Glycerol Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant - A World First
The University of Greenwich has funded and implemented a wide range of 'Green Projects' to reduce its CO2 footprint and has installed a glycerol-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, the first biofuel building retro-fit in the world, at its Medway Campus in Kent.
Glycerol is a by-product of biodiesel manufacture from plant oil. It combusts in compression ignition engines with very low emissions using the novel McNeil combustion cycle.
- High boiling point
An Interreg IVA Chanel-funded project 'Ecotec 2' has developed and mapped the glycerol supply chain for the project, and this will see around 1,800 tonnes per annum of glycerol delivered to the campus to provide 8,000 hours worth of heat and power for offices, laboratories and scientific equipment.
The carbon footprint of the campus will be reduced by 2,600 tonnes per annum, which is 43% to the university's target of 6,000 tonnes per annum by 2020, based on a 2009/2010 baseline, and payback is expected within 7 years.
Additional benefits include training opportunities in renewable energy applications for future generations of students and researchers, as well as new research projects. One such example is the D-Factory, a €10 million European-funded project that will see the production of glycerol from algae cultivated in non-potable saline water within four years. The university has also provided workshops of the glycerol-CHP system to a wide range of different communities, including council planners.