4.2 Thailand

4.2.1 Biomethanation plant in Sanambin-Num, Nontaburee Province

(1) Place
 Sanambin-Num, Nontaburee Province

(2) Process flow
A demonstration plant for biomethanation plant called COWTEC developed by Microbiotech Co.  Kitchen waste and leaves are feedstock.  It is a continuous stirred tank reactor.  Feedstock is fed to the reactor and converted into biogas and residue.

(3) Feedstock, biogas utilization, scale, and feedstock heating value. 
Twenty kilograms per day of feedstock are fed to the reactor.  Twenty to twenty-five days are needed before stable operation.  Biogas is used for cooking.  The fermentation residue and effluent water are used as fertilizer.  Heating value of feedstock is not known.

(4) Amount of product gas and its heating value
Five hundred liter per day of product gas is obtained.  Its heating value is 50% of methane gas.

(5) Mass balance and energy balance.
Assuming CH2O (=0.040 kg/mol) as the composition of kichen waste, and also assuming the moisture content of 0.80, C in the feedstock of 1.16 mmol-C/s (=100 mol/day) is fed to the reactor, while 500 L/day of product gas corresponds to 0.24 mmol-C/s (20.4 mol/day).  The other should be in residue.  The gasification efficiency is 0.204. 

Assuming heating value of kitchen waste to be 14 MJ/kg-dry, the input energy should have 650 W (56 MJ/day).  Assuming heating value of 890 kJ/mol for methane gas, the output energy should be 105 W (9 MJ/day).  The energy efficiency is 0.16.

(6) Economical balance, initial cost, and operating cost
Since this is a demonstration plant, they do not have the initial cost.  No operation cost is needed.  They are not interested in economical balance, for this is a demonstration plant.  Thus, no data was available.

(7) Number of persons needed for operation
Basically no one is needed except for feeding and compost recovery as well as stirring the reactor once a day. 

(8) The reason of introducing the plant, problems solved and unsolved
Mr. Dusit wanted to make the best of organic waste, and developed this process.  The technology is well-developed, and no problems were mentioned.

(9) Participation of farmers, municipality, or co-operatives, and support from university, institutes, or NGO
Since this is a demonstration plant for a company, no participation of these body was made.  Later, villages introduced plants of larger scale.

(10) Means to make the process economically feasible, key points for success, and selection of main body for the plant operation
Since this is a demonstration plant for a company, it is not necessary to be economically feasible, and no evaluation has been made.  One merit of the process is that good fertilizer is obtained.  The operating body is the company itself.

(11) Effect on farmer’s income and employment in the district
Since this is a demonstration plant for a company, it has nothing to do with the farmer’s income.  They have sold 57 plants to the municipality, but the amount of the product gas is limited, and the gas is used for schools and temples.  Since this plant needs no persons to operate, it does not affect the employment of the district.

(12) Framework for the introduction and development of human resources
Since this is a demonstration plant for a company, there was no necessity of framework development.  This is a very simple apparatus, and does not need any development of human resources.

(13) Situation of agriculture in the district (utilization of land, sustainability of the agriculture)
Since this is a demonstration plant for a company, it has nothing to do with the agriculture in the district. However, it is usual for the Thai farmers to use chemical fertilizer.  Chemical fertilizer is not sustainable, and the use of the product compost from this biomethanation plant is helpful to switch to sustainable agriculture. 

(14) Possibility of local recycling agriculture with biomethanation
As mentioned above, the farmers are interested more in the residue as fertilizer than the biogas as energy.  Utilization of the fermentation residue as fertilizer results in recycling of kitchen waste as fertilizer, thus reducing the amount of chemical fertilizer.  It also reduces the amount of waste food. 

(15) Possibility of electricity supply and energy utilization in the district
Since this is
a demonstration plant for a company, it is too small for electricity production.  However, for the larger scale plants, the company is considering electricity production.  As for energy use, it is already used as fuel for cooking.  The larger scale introduced in villages are used as energy for school and temples, which should be considered a kind of energy utilization in the district.

(16) Miscellaneous
This plant was of small scale, but was not a commercial that we expected.  However, visiting this plant company provided us some information on Thai biomethanation, including farmers are more interested in fertilizer than fuel. 

(17) Contact person, homepage, and supporting body
Mr. Dusit Sriyaphan is the contact person, but for English communication Dr. Siriluck Nivitchanyong is recommended.  The homepage is http://www.waterinde.com.  Since
this is a demonstration plant for a company, there is no supporting body.

(18) Photoes
Photoes taken during the visit are shown from the next page.


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Fig. 4.2.1-2. The sight when the rid of the feed input (forward part in Fig. 4.2.1-1) is opened.
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Fig. 4.2.1-1. The outlook of the biomethanation plant in Sanambin-Num, Nontaburee Province.
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Fig. 4.2.1-4. The fermentation residue outlet (backward side in Fig. 4.2.1-1).
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Fig. 4.2.1-3. Feedstock for the biomethanation.
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Fig. 4.2.1-6. Outlook of the fermentation residue.  Part of gas can be seen as foam.
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Fig. 4.2.1-5. How to take out the fermentation residue.  The blue valve is first opened, and then the outlet is tilted for the fermentation residue to flow.
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Fig. 4.2.1-8. Motor used for electrical stirring of the reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.1-7. Manual stirring of the reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.1-10. The hose connecting fermentation reactor and the cooker.
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Fig. 4.2.1-9. Outlet of the product gas.  The green valve is to be opened to use the gas.
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Fig. 4.2.1-12. Egg cooked in sunny-side-up using the product gas.
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Fig. 4.2.1-11. Detail of the cooker.
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Fig. 4.2.1-14. Fire is clear and cannot be seen in the sunlight, thus paper was place to show that the gas is burning.
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Fig. 4.2.1-13. Igniter used to turn on the cooker.
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Fig. 4.2.1-16. How the liquid (slurry) fertilizer is fed to the plant.
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Fig. 4.2.1-15. Bottled fermentation residue used as liquid fertilizer.
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Fig. 4.2.1-18. These leaves are also fed to the fermentation reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.1-17. Another example of showing how the liquid fertilizer is used.
4.2.2 Biomethanation plant in Nakorn-Rajchaseema Province

(1) Place
Nakorn-Rajchaseema Province. 

(2) Process flow
Cattle manure is fed to the tank after dilution with water.  The tank is located underground.  The manure gets fermented, and product gas increases the inner pressure.  The fermentation residue is pushed out of the outlet, while gas is removed from the top and delivered to the kitchen through usual hose.

(3) Feedstock, biogas utilization, scale, and feedstock heating value. 
Manure from cows are feedstock to the process.  Product biogas is used for cooking.  The size of the fermenter is 2.8 m in diameter by 1.5 m in depth, that results in about 8 m3 in volume.  Heating value of feedstock is unknown.

(4) Amount of product gas and its heating value
The amount of product gas is unknown, but it is expected to be sufficient for 3 times cooking for 1 hour for daily basis.  Unfortunately, it is not so much for this plant, and the reason is not known.  The composition of the product gas is 50-60% of CH4, 25-30% of CO2, 2-7% of N2, and 1-5% of H2.  Assuming that it can be approximated with 60% of CH4, 30% of CO2, and 10% of N2, the heating value of the gas is 534 kJ/mol, since the heating value of methane is 890 kJ/mol.

(5) Mass balance and energy balance.
The amount of input manure is unknown, but it is the manure from 5 cows.  Assuming a cow produces 20 kg-wet/d/head of manure, whose moisture content is 0.86 and whose chemical formula is CH1.8O0.7(= 0.0328 kg/mol), the carbon feed is 4.94 mmol-C/s(=430 mol-C/day).  Assuming that It is necessary to boil 10 L of water for cooking, and thermal efficiency of the cooking oven to be 0.15, the heat for the cooking for one time should be 22.3 MJ.  Thus, amount of produced energy should be 66.9 MJ, since 3 times of cooking is made a day.  The gas production is not as expected, and assuming the gas production of 0.8 of the expectation, it is 53.5 MJ/day.  Since heating value of product gas is 534 kJ/mol, 100 mol/day of gas is produced.  Following the gas composition of 60% of CH4, 30% of CO2, and 10% of N2, this corresponds to 1.04 mmol-C/s (=90 mol-C/day).  The other should be coming out as fermentation sludge.  Thus, carbon gasification efficiency is 0.21.

Assuming 11 MJ/kg-dry of heating value for cattle manure, energy input is 1780 MW (=154 MJ/day).  The energy output is 619 kW (=53.5 MJ/day).  This corresponds to energy efficiency of 0.35.

(6) Economical balance, initial cost, and operating cost
This is a very simple system, and the plant can be fabricated by villagers in 9 days.  The material costs 5,000 Bahts and total cost is 7,400 Bahts.  In this case, all labor was volunteered by the villagers.  No operation cost is needed.  By the use of this plants, the farmer does not need to pay 350 Bahts a month, that is the cost of propane gas.  Thus, the economic pay-back period is 21 months (1.8 years).

(7) Number of persons needed for operation
One person for feeding the feedstock, and taking care of fermentation residue.

(8) The reason of introducing the plant, problems solved and unsolved
The Ministry of Agriculture had the technology, and recent interest in biomass resulted in demonstration of this plant built with 100% local government subsidy.  There are 8 villages in this district, and 1 demonstration plant is to be constructed for each village.  It is expected that neighboring farmers find it useful, and build it by their own cost, or using loan of co-operative union.  For this demonstration plant, a problem of gas production smaller than is expected exits, but otherwise it is fine.

(9) Participation of farmers, municipality, or co-operatives, and support from university, institutes, or NGO
As mentioned above, this is a demonstration plant placed with local government budget.  When each farmer finds it useful, and decides to build by him/herself, farmers co-operatives or local government will loan the construction cost.

(10) Means to make the process economically feasible, key points for success, and selection of main body for the plant operation
The means to make the process economically feasible is simple structure, and free labor to help each other in the village.  The materials are cheap.  Key points to success is its simplicity.  The main body of plant operation is farmers themselves, and this reduces labor cost.

(11) Effect on farmer’s income and employment in the district
As shown above, farmers do not need to pay for propane, which costs 350 Barts a month, which is rather big amount for them.  It does not increase employment.

(12) Framework for the introduction and development of human resources
Demonstration by 100% funding by the local government functions as education of the villagers.  No special skill is needed for operation, and for building a person from government who knows the know-how helps the farmer.

(13) Situation of agriculture in the district (utilization of land, sustainability of the agriculture)
The fermentation residue is dried under sun, and made into compost.  It is placed in a bag by 30 kg, and sold at 12 Bahts per bag.  Farmer themselves can use the compost, thus the products are organic, and save the money for compost. 

(14) Possibility of local recycling agriculture with biomethanation
This plant achieves local recycling of cattle manure as energy (biogas) and material (compost). 

(15) Possibility of electricity supply and energy utilization in the district
The product gas can be used for cooking.  Five cows
manure provides enough gas for one familys cooking.  However, the scale is too small to produce electricity.

(16) Miscellaneous
Another good aspect of this biomethanation is the increase in farmer
s hygiene.  The number of flies reduced after introduction of this plant.

(17) Contact person, homepage, and supporting body
Mr. Anusorn, who is a subprovincial agricultural officer.

(18) Photoes
Photoes taken during the visit are shown from the next page.


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Fig. 4.2.2-2. Rid of the inlet hole of the fermentation reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.2-1. Cows’ manure was used for the feedstock.
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Fig. 4.2.2-4. Gas outlet from the fermentation reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.2-3. Inlet hole of the fermentation reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.2-6. Fermentation sludge.
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Fig. 4.2.2-5. Outlet for the fermentation residue.
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Fig. 4.2.2-8. Dry fermentation residue packed in bags.
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Fig. 4.2.2-7. Drying of fermentation residue.
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Fig. 4.2.2-10. Cooker and pot.
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Fig. 4.2.2-9. Hose used to deliver product gas to kitchen.
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Fig. 4.2.2-12. Flame of the product gas.
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Fig. 4.2.2-11. Detail of the cooker.
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Fig. 4.2.2-14. How to arrange the brick in circular shape.
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Fig. 4.2.2-13.Fermentation reactor under construction.  Farmer and his wife themselves are constructing the reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.2-16 Another reactor under construction.
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Fig. 4.2.2-15.Bricks used for reactor construction.
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Fig. 4.2.2-18. How to hold tubings.
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Fig. 4.2.2-17. Schematic of underground fermentation reactor.
4.2.3 Biomethanation plant at Bangkok

(1) Place
Restaurant “Ban Nam Kieng Din” at Bangkok

(2) Process flow
This is a large scale plant for the biomethanation plant in Sanambin-Num Assuming (4.1.1).  Kitchen waste is fed to the anaerobic fermenter, and product gas is removed from the top, while the fermentation residue is taken out from the lower part of the reactor through liquid outlet located on the reactor side.  This plant is equipped with the 4-m3 gas tank, which is sealed with fermentation liquid.  The pressure control could be made by putting weight on the top of the tank, but now no weight is placed, and the plant is operated at atmospheric pressure.

(3) Feedstock, biogas utilization, scale, and feedstock heating value. 
The feedstock is kitchen waste from the restaurant.  The product gas is used for employees’ cooking.  The reactor size is 5 m3, and 300 kg/day of feedstock is fed.  Feedstock heating value is unknown.

(4) Amount of product gas and its heating value
Amount of product gas is 8 m3-gas/day.  It heating value is unknown, but corresponds to about 4 kg-LPG/day.  The owner and operator are no engineers.

(5) Mass balance and energy balance.
Assuming CH2O (=0.040 kg/mol) as the composition of kichen waste, and also assuming the moisture
content of 0.80, C in the feedstock of 17.4 mmol-C/s (=1500 mol/day) is fed to the reactor, while 8 m3/day of product gas corresponds to 3.78 mmol-C/s (327 mol/day).  The other should be in residue.  The gasification efficiency is 0.218. 

Assuming heating value of kitchen waste to be 14 MJ/kg-dry, the input energy should have 9.72 kW (840 MJ/day).  Assuming heating value of LPG to be 2220 kJ/mol, and molecular weight of LPG to be 0.044 kg/mol, the energy output is 2.34 kW (202 MJ/day) since it corresponds to 4 kg-LPG/day.  The energy efficiency is 0.24.

(6) Economical balance, initial cost, and operating cost
The initial cost of the apparatus is 200,000 Bahts.  No operation cost is needed.  However, the nozzle of the cooking oven is needed to be exchanged time to time.  The owner installed this apparatus because of social responsibility, and not for economical reason.  Thus, he has never calculated the energy value, or economical calculation.  The energy produced from this apparatus is less than several per cent of the energy used for the cooking of the restaurant (100 kg-LPG/day).

(7) Number of persons needed for operation
None, but to feed the feedstock, and stir the fermentation reactor.

(8) The reason of introducing the plant, problems solved and unsolved
The owner was worried about all the kitchen waste thrown away, and joined a seminar for the “Theory of Sufficiency” which the Thai King is proceeding.  At the seminar, the owner met a person from Microbiotech Co., who introduced this technology to the owner.  There were no serious problems, but when too much fish waste is fed, the amount of gas is reduced.  Also, the nozzle of the cooker is plugged time to time due to hydrogen sulfide in the product gas. 

(9) Participation of farmers, municipality, or co-operatives, and support from university, institutes, or NGO
There is no participation of farmers or municipality.  All the budget is from the restaurant.

(10) Means to make the process economically feasible, key points for success, and selection of main body for the plant operation
Again, the owner is not interested in economical aspect, since this is introduced for the social responsibility.  The restaurant itself is running the apparatus. 

(11) Effect on farmer’s income and employment in the district
This is a biomethanation plant placed in restaurant for themselves, and has nothing to do with farmer’s income.  The fermentation residue is used to make compost for the vegetable field and vineyard, but they are run by the restaurant.

(12) Framework for the introduction and development of human resources
No human resource development is needed.

(13) Situation of agriculture in the district (utilization of land, sustainability of the agriculture)
The total of 1.5 acre in the land of the restaurant, which is composed of vegetable field and vineyard, employs compost.  The amount of the fermentation residue is not sufficient for the whole land, but it is used as the catalyst to produce compost.

(14) Possibility of local recycling agriculture with biomethanation
It is recycling restaurant waste for the vegetable production in the restaurant.  Agricultural residue might be used as feedstock, too, but it was not discussed. 

(15) Possibility of electricity supply and energy utilization in the district
This plant is still too small for electricity.  The produced energy is used in the restaurant for the employees, and is not used for the community of the district.

(16) Miscellaneous
This plant is good for the education of employees in terms of renewable energy and energy conservation, too.

(17) Contact person, homepage, and supporting body
The owner of the restaurant, Mr. Khun Banjerd.  No homepage is made.  Also, Mr. Manop Sutakotr from the company of the fermenter,
Microbiotech Co., can be contacted. 

(18) Photoes
Photoes taken during the visit are shown from the next page.

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Fig. 4.2.3-2. Owner of the restaurant who decided to introduce the fermentation reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.3-1. Restaurant where the fermentation reactor is located.
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Fig. 4.2.3-4. Vegetable field where compose prepared with the fermentation residue is applied.
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Fig. 4.2.3-3. Vineyard where compost prepared with the fermentation sludge is applied.
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Fig. 4.2.3-6. Inlet of the feedstock.
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Fig. 4.2.3-5. Outlook of the fermentation reactgor.
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Fig. 4.2.3-8. Bar to stir the reactor.
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Fig. 4.2.3-7. Logo mark for the “COWTEC” biomethanation plant.
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Fig. 4.2.3-10. Product gas outlet.
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Fig. 4.2.3-9. Cooking table that uses the product gas.
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Fig. 4.2.3-12. Flame of the product gas.
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Fig. 4.2.3-11. Product gas tank.
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Fig. 4.2.3-14. Flame coming from the cooker whose holes are partly plugged.
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Fig. 4.2.3-13.Fermentation residue.
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Fig. 4.2.3-16 Outlet for the fermentation residue.
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Fig. 4.2.3-15.Delegates and the owner.
4.2.4 Pornvilai Ethanol plant at Ta-reu District, Ayudthaya Province 

(1) Place
Ta-reu District, Ayudthaya Province.  This plant is the first ethanol fuel production plant approved by the government.

(2) Process flow
Molasses, a thick, black, and viscous liquid, is the byproduct of sugar manufacture from sugarcane, and has a high (more than 50%) sugar content.  It is fermented under the action of yeast to produce ethanol, as represented by the following reaction:

  C6H12O6 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

This ethanol is actually a 10% solution of ethanol in water.  It is distilled to produce anhydrous alcohol (99.5% ethanol purity).  Special techniques (e.g. azeotropic distillation, extractive distillation, molecular sieve/pressure swing adsorption, membrane separation) are used to get past the azeotropic point (95% ethanol concentration).  The 95% concentration was Chinese technology and the 99.5% purity technology was from India.

(3) Feedstock, scale, and feedstock heating value
Fourteen years ago, the plant was constructed in order to produce acetic acid from cassava.  However, cassava was changed to molasses as a raw material for ethanol production nine years ago since the ethanol production from molasses needed less steps than that from cassava.  Molasses is bought from sugar production company for 3 baht per kilogram.  Storage capacity is 500,000 ton.  Heating value of raw materials could not be investigated.

(4) Amount of product and its heating value
At the present moment, the plant can produce 25,000 liter of 99.5% purity ethanol (30,000 liter of 95% purity ethanol) per day.  As byproducts, fertilizer and animal feeding are produced from fermentation, and fusel oil is produced from distillation process.  Fermentation residues are sold to another company and the company produces fertilizer and animal feeding.  Heating value of ethanol fuel (99.5% purity) is 26.68 MJ/kg.

(5) Mass balance and energy balance
In order to produce 1 liter of ethanol, 4 kilogram of molasses is necessary.  Trucks transport 120 ton of molasses every day.  Corn cores are bought from surrounding farmers and burned in a boiler, and heat is used for fermentation process.  Cassava residues are also chipped and burned for heat utilization.  Concerning the energy balance, the plant has not been analyzed from the point of view of LCA yet.

(6) Economical balance, initial cost, and operation cost
At the time of the visit (December 2006), the unit price of ethanol was 23.50 baht per liter.  The price of ethanol is determined by the Ministry of Energy, Thailand.  Ethanol is sold to two big oil companies, i.e., PTT and Bangchak.  Cost payback time of the plant has not been calculated yet.

(7) Number of persons needed for operation
About 100 workers including truck drivers.

(8) The reason of introducing the plant, problems solved and unsolved
Technologies came from foreign countries, so troubles arose after technicians went back to their countries.  But the plant is planning to expand its scale by introducing foreign technology again.  The reason for this could not be investigated.

(9) Participation of farmers, municipality, or co-operatives, and support from university, institutes, or NGO Shown in items (11) and (13).

(10) Means to make the process economically feasible, key points for success, and selection of main body for the plant operation
Although the plant can produce 25,000 liter of 99.5% purity ethanol per day, the amounts of ethanol fuel and acetic acid may be decided in accordance with the market price of acetic acid.

(11) Effect on farmer’s income and employment in the district
The plant is thinking to construct a 100,000-L/day ethanol production plant and its raw material is assumed to be cassava.  It is because the market price of cassava is stable while that of molasses is now increasing.  Although the unit price of molasses was 1.4 baht per kilogram nine years ago, now the price is 3 baht per kilogram.  The farmers could not get income when the plant used molasses as a raw material, since the plant paid to sugar production factories.  The price of cassava chips is now 3.7 baht per kilogram.  In order to sell cassava to the plant, farmers have to chip and dry (below 18% of water content) for pretreatment.  Considering this, they can earn 1 baht per kilogram and this profit is quite attractive for them.  Although the market price of cassava heavily declined before, now the demand is increasing and the government will give financial support to farmers.

(12) Framework for the introduction and development of human resources
Shown in item (14).

(13) Situation of agriculture in the district (utilization of land, sustainability of the agriculture)
Research on the application of organic compost produced from fermentation residues to cassava field is now being carried out.  Agricultural credit cooperation lends money to users of such organic compost (but not to users of chemical fertilizer).

(14) Effect of ethanol production on the agriculture including price of the agricultural product, increase in cultivation area
The plant thinks that increase in the ethanol production from cassava will make cassava cultivation more attractive and people in rural area remain.

(15) Miscellaneous
Cassava is cultivated mainly in northern and central Thailand.  Cassava is cultivated by asexual propagation and harvested once a year.

(16) Contact person, homepage, and operating body
Contact person: Kittipong Patcharapinyopong (E-mail: pvl_eta@yahoo.com)

  Homepage: (None)
  Operating body: Pornvilai International Group Trading Co., Lid.

(17) Photos
Photos taken during the visit are shown from the next page.

Fig. 4.2.4-1  Pornvilai International Group Trading Co., Lid.

Fig. 4.2.4-2  Exterior appearance of the plant

Fig. 4.2.4-3  Mr. Sawong Watanasit, Factory Manager (left) and Dr. Nuwong Chollacoop, MTEC (right)

Fig. 4.2.4-4  Feedstock tank (right) and fermentation tank (left)

Fig. 4.2.4-5  Fermentation tank (200,000 liter x 6)

Fig. 4.2.4-6  Water drainage

Fig. 4.2.4-7  Fermentation residue

Fig. 4.2.4-8  Distillation tank (1)

Fig. 4.2.4-9  Distillation tank (2)

Fig. 4.2.4-10  Distillation tank (3)

Fig. 4.2.4-11  Distilled ethanol (95% purity)

Fig. 4.2.4-12  Storage of 95% purity ethanol (purification up to 99.5% is carried out as necessary).

Fig. 4.2.4-13  Packed ethanol (99.5% purity)

Fig. 4.2.4-14  Storage of corn cores

Fig. 4.2.4-15  Corn cores

Fig. 4.2.4-16  Feedstock storage

Fig. 4.2.4-17  Feedstock tank


4.2.5 Plants at TISTR

(1) Place
Bangkok.  As the country’s first research agency, Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) was established the government’s vision to advance scientific and technological expertise in Thailand.  TISTR is a nonprofit state enterprise under the umbrella of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

(2) Process flow
The ethanol production plant investigated was an old pilot plant, constructed in 1983, and its technology was transferred to private sector in 1985.  The plant was in operation until two years ago.  Raw material was cassava root.  Cassava root was peeled and milled into starch.  Yeast was added to the starch, and then fermented and distilled.

(3) Feedstock, scale, and feedstock heating value
Daily input of cassava root was 10 ton.  Its heating value could not be investigated.

(4) Amount of product and its heating value
The plant produced 1,500 liter of ethanol per day.

(5) Mass balance and energy balance.
Peel (cassava residue) was utilized for making biofertilizer, and animal feeding was produced from fermentation residue.  Energy input was less than energy output.

(6) Economical balance, initial cost, and operation cost
Initial cost was 18 baht per liter at the time of construction and was not at commercial level.  That price is worth 30 baht per liter for the present value.  Raw material cost was 40-60% of the total cost.

(7) Number of persons needed for operation
4 people (technician) per shift.  One shift was 8 hour and the plant operated 24 hours a day (totally 12 people were necessary).

(8) The reason of introducing the plant, problems solved and unsolved
The plant is old technology and a new pilot one is now under construction.

(9) Participation of farmers, municipality, or co-operatives, and support from university, institutes, or NGO
The plant was constructed as a collaborative project with a Japanese company.

(10) Means to make the process economically feasible, key points for success, and selection of main body for the plant operation
Dr. Teerapatr Srinorakutara, Ethanol Project Director of TISTR, says that research on the increase in the starch content in cassava root is now being carried out.

(11) Effect on farmer’s income and employment in the district
Dr. Teerapatr Srinorakutara hopes that the increase in the ethanol fuel production from cassava will make rural area and people rich.

(12) Framework for the introduction and development of human resources
  
Unknown.

(13) Situation of agriculture in the district (utilization of land, sustainability of the agriculture)
According to Dr. Teerapatr Srinorakutara, expansion of agricultural land is prohibited.  However, farmers can grow a different crop if allowed by the government.  The government introduces zoning methods and controls the annual amount of agricultural products.

(14) Effect of ethanol production on the agriculture including price of the agricultural product, increase in cultivation area
  
Shown in item (11).

(15) Miscellaneous
The production and market situation of cassava was discussed, and some information was provided.  After coming back to Japan, the present situation of cassava in Thailand was investigated through the internet and the results are then shown as follows:

(15-1) Cassava Information Network (http://www.cassava.org/index.asp)
Thailand is Asia’s largest exporter of cassava.  With the exception of the drought year of 2005, Thailand’s average cassava root production is 20 million ton a year.  About 8 million ton of cassava roots are used for domestic starch consumption.  Another 8 million ton are used for making cassava chips for export.  The remaining 4 million ton per year can be used for ethanol, and at a conversion rate of 6 kilogram cassava root per liter of ethanol, this will yield 1.8 million liter per day.  If the 8 million ton for export are used instead for ethanol production, an additional 3.6 million liter per day is available.

Cassava or tapioca is a perennial plant widely grown in many tropical countries, including Thailand as one of the most important commercial crops.  At present, there are 1 million hectare devoted to cassava planting in Thailand producing annually 20 million ton of roots.

Since cassava roots contain a high starch content, but low quantity of impurities such as protein and lipid, they are recognized as an excellent source of pure starch suitable for a wide range of applications.  The most important characteristics of cassava starch are odorless, paste clarity, and stickiness.  These remarkable characteristics of cassava starch are enable to be conveniently and readily blended with other flavoring and coloring agents. Cassava is not only used as a food security, but it is also served as a source of chemical reagent, feed stock of all fermentation processes, and adhesive substance.

(15-2) Office of Agricultural Economics, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives

      (http://www.oae.go.th/statistic/yearbook/2003/indexe.html)

Table 4.2.5-1  Harvested area, production and yield of major countries, 2001-2003*

*1 rai is 0.16 hectare (40 m x 40 m square).


Table 4.2.5-2  Area, production, yield, farm price and farm value, 1995-2004*

Table 4.5-3  Area, production and yield by region, 2002-2004*

(16) Contact person, homepage, and operating body
  Dr. Teerapatr Srinorakutara, Ethanol Project Director of TISTR

(17) Photos
Photos taken during the visit are shown from the next page.

Fig. 4.2.5-1  Ethanol production pilot plant at TISTR

Fig. 4.2.5-2  Dr. Teerapatr Srinorakutara, Ethanol Project Director (2nd from the right) and Dr. Wirachai Soontornrangson, Researcher of the Environmental and Energy Department, TISTR (right)

4.2.6 Related information

(1) Information from Dr. Matsumoto

Dr. Shigeo Matsumoto from International Agricultural and Fishery Research Center, who is a member of the investigation committee, supplied the following information.  The following is the translation of his mail provided to the committee. 

I asked about the farmers methane fermenter to a farmer having one.  He said that in the years around 1995, the Ministry of Agriculture built it for him at 22,000 bahts (63,000 JPY by the rate at that time).  The exact division could not be found.  This farmer had to return 27,000 bahts to the Ministry.  Maybe it was a loan program. 

The cost for building the reactor was 30,000 bahts in total (86,000 JPY by the rate at that time).  If he built now, it would cost 50,000 bahts (170,000 JPY by the current rate) or 100,000 bahts (330,000 JPY by the current rate) due to the increase in the price of materials including concrete and sand, and labor cost (estimation by Matsumoto). 

At the same time, there are other farmers who built the methane fermenter without lending money.  Recently, they say there are several farmers who are planning to raise cows and run methane fermenter using their manure.  They also say that manure from 30 cows will produce gas to be consumed by 5 families.  (Check needed.)

The farmer in the above story lives in Mesai(?), Chenlai(?) Province, north Thailand.  It is where my wife is from, and all the farmers in the above story lives in the villages nearby, and my wife asked for the information.  According to the above story, methane fermentation by the Thai farmers seems to be built not with the support by the government, but by farmers themselves.  However, it is better to ask Ministry of Agriculture (or the agency of prevailing, the agency of cattle raising, or the agency of agriculture) about what kind of data they have on farmer’s methane fermentation.  It is another possibility to ask Japan Embassy in Thailand or Thai Embassy in Japan.” 

(2) Information from Dr. Siriluck

Mail from Dr. Siriluck dated Dec. 4:
I am sorry for late response, just got back from Brazil.  As your request for visiting small scale (on-site) biomethanation.  For this biogas issue (anaerobic digestion process), the national center of BIOTEC in NSTDA is conducting this work in both pilot and industrial scale plant .The biomass used is industrial waste water of the starch and flour plant. The pilot plant is located in King Mongkut University of Technology (Bang -khun-tein).  The industrial plant ( 20 000 m3/day) is in Cholburee province, the company 's name is Chollcharoen.
In the case that your interesting is the methane production from A.D. of animal dropping or manure, there is the medium farm (600 m3/day) at Nakorn-Pathom province.