Review of micro- and small-scale technologies to produce electricity and heat from Mediterranean forests' woodchips
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In the current energy conjunction, with an expected growth of energy consumption in a context of fossil fuel depletion, more focus is being placed on renewable energy sources (RES) for electricity generation. One of the most appealing alternatives is biomass, which can be efficiently used to generate electricity as well as heat with the application of cogeneration technologies that enhance the efficiency of the entire energy conversion process. The Mediterranean basin is a region with a recognized potential for electricity and heat production using primary forest biomass and sub-products from sawmills, among which highlight wood chips for their easiness to be obtained, processed and dried as well as for their good and stable burning or gasification behavior. However, in order to efficiently use the available resources, that is, minimizing logistical requirements to reduce the energy necessary for the electricity generation process, the biomass found in Mediterranean forests can only be used at micro- and small-scale levels to be compatible with sustainable forestry practices. This article is aimed to describe the different technological alternatives to convert wood chips into electricity and heat and it also reviews and compares the current performances in terms of efficiency of these technologies at the micro- and small-scale levels.
CitationGonzalez, A. [et al.]. Review of micro- and small-scale technologies to produce electricity and heat from Mediterranean forests' woodchips. "Renewable and sustainable energy reviews", 22 Novembre 2014, vol. 43, p. 143-155.