Assessment of bioenergy and syngas generation in India based on estimation of agricultural residues

Tanmay J. Deka, Ahmed I. Osman*, Debendra C. Baruah, David W. Rooney

*Corresponding author for this work

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India possesses a huge potential in biomass power generation to reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports. Of the available biomass sources, crop residues are particularly interesting as they dispersed resources with varying spatiotemporal availability and features. These residues also have competing applications which differ geographically. In India, state-wise crop-level biomass databases are found to be scarce, and local biomass records are critical to implement decentralized bioenergy projects. The main objective of this study is to critically assess the potential of agricultural crop residues, their subsequent bioenergy, and the syngas production potential in all of India’s regions (28 states and 8 UTs). 43 major crop residues produced from 28 different crops produced in different regions of India were taken for this study, considering their recent crop production statistics for the year 2017-18 and following standard estimation procedures. The syngas production potential was estimated using a Python gasification model using input parameters from the literature.

Overall, 869.11 MT of gross residue is generated annually, with 288.14 MT (33.15%) of surplus residue. In terms of surplus crop residue, Uttar Pradesh produces the most surplus residue (57.72 MT) and sugarcane ranks first with a national potential of 62.68 MT. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the bioenergy production potential from surplus crop residue was estimated to be 4.88 EJ. This syngas generation potential is determined to be 37.64% of India’s gross residual potential. Upgrading this quantity of syngas via, for example, methanol (MeOH) synthesis is expected to provide 81.7905 MT of MeOH with an equivalent energy content of 1.85 EJ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3771-3786
JournalEnergy Reports
Early online date03 Mar 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Mar 2023


  • Biomass availability
  • Bioenergy
  • Syngas production
  • Methanol production
  • climate change
  • net zero
  • Decarbonization
  • Circular bioeconomy


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