A blog from University of Borås

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Electricity from nuclear or municipal waste in Iran?

The nuclear dispute of Iran is a well known subject. In 1970s, the king decided to build a German nuclear power plant with Persian Gulf in Bushehr, a decision which was not changed after the revolution and is now finished with the help of the Russians. This plant with 1,000 MW capacity was fueled today after 35 years. On the other hand, the country produces approximately 35 million tons municipal solid wastes per year. My calculation show the possibility to produce 4,000 MW electricity from this waste in Iran, a material which is practically dumping today. Let's hope that Iran put its attention to develop waste to electricity in the future!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Biogas in Germany

The development of biogas in Germany has many similarities and possible debate as ethanol in the USA. Germans use mainly grains and energy crops to produce biogas. The number of the plants was 850 in 1999 and is nowadays around 5000 units. The major application of biogas in this country is burning the gas into electricity. I should congradulate our neibouring country for this success. However, an important point here is the efficiency of heat to electricity, that is about 30-50% by e.g. engines, turbines or fuel cells. It means Germans are missing 50-70% of the energy produced. We use this energy in Sweden in form of district heat.