Fuel supply is critical to the reliable and efficient operation of any biomass based system. These Biomass fuel primarily is classified under following categories;
- Agricultural waste viz. corn stalks, straw, seed hulls, rice husk, bagasse, nutshells, mustard & cotton stalk, manure from cattle, poultry, and hogs, etc.
- Wood materials viz. wood / bark, sawdust, timber slash, mill scrap, forest waste.
- Municipal waste viz. waste paper and yard clippings etc.
- Energy crops viz. switchgrass, jatropa, prairie bluestem, corn, soybean etc.
As per a study by MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) in Year 2013, availability of biomass in India was estimated at about 500 millions metric tones per year. There are, however, a number of issues that constrain the wide spread use of biomass for industrial and commercial application:
- Wide geographical spread
- Seasonal availability
- High moisture content
- Natural decay tendency
- High handling, transportation & storage cost
- Unorganised Supply Chain
- No standards for classification, grading & quality
- Choking/Fouling tendency
- Lack of established market pricing mechanism.
In view of this, as a strategic initiative TOESL has developed in-depth knowledge & competency on biomass availability, crop patterns, seasonality and its supply chain peculiarities. Backward integration is another strategic initiative; TOESL has set up numerous briquetting & chipping plants across the country to support its installations. TOESL has been in the fore front towards establishing standards for manufacturing, quality assurance, handling and inventory management of biomass briquettes. These key initiatives are instrumental towards uninterrupted biomass fuel supply at right quality and price.