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Trigeneration using biomass energy for sustainable development

Padma Vasudevan (Center for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
P.K. Sen (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
S.N. Singh (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Prahlad Singh (The School of Desert Sciences, Jodhpur, India)
Philip Davies (Sustainable Environment Research Group, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Prasanta Kumar Dey (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Robert Berry (Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 9 September 2013




The paper aims to design and prove the concept of micro-industry using trigeneration fuelled by biomass, for sustainable development in rural NW India.


This is being tested at village Malunga, near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The system components comprise burning of waste biomass for steam generation and its use for power generation, cooling system for fruit ripening and the use of steam for producing distilled water. Site was selected taking into account the local economic and social needs, biomass resources available from agricultural activities, and the presence of a NGO which is competent to facilitate running of the enterprise. The trigeneration system was designed to integrate off-the-shelf equipment for power generation using boilers of approximate total capacity 1 tonne of fuel per hour, and a back-pressure steam turbo-generator (200 kW). Cooling is provided by a vapour absorption machine (VAM).


The financial analysis indicates a payback time of less than two years. Nevertheless, this is sensitive to market fluctuations and availabilities of raw materials.


Although comparable trigeneration systems already exist in large food processing industries and in space heating and cooling applications, they have not previously been used for rural micro-industry. The small-scale (1-2 m3/h output) multiple effect distillation (3 effect plus condenser) unit has not previously been deployed at field level.



Vasudevan, P., Sen, P.K., Singh, S.N., Singh, P., Davies, P., Kumar Dey, P. and Berry, R. (2013), "Trigeneration using biomass energy for sustainable development", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 309-320.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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