Ceremonial ribbon cutting
Ceremonial ribbon cutting: DOST 7 RD Edilberto L. Paradela (center) assisted by RBSMCI President Atty. Alejandro Florian O. Alcantara (extreme right) and Mr. Edward Lee (business associate). Behind Atty. Alcantara is Engr. Apollo Bawagan, Energy Section Head of the ITDI Chemicals and Energy Division.
Prototype carbonizer (painted red)
Prototype carbonizer (painted red) is shown in foreground. Behind it is the gasification component (fluidized bed gasifier).

Raw Brown Sugar Milling Company, Inc. (RBSMCI) unveiled the country’s first Fluidized Bed Gasification (FBG) System facility in the sugarcane manufacturing industry to support to its production of world-class quality muscovado on September 29, 2016 at the RBSMCI Compound in Pamplona, Negros Oriental.

Introduced by the The Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), the FBG System is a type of technology that provides options for manufacturing plants that generate biomass waste as by-products, to convert these wastes as new source of renewable energy to further enhance their productivity and competitiveness.

DOST-ITDI’s Engr. Apollo Victor Bawagan said that the gasification of biomass, such as sugarcane bagasse and sugarcane trash in Negros Oriental appears as the most interesting sector for industrial development and use of FBG System. This is largely because biomass is sustainable source of alternative energy. With near-zero combustion, the synthetic gas or syngas produced during gasification promotes use of a higher quality of fuel or energy. Bawagan led the DOST-ITDI team in the modification of the biomass carbonizer technology for sugarcan bagasse to support the setting up of the a co-generation facility ath the RBSMC plant.

The DOST Region VII (DOST VII) through the Negros Oriental Provincial Science and Technology Center funded the project amounting to P990,000 sourced from the DOST VII Grants-In-Aids budget. Project components include design of 50kg/hr batch-type commerical scale biomass carbonizer, fabrication and installation of the commercial scale biomass carbonizer, testing and debugging of the biomass carbonizer for the production of partially carbonized sugarcane baggasse and replication and fabrication, installation, testing of 150 kg/hr modified carbonizers for the 100 KW FBG system.

Atty. Alejandro Florian O. Alcantara, president and CEO of RBSMCI, figures that the use of FBG System- being the very first in the Phippines, would be most useful in supplying the existing electric power requirement of the firm.
“I see several advantages to powering our turbines with synthetic gas produced by ITDI’s FBG System. These are 100 percent reduction of our agricultural wastes, production of our monthly electricity requirement at no cost, and significant reduction of gaseous pollutants due to the near-zero combustion process of the FBG System,” Atty. Alcantara said.

In essence, agri wastes are “burned” when a limited amount of oxygen or air is introduced into the FBG System to produce carbon dioxide and energy. This drives a second reaction that converts further waste material to hydrogen and additional carbon dioxide; this is the gasification stage.

RBSMCI produces nearly 1,100 tons of muscovado sugar anually. Pure, whole and unrefined, it is produced from fresh sugarcane juice without use of bleaching agents. The company’s previous power usage in its muscovado processing operations amounted to about 80 KW. After plant improvements (costing about P26M) were made in 2016, including automation of raw material preparation, the power equipment is estimated to go up to 175 KW. Expected benefit from the FBG system includes a great reduction of electricity expenses.

The launching was attended by DOST 7 Regional Director Edilberto L. Paradela, DOST-ITDI Chemicals and Energy Division (CED) Chief Engr. Apollo Bawagan and RBMCSCI’s business associate, Mr. Edward Lee. Various government agencies, private sectors and local businessmen also graced the event (DOST- Negros Oriental Media Service).

 

Written by Negros Oriental S&T Media Service