Agni Energy is a research driven company focused on renewable energy from biomass. Agni has developed proprietary and patent-protected technologies for large scale utilization of biomass (like paddy straw & sugarcane leaves) in power plants. We have a state-of-the-art R&D Lab in Mohali, Punjab, that has characterized more than fifty different types of biomass, thereby gaining an intricate understanding of challenges and options in the biomass-to-power space.
Agni is backed by top-tier Silicon Valley VCs and has an exceptional team of scientists and engineers.
India is primarily an agrarian society which produces over 500 million MT of agro-residue out of which close to 150 million MT is surplus. Power potential of this surplus agro-residue is close to 18 GWe. Punjab alone produces ~2 Cr MT of paddy straw every year with a power potential of 2 GWe.
Current installed capacity of bio-power plants based on marginal biomass in India is only 1200MWe – and the majority of these plants are under performing because of technical challenges. Paddy straw driven bio-power projects have virtually no long-term techno-economic feasibility at present. This is due to the higher-than-expected levels of paddy straw needed to produce a unit of electricity, more frequent-than-expected shutdowns for O&M, and greater-than-expected amounts of waste ash generated, which pose significant disposal problems.
The underlying reason for these problems is the intrinsic chemical composition of paddy straw: high content of alkali oxides (like potassium, K) and halogens (especially chloride, Cl). K and Cl combine together with other trace and major elements (like Silica, Aluminum, and unburnt paddy straw) leading to three specific problems:
Bed ash clinkering: the formation of complex potassium alumino-silicates that combine with unburnt paddy straw. This forms large clinkers which damage boiler internals, and greatly increase the mass of ash that gets created – deepening the ash disposal issue.
Fly ash fouling: caused by a variety of factors, and resulting in hard deposits on boiler heat exchanger surfaces. This leads to drop of heat exchanger efficiency, and typically requires frequent shutdowns for mechanical or manual removal of deposits.
Corrosion: water vapor trapped between heat exchanger surfaces and ash layers results in corrosion, leading to rupture of super-heater tubes, and catastrophic boiler failure.
Hence bio-power plants struggle to run anywhere close to rated PLF (plant loading factor) and efficiency. High capex and difficulty of a local business model (e.g. biomass collection) compounds the issue, and has resulted in abandonment of several projects.
Agni has solved for these problems by developing proprietary, patent pending solutions such as families of additives that condition raw biomass, and divert noxious elements (like Cl) to other sources. This reduces the formation of molten salts, and prevents their combination with unburnt rice straw. This increases boiler efficiency and decreases ash volume – a massive ‘2-for-1’ benefit.
Agni’s solution is currently being tested and scaled in the bio-power plant. Agni’s solutions have been validated by various State agencies and work is currently underway to commercialize the solution.