Sunday, July 8, 2012

Renewable energy from acacia tree

The Acacia Manguim is believed to have originated originated from Australia but later distributed to many South East Asian countries, including Malaysia. The plant is highly adaptable and it can invade secondary forests very fast. In some instances this tree species was blamed for erosion of other hardwood specie in Sabah forest.

If you travel from Tamparuli to Ranau this plant is a common sight along the road and in particular as you start ascending and nearing Pekan Nabalu, the site to get your first close up view of the beautiful Mount Kinabalu.

Flower of the Acacia Mangium. | 6mm | f/4.5 | 1/250 sec |

1MW renewable energy

Recently a local daily carried a special report about Sabah Softwood Berhad's (SSB) effort to generate 1 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy from the burning of acacia mangium woodchips. The 1 MW is enough to power the entire operations of one of the estates belong to SSB.

The 1 MW renewable  energy Gasification Plant managed by SSB has been in operation since 2010 and the use of acacia woodchips and  other wastes ensure that the company's operation sites, such as Dumpas Estate achieve almost zero waste.

More than 25,000ha have been planted with tree species, mainly on acacia mangium
[Source: SSB website]

SSB's chipmill is the region's most sophisticated and it is the largest integrated woodchip mill in Sabah and Malaysia. The chipmill is the only mill in the country designed to process high volume of man made forest plantation timber at low cost. The woodchips are mainly exported to Japan, China and a few other countries in South East Asia.

With a well managed operation, SSB's chipmill received the globally recognised Forest Stewardship Council  - "Chain-Of-Custody" (COC) certification for woodchip manufacturing in Accacia Mangium woodchip products. This COC certification provides a guarantee that the production procedures are in place to track raw materials from the source, all stages of processing and eventual distribution.

Gasification Plant

Gasification is a process that converts timber - in the SSB case woodchips - into wood gas, a syngas consisting of atmospheric nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, traces of methane, and other gases, which can then be used to power an internal combustion engine or for other purposes.

In the absence of petroleum, gasification plants can be used to run internal-combustion engines, or gas turbines, using wood which is a renewable resource.

No comments: