Efficient and clean energy from local firewood

   Dr. Upuli Perera

Fuel wood accounts for the largest share in the industrial energy usage in Sri Lanka, supporting the tea, brick and tile industries. Biomass, despite being renewable and environmentally friendly, does not guarantee efficient and clean combustion.  For example, in the tea industry, the thermal efficiency of a wood furnace is about 50%.

   Prof. M. Nanayakkara

Upuli’s research was to characterize the combustion of two popular local  fuel wood, Rubber and Gliricidia in packed bed furnaces common to Sri Lanka. The objective was to obtain a thorough understanding of the combustion process for achieving better efficiency with less pollution.

Experimental studies on this topic are not practical due to the large spectrum of variables affecting the combustion process. Upuli resorted to numerical modelling instead, and validated her model with experimental results.

The understanding gained by Upuli is useful in designing and optimizing furnaces, where these local fuel wood varieties are used.


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