Profile – Draft for Discussion Only
CAREL (Rural Alternatives Center of El Limon, Dominican Republic)
Demonstration of Pyrolytic Combustion of Biofuel Pellets for Cooking and Electric Generation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic
Pyrolytic combustion of plant matter offers an efficient, ecological alternative to common cooking fuels, and also can be used to generate electricity. In this project, a village-scale fuel pellet production infrastructure will perform dual service, providing pellets for home use and for a 10 kW – 20 kW generator that feeds a village micro-grid. An important by-product will be bio-char fertilizer. Two villages will participate, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in Haiti, and the project will feature an interchange of participants to promote cooperacion in both technical and social aspects of the project.
Benefits of The Project
Environmental: Deforestation is reduced by eliminating individual family cutting of firewood for cooking fuel, and changing biomass harvest into a controlled, sustainable community activity. Use of fossil fuels for cooking and electric generation are avoided, reducing emission of greenhouse gases.
Health: Lung-damaging emissions from open wood cooking fires and kerosene illuminating lamps are eliminated.
Social: Electrification promotes general quality-of-life, better education, and sets a community on the path to further economic development. Cooperation between Dominican and Haitian communities is also beneficial for both countries.
Agricultural: Pyrolytic combustion produces significant quantities of bio-char, an important soil amendment.
Fuel: Fast-growing brushy plants or grasses (possibly Vetiver grass) will be the basic fuel stock. Plants will be chosen based on a study of local conditions, and a planting and management program will assure sustainability. Processing will use a chipper, a grinding mill, and a pellet mill, all of which are commonly available.
Stoves: Stoves for home cooking will be of the “Luchia Stove” type, provided by World Stove, a socially oriented business based in Italy. The stoves are highly engineered, of a design optomized for local conditions, and cost about $ 35 when locally assembled. They are fabricated from long-lasting stainless steel, burn cleanly, and operate for several hours on one filling of pellets (approximately one liter).
Electric Generation: The demonstration project will use commercial gasifier-gensets of 10kW, 15kW or 20kW, depending on the size of the selected communities and the analysis of the feedstock plant production.
Electric Distribution: Electric distribution will use a conventional mini-grid operating at 120/240 Volts, 60 Hz. If the houses are dispersed, 7.2 kV transformers will be used
Selection of Communities
Design of System
Formation of Local Organizations
Interchange of Participants
Purchase of Equipment
Installation of Equipment
Training of Personnel
Preliminary Budget (150 Households)
Pellet production 2 x $6,000 12,000
Stoves 150 x $ 35 5,250
Gas generator/ Genset 2 x $ 25,000 50,000
Mini-grid 2 x $ 15,000 30,000
Personnel 1 full time equivalent for one year 30,000
Consultants management plan, stove localization, etc. 10,000
Travel and transportation 10,000
TOTAL $ 162,250
CAREL (Rural Alternatives Center of El Limon)
El Limon de Ocoa, Dominican Republic