GE’s Biogas Engines to Power China’s Largest Ethanol Production Plant
Product News Apr 18, 2011
Supporting China’s efforts to increase the use of biogas for renewable energy production and in motor vehicles, GE is supplying its ecomagination-approved Jenbacher biogas engine technology to power China’s largest ethanol production plant under construction in the city of NanYang, Henan Province.
Owned by Henan Tianguan Group, China, the new ethanol production plant will produce 500,000 cubic meters of biogas per day, based on organic material from cassava plants.
A 36-megawatt (MW) onsite power plant featuring GE’s Jenbacher engines is being built in multiple phases to support the ethanol plant’s operations. Both new facilities are being built adjacent to the company’s existing ethanol production facility, which uses a biomass digester system to convert cassava- instead of grain-into ethanol in China.
For the 11-MW first phase of the new onsite power plant, GE is supplying four of its J620-biogas engine units. The gas engines will utilize the ethanol production facility’s waste methane biogas to generate renewable electricity, which Henan Tianguan Group plans to sell to the regional grid. GE’s biogas engines also will use methane gas created by the anaerobic digestion of cassava biomass to produce renewable electricity for the site.
With an impressive overall 82.8 percent efficiency rate (electrical efficiency, 42.8 percent; thermal efficiency, 40 percent), the new biogas power plant will provide Henan Tianguan Group with crucial operational and energy savings.
By using biogas instead of traditional fossil fuels to generate electricity for the ethanol facility, when the 36-MW biogas power plant is fully operational, it is expected to reduce the equivalent of 1.1 million tons of carbon emissions a year.
“Installing GE’s Jenbacher biogas engines at our ethanol production facility will offer clear environmental benefits and help us achieve significant energy efficiency gains to help us generate more profits and become more competitive throughout the region,” said Zhang, Xiaoyang, chairman of the Henan Tianguan Group.
In addition to the power sold to the grid, Henan Tianguan Group also will receive financing support through the sale of carbon credits since the project has been registered with the Clean Development Mechanism, an international carbon trading program.
“The Henan Tianguan ethanol project represents a milestone application for gas engines in China’s growing ethanol segment,” said Prady Iyyanki, CEO-gas engines for GE Power & Water. “While GE’s Jenbacher engines have already been used for numerous landfill, animal waste and coal mine methane projects in China and throughout Asia, our fuel-flexible technology is ideally suited to help China and other countries around the world rapidly expand the use of biogas in addressing their energy security and environmental concerns.”
For example, Iyyanki noted that GE’s biogas engine technology is positioned for growth in countries like Brazil, where ethanol already plays an important role in the country's fuel options.
GE’s Jenbacher engines and associated equipment were scheduled to be delivered to the project site starting in April 2011. After completion of engine installation and commissioning, the biogas power plant is scheduled to begin operating in July 2011.