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February 8, 2016
Miyakojima Bio-Industrial Innovation Agency and Hitachi Developed Prototype of Power Generation System Using the 40% Low Concentration Bioethanol
Miyakojima Bio-Industrial Innovation Agency (MIIA) and Hitachi, Ltd. have developed the prototype of a high efficient power generation system using the 40% low concentration bioethanol. This prototype of a 40kW power generation system is capable of producing hydrogen from the low concentration bioethanol utilizing exhaust heat in engine. The produced hydrogen can be combusted with the low concentration bioethanol to power the engines. Furthermore, its thermal efficiency has reached to 45% in the validation test. Another advantage of this system is that the applied bioethanol is with 40% low concentration, which does not require special handling procedure as hazardous materials. This feature has provided a great safety measure. The low concentration bioethanol used here is produced from an efficient process, which is to distill after fermenting the Miyokojima sugarcane molasses using wild yeast from Miyokojima. This process has reduced the energy use by 40% compared with the conventional production of the low concentration bioethanol.
The achievement of this prototype has provided the possibility for expanding the application of bioethanol in electricity generating field from its main use as vehicle fuel. From now, MIIA and Hitachi will continue the development in aiming at commercializing distributed generation, which is to generate power at the site of use. This type of power generation is capable of reducing CO2 emissions.
The achievement of this research is part of a three-year project of "Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program (innovative high-efficiency engine fueled by low concentration bio-ethanol contractor)" which is funded by Ministry of Environment of Japan.
A flow from producing the low concentration bioethanol fuel to power generation