Future potential of forest and agriculture residues for the energy production in Thailand [Elektronische Ressource] : strategies for a better utilization / Pongsak Hengniran
387 Pages
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Future potential of forest and agriculture residues for the energy production in Thailand [Elektronische Ressource] : strategies for a better utilization / Pongsak Hengniran


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Learn all about the services we offer
387 Pages


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Published 01 January 2010
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Language English
Document size 9 MB


Future potential of Forest and Agriculture Residues
for the energy production in Thailand - Strategies
for a better utilization

A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Natural Science in Department of Biology

Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
University of Hamburg

Pongsak Hengniran

2010 Foreword

The need for more and more energy across the countries to drive their economic
development has resulted in an exponential growth of fossil fuel utilization by various forms
since the industrial revolution (Lloyd and Subbarao, 2009). A unique and essential fossil
energy source, petroleum is chiefly used as the principal fuel for transportation, in producing
many chemicals, and for numerous other purposes (Frumkin et al., 2009). However, global
petroleum production is expected to reach a maximum in the near future then to decline
thereafter, this phenomenon known as "Peak Petroleum". Additionally, since petroleum
values have doubled when the monthly spot market price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
at Cushing, Oklahoma, averaged 53.70 US$ per barrel (Fig. 1), and this situation has
continued upwards till now adding a worry about an unsustainable draw down on finite
resources that it is now coming to a head (Schnepf, 2008).

Fig. 1: Energy costs: annual average prices since 1975 for gasoline, diesel, and crude oil
Source: Schnepf (2008)

The high energy price at present is not the first experience, the oil shocks during the
1970s used to crest over the advanced industrial world. However, the current situation is
different from the past, because it is highlighted that existing resource limits are being
reached and the inevitable gap between demand and supply energy must be solved not only
for finding suitable ways to balance and harness it, but also for creating commercially viable
routes suitable for current consumption needs. These challenges being faced today will affect
every aspect of civilization, including transport, resource use, food production, water supply,
recent lifestyle, and the environment. Energy requirement is, therefore, indeed one of the most
intensely debated issues at the global level. The linkages between energy and -economy, -
social and health issues, as well as -environment, with the goal of sustainable development is
widely discussed around the world - especially dependence on imported energy countries, like
Thailand, where vulnerable to disruptions in energy supply causes physical hardships and
economic burdens.

iFrom the above mentioned world energy problem, a number of alternative energy
sources are considered to alleviate the shortcoming of global energy. Renewable energy, one
of the alternative energies, has a great potential to overcome the problem with sustainable
energy supply. Although renewable energy technologies vary extensively in their technical
and economic development, they offer progressively more attractive options whilst producing
little or no recurrent greenhouse gas emissions as they depend on inexhaustible natural energy
flows. Besides, some of these technologies are already competitive (Teske et al., 2007).
Among various present renewable energies, modern biomass energy being produced by clean
and high efficient technologies is highly interesting, because its source is generally abundant
and normally under utilized, especially in developing countries. However, the future energy
from biomass depends on providing reliable energy services at competitive cost with a
sustainable development option; therefore the challenge in biomass utilization for energy is
still open.

The interest in biomass energy is not new. It has begun since the first oil crisis in the
1970s, however many investments in biofuels made in the 1980s collapsed shortly after oil
prices returned to their original levels (IBDF, 1979; Tomaselli, 1982). A new technology for
converting biomass into usable energy forms is suggested as one of the possible options to
overcome the challenges of sustainable development. It should produce less costly energy
services and lower energy-related pollution and emissions. Additionally, the concerns about
the new technology adoption can be met by many encouragements - such as regulations to
improve market performance, temporary subsidies, tax incentives, or other mechanisms - if it
occurs in a timely fashion. A sustainable use of biomass resources would require a large-scale
adoption of interventions aimed at enhancing the supply, improved energy conversion and
elimination of harmful emissions through fuel and technology improvements (Goldemberg
and Johansson, 2004).

As a country that is highly dependent on imported energy (see Ch. 1.2), Thailand is
also facing the weakness from its energy supply. The energy security is widely debated across
the country; many endeavours are devoted to look for indigenous sustainable energy supply to
maintain economic growth of the country. Energy conversion from biomass is believed to be
the most potential opportunity among the current possible renewable technology choices,
since many biomass residues from agriculture and forestry are generated in the country.
Regarding the success of the biomass energy scheme, however, some of the concrete policy,
financing, capacity development, technology, and knowledge management are actually
required. The challenge to address the quantity of biomass for utilization as energy source and
the link between these biomass amounts and their suitable technology is a key factor to
achieve the country’s goal. Therefore, the purpose in this work is to reveal the potentials of
biomass across the country and to select the proper conversion technology for generating
modern energy forms from them.

This thesis is divided in to six chapters, namely:

Chapter 1 Situation of Energy Utilization in Thailand elucidates about general aspects
about Thailand and its general situation of energy demand and production, as well as the main
policy about energy in the future.

Chapter 2: Raw Materials for Energy Utilization in Thailand has the purpose to prepare
supply curves/datum for energy utilization in terms of qualities and quantities that will be
analysed in the chapter 4.
iiChapter 3: Technologies for energy production is focused on all technologies to produce
energy from biomass worldwide. The main purpose of this chapter is to review the possible
technologies that may suitable for Thailand’s circumstance.

Chapter 4: Analysis of Bioenergy Potential and its suitable conversion technologies for
Thailand examines the potential of biomass as energy source for Thailand for the year 2010,
2015, and 2020. Finally, the technology selection for rice straw and cassava rhizome is
modelled for other biomass residues, by applying the Fuzzy TOPSIS method.

Chapter 5: The prospect for biomass energy generation in Thailand reveals the ambitious
requirement owing to a suspicious within biomass energy generation to find the solution
concerning of environment, social impact issue, the future of biomass in commercial energy
market, and its opportunity to compete with other commercial energies, especially from other
renewable technologies.

Chapter 6: Conclusion summarizes all knowledge from the previous chapters which will be
comprehended to briefly give the main outcomes from this research.

Finally, the challenge of sustainable development, energy security, environmental
benign, and socio-economical impact is a major factor that arouses the world to find the best
solutions for this problem, and biomass for energy is a hopeful candidate to be one of the
answers dealing with this challenge.



The Author would like to express his sincere appreciation to all who has been
involved in fulfilling his dissertation. The completion of this work would not be possible
without their assistance and support.

First of all, the Author would like to gratefully acknowledge his scientific advisors,
Prof. Dr. Arno Frühwald and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Marius C. Barbu from the University of
Hamburg, Germany, for their guidance and assistance. They have always given invaluable
amount of knowledge with endless patience and kind encouragement throughout this study
until it turns to real success.

The Author would like to thank Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Manfred J. Lexer from the
Institute of Silviculture, BOKU - University of Natural Resource and Applied Life Sciences,
Vienna, for his providing the guidance, support, and encouragement regarding the AHP
method, and Dr. Dietrich Meier from the Von Thünen Federal Research Institute Hamburg for
his information regarding gasification/pyrolysis system.

Appreciation is to the Royal Thai Government Scholarship for valuable financial
support. Thanks also go to all the staff of the Office of the Civil Service Commission
(OCSC), Bangkok, Thailand, and the Thai Students Consulting (TSC), Berlin, Germany, for
their administrative assistance.

Great appreciation is expressed to Asst. Prof. Dr. Wiwat Hanvongjirawat, Asst. Prof.
Dr. Nikhom Laemsak, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pratuang Puthson, and Assoc. Prof. Songklod
Jarusombuti from the Department of Forest Products, Kasetsart University, Bangkok,
Thailand, for their support and motivation.

The Author would also like to express his thanks to all his interviewees (for data
collection) for providing useful information in this research and the Industrial Promotion and
Technology Branch, UNIDO, for the Investment Project Preparation and Appraisal (IPPA)
teaching materials. Without inputs and supports from them, this study could not be successful.
Besides, the Author wishes to extend his thanks to Marc Haller from the Salzburg University
of Applied Science located in Kuchl, Austria, for his speedy replies and English writing

Finally, the Author would like to thank all his colleagues at the Von Thünen Federal
Research Institute Hamburg, the Department of Wood Science University of Hamburg, and
the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, for all help given during this research.

Most importantly, the Author wishes to express his deepest gratitude to his family. He
is greatly indebted to his parents, his brother, and his sister. Thanks so much for their
unconditional love and great support, especially his father and his sister who passed away 8
and 6 years ago, respectively. Thanks also go to his extended relations in both Thailand and
Germany, especially Schuetze’s family, when the Author needed someone to talk to or
required some complicated helps. Thank you all.

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Foreword i
Acknowledgement v
Contents vii
List of Tables xiii
List of Figures xvii
Abbreviation xix
Unit Conversion xxii
Abstracts (English) 1
Abstracts (German) 2

Chapter 1: Situation of Energy Utilization in Thailand 3

1.1 General aspects about Thailand 3
1.1.1 Geographical and social aspects 3
1.1.2 Agriculture and Forestry 5
1.1.3 Industry and trade 7
1.1.4 Economy and Currency 10
1.2 Situation of Energy Utilization 12
1.2.1 Natural Gas 14
1.2.2 Petroleum Condensate 15
1.2.3 Crude Oil 16
1.2.4 Coal 16
1.3 Power Development Plan in Thailand 16
1.4 Renewable/Alternative Energy Resources 20
1.4.1 Biomass 20
1.4.2 Ethanol 21
1.4.3 Gasohol 22
1.4.4 Biodiesel or Ester 23
1.4.5 Biogas 25
1.4.6 Solar Energy 26
1.4.7 Wind Energy 27
1.4.8 Geothermal Energy 27
1.5 Conclusion 28

Chapter 2: Raw Materials for Energy Utilization in Thailand 31

2.1 Introduction 31
2.2 Agricultural Sector 39
2.2.1 Sugarcane 43 General Data of Sugarcane 43 Cultivation Trend of Sugarcane in Thailand 45 Processing of Sugarcane in Thailand 46 Residues of Sugarcane and their Utilization in Thailand 47
2.2.2 Rice 47 General Data about Rice 47 Cultivation Trend of Rice in Thailand 50 Processing of Rice in Thailand 52 Rice Residues and their Utilization in Thailand 53