse emissions, Wärtsilä liquid bio-fuel power plants are designed to operate on straight vegetable oils – without using any supplementary energy for fuel refinement needed. The oils can typically be extracted with simple methods so that even the CO2 emissions associated with the fuel refinement are minimised. The sulfur emissions are insignificant compared to those associated with fossil fuels because vegetable oils do not contain significant amounts of sulfur. The selective catalyst reduction technologies for NOX abatement typically enable an 85 to 90 per cent reduction of NOX emissions from the exhaust gases. Moreover, with vegetable oils the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions are low due to the highly efficient diesel engine process.The power is also generated with minimal use of water, so the impact on water resources is negligible and the bio-fuel power plants offer a very high simple cycle electrical efficiency.

“Our aim is to ensure you get the best possible performance from your power plant investment throughout its lifecycle. After all, who could be better at this than the people who designed and built the plant”, says Ray Vinton, General Manager Power Plants, Wärtsilä Australia. “We provide a comprehensive range of services built on the concept of enhancing the customer’s profitability by optimizing all aspects of the power plant operation. The services range from rapid spare parts delivery to a complete operation and maintenance partnership, allowing you to focus on your core business”, he goes on to say.

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