Innovative Biofuel Plant
In 2018, 742 megawatts worth of new generating capacity of renewable energy sources were installed. This is three times more than in the previous year
Ukraine tripled its renewable energy production over the last year. Many of its new power plants run on biofuels.
One of them, built in 2016, can be found in Koriukivka, in the Chernihiv region.
Wood chips are used as biofuel. Logs and waste from the local woodworking industry are brought to the station to produce the chips. A machine crushes them, making them suitable for burning and generating electricity and producing 140 tons of fuel per day.
Each batch of biofuel is tested in a modern laboratory. Wood chips must have certain characteristics to produce enough energy.
“We start with primary control of the chips, measuring the amount of ignition residue, moisture, and calorific value, as well as chemical control of the water-chemical mode of the station and all process waters of the station,” the head of the chemistry department at the Koriukivka power plant, Gulsiren Salikhova said.
The heart of the power station is the combustion chamber. That’s where the wood chips are burned. It’s attached to a steam boiler, a turbine, and an electric generator. The energy production process is automated, engineers only control it from the control unit of the thermal power station. If there is an emergency or anything goes wrong they get an immediate notification.
The plant generates about 20 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year, allowing it to supply 3,500 apartments with electricity.
“This saves the state budget more than $3.5 million that would have been used to purchase natural gas. Now we are producing only electricity. But our technology also allows us to produce heating. The second stage of construction of the Koriukivka power plant has already begun. From there we will provide heat to the town of Koriukivka,” Koriukivka Power Plant Director Andriy Hrinenko said.
The share of green power plants in Ukraine’s energy output is now at about 2 percent, but it’s growing. In 2018, 742 megawatts worth of new generating capacity of renewable energy sources were installed – triple the previous year. These are mainly solar and wind stations, but there are already more than 30 biofuel power plants.
“Generally, biomass that is used in these projects can be of many kinds. Hay, or pellets produced from waste that is left during the production of sunflower seed oil,” head of the energy efficiency agency Serhiy Savchuk said.
The mass of ash after burning is 1 percent of the weight of fuel burned and it can be used as fertilizer. An emission control system has also been installed, which shows that the amount of harmful emissions is several times lower than ordinary power plants.