NTPC invites proposals to produce torrefied biomass pellets from Startups

Highlights :

It will help fulfill the Prime Minister’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat

NTPC has invited proposals to provide a unique platform for the Indian startups that could help develop a biomass ecosystem in the country. The platform will be put in a shape by NETRA, the R&D wing of NTPC, for production of the torrefied biomass pellets that are well-suited for decentralized small-scale users. The last date of submission of the proposals titled, “Torrefied Pellet Manufacturing Plant for Agri-Waste” is May 19. Torrefied biomass refers to Biomass that has gone trough a process called Torrefaction, which is a mild form of pyrolysis at temperatures typically between 200 and 320 °C. Torrefaction changes biomass properties to provide a better fuel quality for combustion and gasification applications.

About 230 MMTA (Million Metric Tonnes per Annum)  of biomass is produced by India but that is either wasted or burnt. Reducing carbon footprint in the environment, biomass co-firing in power plants has proven to be a solution to this menace. NTPC has been the pioneer in co-firing Biomass in its coal-fired power plants. Since the adoption of co-firing, NTPC has been strengthening the entire Biomass sector value chain in various dimensions. Many NTPC plants have already started the requisite co-firing of biomass pellets with coal. Long-term procurement action has also been initiated for many plants. All this, even as the corporate has fallen behind on its own targets for biomass usage.

Till now, non-torrefied biomass pellets have been the centre of focus. However, for bulk utilization of biomass, a conscious and strategic paradigm shift to torrefied biomass pellet production is the need of the hour. Because torrefied biomass pellet has more energy density, and its characteristics are closer to coal. besides, torrefied biomass pellets will reduce average transportation costs. Currently, the technology for torrefied pellets is still in the nascent stage of development.

The Union Ministry of Power has set up the National Mission for the use of Biomass in thermal power plants (Mission SAMARTH) and has mandated 5-10 percent co-firing of Biomass in all coal-fired thermal power plants in the country. Biomass co-firing in power plants has also been included in the Union Budget speech-2022 as an important tool for carbon reduction and income generation for the farmers.

The NTPC initiative will help fulfill the Prime Minister’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat and also contribute towards the ambitious Make in India movement.

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