OIL price per barrel have fall to USD50 per barrel now which work out to around RM1.40 per liter for industrial diesel user . These is only a fraction of the peak price of around RM4.00 per liter in June 2008 .

Today we will talk about oil .

I append a few chart on oil .

Worldwide oil consumption have been stabilising at 80 million barrel per day for the last 5 years and yet there is no more significant new oil reserves found in the last 2 decades .

Although currently the price of oil have drop significantly due to recession in the USA , China and India are continuing with annual GDP growth of over 8% . Imagine this 2 country compounding growth of cars alone will consume all the supply available in a few years time .
In fact now , China monthly vehicles sales nearly top 1 million unit per month .
Therefore " PEAK OIL THEORY " are very real in time to come .

Energy & Peak Oil

The last few decades of mankind progress depended on oil and gas .
Over 80 % of the world energy needs are generated from oil and gas which is categorised under fossil fuel which is non renewable . Fossil fuel which takes 150 million years to be generated will be consumed in our life time and future energy needs will come from renewable sources such as solar , wind , hydro and biomass .
Many journals on energy are convinced that current oil production at around 80 million barrels per day are peaking and the spike of oil to USD147 per barrel are due to simple mathematics where demand exceed supply . Although currently oil have turn bearish to USD80 per barrel it will peak again in the future as oil are a finite resources .
A lot of hype on peak oil subject when oil shoot over USD100 and many documentaries have been made on the matter . Some even predicted it will go to USD500 per barrel !!! . It might , in the future go to this price especially when China and India have GDP growth of over 8% per annum .
High oil prices will encourage government and business sector to find ways to reduce fossil fuel consumption and spend on R & D to find alternatives . The growth of oil consumption to these level are due to low oil prices during the 1970s to 1990s where it hover below USD50 per barrel . Thus the low oil price have cause other problem such as excessive carbon dioxide emission which bring to global warming .

Earlier last month the north pole are accessible by ship for the first time due to melting ice .
High oil prices in Europe ( due to taxes by govenrment ) have created more advance technology and more changes to usage of renewable energy . Currently a high percentage of winter heating in Europe home is by biomass such as wood pellet or wood chip . A power plant in Holland even import Palm Kernel Shell from Malaysia for the combustion in their power generation plant .
In Malaysia where there is abundance of biomass but due to lack of Research and Development, biomass is only being used by certain industries which have biomass at their door step . Most other industries are using diesel or gas for their thermal needs as it is more convenient to do so .
There will come a time when oil peak again , many industries which are caught napping will file for bankcruptcies especially if their portion of energy usage are high .
And if you or your company are a high user of fossil fuel please try to change to renewable energy as global warming are real and it will affect us and our children in the future .
The famous quote :

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children

Malaysia Biomass & Calorific Value

Choose Biomass that is low in $ / kCal instead of $ / kg .
Malaysia Biomass

Malaysia Biomass . Biomass Calorific Value are very important in the selection of fuel for combustion and gasification . This is due to Energy content per kg of biomass . You can have very cheap biomass such as EFB but due to it's Moisture Content of 65% and so Calorific Value will be low at 1,400 kCal / kg . Moreover during combustion , silica ash will scale the tube causing reduction in efficiency of boiler and fly ash is a concern with Environment Authority .

Typically there are plenty of biomass materials in Malaysia which are able to be used to replace fossil fuel . Malaysia Biomass material available are as follows :

Material Calorific Value Moisture Content
1 ) Woodchip 3,500 Kcal / kg 25 %
2 ) Sawdust 3,500 Kcal / kg 25 %
3 ) Empty Fruit Bunch 1,400 Kcal / kg 65 %
4 ) Rice Husk 3,000 Kcal / kg 10 %

The above Malaysia Biomass is among the lowest in $ / kCal ( high in energy density per RM ) and available in abundance in Malaysia .

I did not include wood pellet as it is to my knowledge still not available in Malaysia ( I would like to know who have it ? ) . This biomass will be in the future replace wood chip due to very standardise size and quality of heat output .
The above mentioned biomass are which I will elaborate more due to current available technology for full combustion which will emit no smoke . These is done by converting the said biomass to syngas .

The problem for these change over to biomass thermal application is the lack of suitable biomass material , inconsistent quality supply of biomass , system for combustion , high delivery cost , long perceived thinking that biomass emits heavy smoke , storage problem for user and etc .

For the record , the favourite , Diesel ( Calorific Value - 8,770 Kcal / liter ) was the thermal fuel in Malaysia which is widely available and cheap for the last decades . As it is now a heavy burden to many industries , it is time to change to biomass not only that it is green , it will also enable industries to save on high fuel cost .
Here I will go into details for Wood Chip as the preferred biomass due to reason i will mention below .

Wood Chip

is a product derived from sawmill waste . Quite recently in the last 1 year or so , plenty of wood chip production come on stream due to demand from MDF and Particle Board Manufacturer . But now due to it's limited supply , price have moved up and stablilised at around RM150 / ton to RM200 / ton depending on delivery cost . I am suggesting this biomass material ( Wood Chip Only ) to be used as fuel for gasifier due to
a ) year round availablity
b ) easy delivery
c ) lower cost of transportation
d ) ease of handling
e ) lesser contamination at user factory
and etc .

At the price given it will work out to RM0.061 per mmCalorie ( RM15.47 / mmBTU ) compared to diesel when price is RM3.20 / liter at RM0.354 per mmCalorie ( RM89.18 / mmBTU ) . From this comparison you can see that wood chip is only 17 % of diesel .
WOW , did anyone realise this ???
Yes , I did claim that there is 70 % savings only for change over to gasifier , this is due to some loss of heat during gasification process , in some unefficient gasifier you might get even lower savings in the range of 50 % to 60 % only .

The reason I did not elaborate on EFB ( Empty Fruit Bunch ) eventhough it is cheap is because it need to be further process and the calorific value is very low . Another reason is that my proposed gasifier system might not be able to take these fuel or I would rather say efficiency will be very low . There is Ah Niau and Ah Kau that would say , what savings of 70% , mine can do at least 90 % savings with EFB as it is cheap , HAHAHAHHAHAH , BE CAREFUL .

But I promise you if you can wait a few years ( or your factory can wait for a few years ) I will try to bring 90 % to you . These is when Oil at USD200 per barrel and EFB can be use .

So the saying goes like this , YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR !!!


The next blog will be on choosing the right gasifier . Am I up to it ???

Bye for now .