Feasibility Study on Programmatic CDM for Ethanol Production Using Cassava Pulp in Thailand

Global Environment Centre Foundation(GEC)

Reports of CDM/JI Feasibility Studies

Title of Feasibility Study (FS)Feasibility Study on Programmatic CDM for Ethanol Production Using Cassava Pulp in Thailand
FYFY 2008
Main Implementing EntityMayekawa Mfg. Co., Ltd.
FS Partner(s)
  • Kassesart University Agricultural products Institute (KAPI)
  • Mayekawa (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
  • Climate Experts Ltd.
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Location of Project ActivityThailand
Summary of FS ReportSummary (PDF432KB)
Description of Project ActivityTo build an ethanol production plant using cassava pulp as raw material in the facility of a starch factory proposed for the members (cassava starch factories) of Thai Tapioca Starch Association (TTSA).
Cassava pulp is stored in the field in the starch factories during the wet season. It is fermented during that time and produces methane gas and odor. In this project, such cassava pulp will be used as ethanol raw material and methane gas production will be mitigated.
As CER obtained from "avoidance of methane gas production" is relatively small for one starch factory, Programmatic CDM is proposed to integrate several projects as one CDM project under TTSA’s coordination and management. This approach will reduce the expenses for the procedures required for CDM project registration at CDM Executive Board and will involve much more projects as CDM.
Targeted GHGCH4
Category of Project ActivityBiomass Utilisation
Duration of Project Activity/ Crediting PeriodPoA: 2012-2039 (28 years)
CPA: 10 years within above period without renewal, or 7 years with maximum 2 renewals
Baseline Scenario (including Methodology to be applied)The baseline scenario is the methane gas production caused by the fermentation of cassava pulp stored in the factory without use.
In this project, Small Scale CDM Methodology AMS III.E. "Avoidance of methane production from decay of biomass through controlled combustion, gasification or mechanical/thermal treatment" is selected for the estimation of emission reductions.
Demonstration of AdditionalityThis project faces following barriers and CDM is solving these barriers and justifying the Additionality conditions.
1) Investment barriers
Massive amount of investment is required to build an ethanol plant. In this project, cassava starch factory can use their byproducts - cassava pulp as main raw material for ethanol production. Other materials are not supposed to be purchased as ethanol raw material. The production capacity is estimated at around 30kL/day which is far smaller than other ethanol plants in general in Thailand. Therefore, economical viability is considerably low. In conclusion, this project will not be realized without CER revenue from CDM project.
2) Technological barrier
There is no reference of implementing ethanol production using cassava pulp in Thailand or even other countries. Some experimental production was executed in the laboratory in Thailand which failed in overcoming technical problems. In Japan, there is a reference of ethanol production using cassava pulp as main raw material for a short time in the past ensuring knowhow of overcoming difficulties in using cassava pulp as ethanol raw material. This project has technology barrier that it will not be realized without technical assistance from Japan.
Estimation of GHG Emission ReductionsVolume of processing cassava pulp: Field storage of 500ton/day during the wet season for 7 months (210 days) is supposed to be eliminated, then;
Baseline emission: 6,386tCO2/yr (avoidance of methane gas production)
Project emission: 1,737tCO2/yr (emission from ethanol production in one year)
Emission reduction: 4,649tCO2/yr
Monitoring Plan (including Methodology to be applied)Monitoring parameters required for estimating emission reductions for SSC-CPA under PoA are amount of cassava pulp for ethanol production, ethanol production, consumption of fossil fuel and electricity in the ethanol plant, increase of transportation of ethanol by truck.
TTSA will create monitoring plan and manage and collect data from CPA as project coordinator.
Environmental Impact AnalysisIn this project, production of methane gas during the storage of cassava pulp, is mitigated by using it as ethanol raw material. The ethanol plant will be built in the cassava starch factory. The disposal of waste from ethanol production is done in accordance with the local regulation same as cassava starch production plant and will not cause any new negative impacts on environment
Issues and Tasks for Project MaterialisationIn this study, existing Methodology has been selected for the project of ethanol production from cassava pulp. As a result, it was found that CERs obtained from one CDM project is small and estimated as a few thousand tons per year only for "Avoidance of methane gas production from cassava pulp". Therefore, PoA scheme has been selected to involve more starch producers in Thailand. Many stakeholders showed strong interests in such a project.
On the other hand, many starch producers and ethanol plants showed interests in "CERs obtained from the alternative fuel to gasoline by ethanol" although there is no existing Methodology at the time of survey.
There are three major issues with regards to the business development of this project. The first issue is solution and demonstration of technical issues in ethanol production from cassava pulp. The second issue is the development of Methodology for gasoline alternatives which can claim more CERs. The third issue is the negotiation with starch industry and capacity building of implementing Programmatic CDM. We hope to find solutions to such issues and develop projects as early as possible.
Co-benefits EffectsOdors generated during the storage of cassava pulp will be mitigated after implementing this project. According to the estimation of avoidance of methane gas production based on AMS III.E., we can also estimate the avoidance of production of other gasses.