Although the term is little used in everyday language, in reality biomass, in the form of firewood, is the oldest form of energy used by humanity! In fact, depending on the material employed, biomass can be used to generate energy by combustion or by methanization which produces biogas.
Today, biomass from wood and its derivatives (branches, bark, and sawdust) is augmented by other materials: industrial waste (coffee grounds, grape seeds…), agricultural waste (straw…), and organic material such as sewage sludge and household waste.
How do you generate energy in a biomass plant?
A biomass plant functions using the vapor produced by combustion of organic material. The vapour turns a turbine connected to an alternator which generates electricity.
Cogeneration allows the concurrent generation of electricity and heat, by recuperating part of the vapor. More than 45% of the electricity from biomass comes from the combustion of renewable municipal waste.
What does VINCI Energies do for the biomass plants?
VINCI Energies provides different types of expertise for multiple biomass plant projects: In the Somme department the Group is involved in a biomass cogeneration plant, where it manages high voltage power supply (HVA). At Alkmaar in the Netherlands, on behalf of HVC, Actemium was responsible for the plant’s computer engineering, programming, construction, and installation, as well as for training its operators. In the UK, G+H, a VINCI Energies business unit, implemented the thermal and acoustic insulation of the boiler, piping, and channels of the new biomass plant at Blackburn Meadows. The Lagrange business unit also installed wood-chip fuelled heating equipment for the Koerich school group in Luxembourg. In Germany, GA Gruppe completed the distribution network between a biogas plant and multiple villages in the Neckar-Odenwald region as well as the installation of pipes and a distribution network for the Energie-Wende-Garching project in the south of the country (75% geothermal, 25% biomass). In France, Actemium constructed the building and installed the boiler cabling for the biomass heating plant of the city of Angers.
In Brazil, Omexom BH supplied all the electrical BoP and automation to implement the Santa Lydia Power Plant of 27.8 MW of installed capacity, which uses bagasse and wood residues as fuel. Omexom-BH currently participates in the development of a 9.25 MVA energy cogeneration project in the state of Paraná, which will generate energy and steam for the cellulose and paper industry