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SMALL SCALE WOOD COGENERATION IN THE DELTA REGION OF BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA This is the presentation of the first part of our project. Which shows the potential resources that the forestry sector has in the region, for using as energy vector


Technological National University Regional Delta Faculty Centre of I+D in Energy and Environment

CIDEA San Martín 1171 – Campana (2804) – Buenos Aires – Argentina TE.: 0054-3489-420400 Int. 111-

TECHNICAL SUMMARY OF THE COMPLETE PROJECT First part •We will carry out a detailed analysis the residues of a forest harvest in islands of Delta of Parana River. •The different residues of woody characteristics will be classified. •The woody surpluses will be quantified both the forest harvest as pruning in plantations of willows and poplars. •The form of manipulation will be studied, loads and transport up to the place of treatment of woody residues to be use as fuel.

Second part •The heating power of the woody residues will be measured in different times of the year. •Shape of the woody residues and its preparation to be transformed into gas. •An equipment to generate gas from woody residues will be designed and developed. •The generated gas will be used to feed an engine of internal combustion which is joined to an electrical generator. The engine and the generator are of national manufacture in series, which will have to be adapted for its functioning.This system will have a power of generation of approximately 3kVA to 5kVA in the research beginning. This capacity of feeding with electric power that will allow to satisfy demands in isolated zones, turning the technological transference into a small energetic decentralised mobile generator.

TRANSFERENCE EXPECTED FROM THE RESULTS To generate elements to shape a base of information on woody resources, manipulation of woody subproducts and opportunities of local and regional development. To be alert on business opportunities To contribute to the metal-mechanic sector on the feasibility of developing national equipment in series, promoted with biomass as fuel and/or agreements of complement with companies manufacturers of the exterior, who are interested in realising the above mentioned technological link. To contribute to the environmental sector in the gases mitigation of greenhouse effect (GEI), by means of the function of the forests, the resource-ground and destiny of woody sub-products as fuel, which achieves reductions of CO2, on having replaced the engines promoted by fossil fuel. To allow the social progress, and in that way to mitigate the exodus of the rural inhabitants towards the big cities, generating new working places in the place where one finds the resource. To allow the energetic development, which will activate the development of MicroSMEs, which will tend to the manufacture of prime local matters depending on new markets, it means that with a minimal investment, we will achieve the maximum benefits due to the importance of sustainable development of the resources.

THE PROJECT LOCATION The project location is in the Delta of the Paranรก River, specifically in the insular area of Zarate and Campana parties, Province of Buenos Aires, known the rivers as Delta of the Paranรก. It is surrounded by the rivers Parana de las Palmas y Parana Guazu to 100 km away from Buenos Aires, Capital of Argentina, and with an urban area of 15,000,000 persons. It is an homogeneous area, not strongly inhabitad, with a surface of about 17500 Km2. It is a atypical area inserted like a wedge in the surrounding sectors. The Delta del Parana is a land with a permanent growth due to the continuos sedimentation, with flat lands and high areas. It has a high fertility.

Zรกrate, 556Km2

Campana, 664Km2

The Parana de las Palmas river begins at the kilometre 231 of Guazu river and discharges into de la Plata river, after a sinuous way of 125 Km. The election of the place is based for being inside the zone of influence of our University, with navigable exit to overseas port , elementary school of island and own conditions of the area for the activities to develop and needs that it demonstrates that they can be solved with this project.

SOCIAL ASPECTS •The Delta is characterized by presenting a low population density, less than 5 inhabitants every 100 ha.


More than the 80 % of the people inhabiting the islands have a family members average number of 3.5 persons per family. The population according to sex reveals a high preponderance of men, due to the fact that immigration from neighboring countries is something common in the region.

POPULATION ACTIVITY In relation to the activity done by the active population in the working world of the Delta, it is distributed as follows: 68 % in the agricultural and forest sector, the 7 % in industry and the 25 % in trade and self-employment service.

Almost all employment is in the primary occupation sector, the private sector occupies almost a 90 % of the active population, and the rest in public offices. The infrastructure of hospitals, primary and secondary schools exceeds the required demand.



After the soil has been drained, the land transforms into fields with a high content of usable humified organic matter conferring it a lot of fertility and make it especially apt for the forest cultivation based on species tolerant to conditions of excessive humidity, as for example the salicaceous plants. In the lowest places different willow clones are planted and the poplars are put in the ridges. As the Delta suffers from periodic flooding caused by the rise of the River Plate and the swellings of the Uruguay and Paraná River, in certain circumstances and in areas affected by flooding perimetrical dams are built that according to their shape can be called “atajarrepunte” (a defence for small swellings) when they aren’t higher than 1.5m , or simply dams when they are bigger. But the most interesting forestry fundamentation for the producer when he constructs dams, is that it allows him to increase significantly the areas destined to the cultivation of land poplars in areas of transition between low and high.

FOREST PRODUCTION COST In consideration of the different alternatives of forest production we can express their yields and costs in the following picture. Production of wood at the age of 12

Cost in Foot (*)

Case 1 (70% Poplar and 30% Willow) 350 ton/ha

$ 19/ton

Case 2 (40% Poplar and 60% Willow) 300 ton/ha

$ 16/ton

Case 3 (10% Poplar and 90% Willow) 250 ton/ha


(*) This value is increased in 10% to prepared it as wood in plump.


For the evaluation of the logging residue which stay in the land, after the forest harvest, parcels of 2m x12m were marked at random since the cultivation are 2mx3m out of an original afforestation carried out in 1969 and that has been harvested 3 times since the salicaceas have the particularity of sprouting again. Other parcels of the same clone of nonflooded zones were analysed, choosing the average.

COLLECTION OF ALL THE MATERIAL The collection of all the material that was in the ground was made, being taken and transported for its later natural drying and its evaluation, and besides the material adhered to the ground, not harvested in the forest harvest. Was also measured.

The different observations and quantification of the logging residues, showed the following considerations and data: Fine branches Heavy Branches Stumps topped of the ground Pieces with the wrong shape (twisted stems) Pieces rotten or soaked up Hooks or pieces with branches that affect the cylindrical form of the piece Forks and Stumps adhered to the ground Therefore the remainder material never is uniform due to: a)turns or harvests, since the salicaseas sprout again and the same foot is used during 5 turns and sometimes more. b)type of clone or variety c)type of ecological zone of plantation d)type of conduction of the forestry

The amounts obtained in the average parcel, can be classified according to their type and size in the following way: Type of Material

Tabla 1

Soaked up Fine Branches Branches diameter average 1” Branches diameter average 11/2” Branches diameter average 2 ½” Branches diameter average 3” Cut Stump (it frees) Stump adhered to ground (2 Stocks) Total .........................................................................

Amount (kg) 3.30 1.08 4.34 3.69 6.75 9.30 6.48 34.00 63.50 132.44

The weighing was made soon after of 20days airing since part of the material was extracted from a totally flooded field. The total of the considered material obtained as remainder is of 132,44Kg The material by hectare would be: 24m2-132.44 Kg/10000m2 = 55138Kg = 55tn/ha



Tons / hectare



Percentage of the total (%) 11.96










Observations Branches and stems below 7,5cm diameter Hooks or stumps that are taken from the main (pulp wood-logs) and are free from the ground, and soaked up Stumps that are adhered to the ground, not extracted by its wrong shape, in the forest harvest.

Table 2

The last harvest gave an approximately quantity of 205tn/ha staying as woody residues 55tn/ha, which give as a total 27%.


Sample Initial weigh Final weigh Difference 1 205,03 183,25 21,78 2 204,21 183,17 21,04 3 581,45 481 100,45 4 83,74 75,49 8,25

Humid percentage (%) 10,62 10,30 17,27 9,85

Tabla 3

As we can observe the values of humidity found are within the suitable parameters to be able to be used in a gas generator system.

Steps of the normal process of forest harvest for the production of raw material to the manufacture of paper

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

T ra ctor L ight tru ck Previou s cleaning of the plantation Su rvey, cu tting of branches a nd logs of trees Piling u p of pieces and the branches a nd other w aste L oaded on trailer in Positioning of the rail field deca u ville and loa ding of light tru ck . B y light tru ck T a k ing ou t from the forest by tra ctor and tra iler T ransferring to tru ck U nloaded and piled u p on w ays, for tru ck s L oa ded to final transport w hen the transfer w as done Freight to factory (a pproxim a te 1 0 0 k ilom etros)


S t a n d in g p la n t a t io n P r o c e s s in g ( o f p o in t 1 t o 7 ) F in a l L o a d A d m in is t r a t iv e a n d m a n a g e m e n t expenses TO TAL Table 4

1 4 $ /t 1 3 $ /t 9 $ /t 6 $ /t 4 2 $ /t

COSTS OF OBTAINING THE LOGGING RESIDUE TO BE USED AS FUEL The ligneous by-product of the forest will be extracted after of the main material extraction, for that they will be used the same extraction mechanisms, such as decauville rail or tractors with trailers, adapted to contain non pile logging residue material, the trailer container will remove it in shape.


Light truck 5$/t

1) Piled up and accommodated of 5$/t branches with greater rigor and reviewed of high stumps 2) Taking out from the forest 3$/t 3$/t 3) Transfer to truckable way if it 1.5$/t were necessary 4) Charge to final transport if it 1.5$/t were necessary 5) Final transport (approx. 15Km) 2$/t 2$/t 6) Administrative expenses 20% of 1.7$/t 2.2$/t previous TOTAL 11.7$/t 15.2$/t Tabla 5


According to our previous studies a classification of the necessities of the electrical consumption that are required in the insular sector can be done, according to the following scheme: 1) From 3kVA to 5kVA for simple house or health centre 2) From 5kVA to 10kVA for familiar using with some activity of microenterprises. pg. (fish storing) 3) From 10kVA to 30kVA for groups of families with some activity PYME using / rural School 4) From 30kVA to 150kVA for enterprises PYME using. pg. (sawed)

STUDY OF CASE The provision of Electrical Energy is made by the enterprise which equipment of 30kVA fed with diesel oil that works 10hs per day from Monday to Saturday The costs of the fuel for the equipment are the same as in the continent. They are considered in:0,6$/litre for the Diesel oil. Ref: February 2002; 1U$=2,2$ Comparing costs with the present generator of 30kVA we can say that: Consumption according to data of the operator of 4lts/h and working (not to total load aprox. 55%) 10hs/day, this implies an annual fuel cost of: 7200$/year, if the equipment worked to total load during the same time, the annual fuel cost will be : 12440$/year. For the case of a gas generator system that consumes 2kg/kW.h of logging residue as fuel cost of 15$/tn, for the same maxim power,it would give an annual cost: 2592$/year. It is due to clarify that it has not included in any case the amortisation costs, the maintenance of the producing and generating equipment. In this case there is a simple comparison to have an initial comparative value of the potentiality of the use of this resource to replace the fossil fuel.

Table of comparison of consumption for different powers Case

Annual Installed Consumpti Firewood Working to Daily Consumpt Consump the Power on of tion maximum ion logging power residue from gasification



Quantity of Logging residue

Size of the material






















5 a 10










10 a 30









30 a 150







small/ medium small/ medium/ big

kg/day Tn/year



Adjusted according to the obtained percentage


i ha/year


a)For calculation it was considered the maximun power in each case. b)It was considered 50% more consumption than the specified in gas generator of proved technology h)This clasification comes from . Table 6 The purpose of these calculations, let us determine the different quantities of residues to manipulate both in ton and ha. necessary for the different power that is estimated to be used.

WE CAN COME FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS For case Nยบ1 will be for the one of a family type of the Delta, its annual resource would be satisfied with an annual harvesting of 3.2ha of small material .(With manual preparation treatment, similar that is used in traditional firewood cooker) The enterprises produces 55,000t/years of wood for paper pulp,it is equivalent to 14,850 t/years of logging residues for using as fuel. Making a macro projection for the zone of project Zarate -Campana, with 50% of the insular surface forest 61,000ha, will have 129,407t/years of logging residue for fuel. This stage let us: Determinate exactly the logging residue percentage (27%) Quantify the logging residue, according to its size, for the better orientation to use as fuel

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