UNIDO and GEF support the Dominican Republic’s first downdraft-type biomass gasification plant integrating Artificial Intelligence

UNIDO and GEF support the Dominican Republic’s first downdraft-type biomass gasification plant integrating Artificial Intelligence

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SANTO DOMINGO, May 2022 –  The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), together with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and LatAm BioEnergy™, a Dominican based renewable energy company, have completed the successful commissioning of the country’s first downdraft-type biomass gasification plant integrating Artificial Intelligence(AI).

Using this gasification system for steam applications means that each year 158,000 gallons of liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) can be replaced with much cleaner synthesis gas (syngas) from biomass sourced by Agrifeed, S.A.S., a Dominican company dedicated to the production of animal feed.

UNIDO’s project supported this effort through the provision of a software with integrated AI which is able to adapt the control variables in real time to optimize the quality of the syngas produced, according to the different types of biomass feedstock –acacia mangium, woodchips, and coconut shells, among others.

This system has the advantage of obtaining greater precision when computing and comparing large amounts of variables and data, consequently facilitating the daily operation of the gasification system. 

Understanding the biomass variability and predicting the client's energy demand, results in greater productivity while minimizing the maintenance downtime of electric and/or thermal applications. Thus, the replicability barrier of this technology, especially within small and medium-sized food-processing facilities in Latin America and the Caribbean, has been significantly lowered.

This industrial process results in the production of biochar, a marketable byproduct characterized by its significant and long-term ability to sink atmospheric CO2 in terrestrial ecosystems. It also improves the quality of the soil whilst reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

This project has demonstrated its capacity to show strong environmental benefits: replacing LP gas with syngas, producing biochar as a byproduct, and a combined greenhouse gas emission reduction of 41,593 tCO2e.

UNIDO, LatAm BioEnergy and Agrifeed S.A.S have committed to making this project a learning site for the government, educational institutions at different levels, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, so that they can understand the benefits that biomass gasification have, particularly in  Small Island Developing States that are highly dependent on fossil fuel imports.

For further information, please contact:

Liliana MORALES RODRIGUEZ

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