Power Generation with Vegetable Oils in the Italian Scenario: A 20 MW Case Study. Technical Feasibility Analysis and Economical Aspects


Nowadays the utilization of vegetable oils, particularly the palm oil, as fuel in the power plant, has made a significant development in the last few years. This vegetable oil can be used in particular in slow marine-derived diesel internal combustion engine (ICE), with an electric efficiency of about 40%. The efficiency is connected to the size of the power plant. Moreover, the considerable amount of the required vegetable oil to feed the system forces, especially in Italy, makes it necessary to import the fuel. This is the most critical element as the palm oil is subject to continuous variations in prices. Due to this variation it is difficult to stabilize a convenient fuel supply for a long period. The paper aims to evaluate and estimate the economic, technical and environmental feasibility of a 20 MW plant for the stationary power generation fed with palm oil, enlightening the system solution (technical constructive aspects) and the economic appraisal, on the basis of variations in oil prices. A comparison with a cogenerative power plant has been also carried out and, at last, the economic sensibility analysis based on the fuel cost and the European mechanisms of biomass incentives is performed.

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A. Calabria and R. Capata, "Power Generation with Vegetable Oils in the Italian Scenario: A 20 MW Case Study. Technical Feasibility Analysis and Economical Aspects," Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2012, pp. 548-556. doi: 10.4236/eng.2012.49070.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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