Surplus Electricity Production and LCOE Estimation in Colombian Palm Oil Mill Using Empty Fresh Bunches (EFB) as Fuel: Article No. 117713

Jorge Montoya, Carlos Valdes, Hernando Chaquea, M. Pecha, Farid Chejne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This article analyzes the potential for electric power generation and cost from commonly disposed Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) from palm oil mills. To identify the best options, 40 plant configurations and two turbine configurations were simulated: Backpressure Turbine (BPT), Condensing-Extraction Turbine (CET); four types of EFB pretreatment: EFB Crude; EFB W/M; EFB D/M; EFB P; and five gas temperatures generated in the boiler (320 psig/320 °C; 320 psig/400 °C; 400 psig/450 °C; 600 psig/450 °C; 900 psig/500 °C). Results showed that configurations with the CET and steam at high pressure (>400 psig) with EFB type D/M produced the most energy. Generation with raw and pelletized EFB generated low amounts of energy due to vaporization heat requirements and energy consumption by peripheral equipment, especially with the BPT. CET configurations had the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) at 390 COP/kWh, which is close to the average energy price around Colombian palm mills. Initial cost estimates showed that CET with high pressure steam at weighted energy price >230 COP/kWh are currently profitable (NPV > 0). Commercialization of energy obtained from low pressure steam is only calculated to be profitable when the price of electricity is > 320 COP/kWh.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy
Volume202
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-75508

Keywords

  • empty fresh bunches (EFB)
  • LCOE
  • palm oil mill
  • power generation
  • Rankine cycle

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