Honduras: Generating bioenergy from polluting waste ...


Courtesy of Spanish Bioenergy Association (AVEBIOM)

The idea came up during the latest Expobioenergía Workshop

The baselines of this idea were drawn up during the Expobioenergía 2010 Workshop, “at some stage of the tour we made of the various companies and projects we had the chance to visit during the event”, explains Julio César Lucas, a member of the Honduran firm Quimys’ Oil S. de R.L.

Following its visit to the trade fair and after consulting a number of sources, Quimys’ Oil got down to work on a project for the production of solid biofuels, biogas and biofuels for transport in Honduras. The production plant would be located north of San Pedro de Sula, on Ticamaya Lake. Indeed, the raw materials used to generate the bioenergy would come from the polluting waste found in the lake. In fact, the key concept behind this project is the production of biofuels through effective waste management. The result would therefore be twofold: in addition to producing electricity from a renewable source, progress would also be made with cleaning up a contaminated lake. Naturally however, the ultimate aim is to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

The biogas would be generated from the bacteriological decomposition of the waste that environmental pollution has deposited in the lake using a biodigester. The solid biofuels, mainly in the form of briquettes, would be produced using timber waste from the surrounding area. The biodiesel would be produced from used boat oil and the oily water from the region's ports and harbours would be treated. Bioethanol would be generated from banana, coffee pulp and other organic waste with a sufficiently high fermentable sugar content.

The biogas, briquettes and biodiesel would be used to power a steam boiler that would generate electricity. Surplus steam would be used in the bioethanol production process, which would be fed back into the biodigester to produce biogas. Finally, the treated and cooled water would be pumped back into the lake to oxygenate the polluted water.

This would contribute to enhancing standards of living in the region, through the generation of local employment. It would also help to conserve the community’s natural environment, and would generate additional income for participating municipalities, creating indirect jobs and setting an example for other territories.

The project is currently at the stage of the analysis of the raw materials involved in the production process. Once the research phase is complete, attention will be turned to finding the most effective financial model for the project and the market study will be finalised. It is estimated that an initial investment of some 5 million dollars will be required. The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) is collaborating with Quimys’ Oil on this project.

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