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An assessment of the potential for using gasification technologies for thermal applications in Uganda’s small-scale agro-industries
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Energy is one of the biggest costs of production in industries and Small scale industries in Uganda are faced with a big burden due to the high energy costs they incur in their operations. Due to the high costs associated with electricity and fossil fuels, biomass energy continues to supply the bulk (81%) of industrial energy demands. However unsustainable harvesting of tradition biomass fuels (firewood and charcoal) is leading to depletion and causing a hike in prices of this important energy source. This study determined current thermal loads for 4 small scale industries, the costs of the fuels used, possible agro waste replacement options and economic comparisons of gasification using these fuel alternatives. Questionnaires, interviews and quantitative measurements of the various parameters were undertaken to establish current fuel usage and costs. Economic and emission reductions analysis were conducted using RETScreen energy planning tool. Results of indicated that the current combustion and heat transfer devices are very inefficient leading to intensive energy demands. Proposed gasifier systems of the range of 30 kW to 100kW fuel power, would cost between US$ 6,156.35 and US$20,371.20. It was further established that installing gasifiers and incorporating agro wastes in the fuel mix (60%) would greatly reduce expenditure on fuels with pay back periods ranging from 0.4 – 3 years. Risk analysis further showed that fuel costs and operations and maintenance would attract the highest risk to the net present value of each proposed gasifier installation. From these results, it was recommended that gasification coupled with use of agro wastes provides viable cheap alternative for small scale industrial thermal energy needs

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 79 p.
Keyword [en]
biomass gasification; agro waste to energy; thermal applications
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161912OAI: diva2:796494
Subject / course
Mechanical Engineering
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Energy Engineering
Available from: 2015-03-23 Created: 2015-03-19 Last updated: 2015-03-23Bibliographically approved

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