Thermal utilization of radioactively contaminated wood in Chornobyl zone for power production
Chornobyl zone contains 150000 hectares of forests, whereas 70000 hectares are considered ecologically clean. The farmland area covers 40000-50000 hectares. The total energy potential of wood is about 6 mln tons of oil equivalent. A significant resource of biomass can provide energy crops: artichoke, rape, and willow. They absorb radionuclides from the soil while growing up. Radioactively contaminated forests and energy crops in the Chornobyl zone must be disposed of with minimal emissions of radionuclides into the atmosphere.
There have been considered the following methods of biomass thermal utilization: combustion, pyrolysis, gasification. The lowest emissions of radionuclides into the atmosphere were observed during the gasification process. The experimental device for combustion radioactively contaminated wood works in since the end of 2015. According to the authors, utilization of biomass for heat and power generation in the Chornobyl zone is advisable to use gasification, partial or complete.
Syngas can be used instead of natural gas in the Chornobyl heat boiler. And then syngas can be used for power production. Syngas plant can be placed in areas with plenty of wood. For transportation of syngas to a thermal power plant to be involved existing natural gas distribution system.
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