Amandla Resources



ARD has identified that there is sufficient BioMass waste product available (from several local forestry operations) that can be collected and processed, via a Combustion process or a more advanced Pyrolysis Gasification process, to generate significant amounts of (waste) Heat, Electric power, Gas-to-Liquids fuels manufacture and direct heat for industrial processing.

Electric power  can be feed into the National Grid [ESKOM] or into local Municipal or Off-grid applications - but only via complex and tedious licensing processes, in South Africa. 
Direct or own-use, is the more-likely offtake option, for this type of biomass processing operation.

BioMass Resources and Recovery:

1.0 Post-harvest Forest Residues:

  • Brushwood & forest thinnings
  • Bark (typically recovered at log-handling)
  • De-stumping after harvest
  • Copice wood clearing and harvesting
  • Timber/Other grown specially for biomass

Recent estimates and audits taken at forestry felling operations suggest that a Eucalyptus commercial plantation that is being harvested on a 7 to 8-year cycle and with one ratoon harvest before replanting, will yield brushwood , trim-waste and bark - in volumes sufficient to support  the feedstock needs of a sizeable power plant.

Even if only 60% of the TOTAL available BioMass is effectively recovered (pulp-wood residues, bark and forestry slash), this would provide sufficient feedstock that would produce electric power that could be fed preferably to aa direct-use private client or (with difficulty), into the National Grid.

For a standard biomass combustion porocess, typical feed of 8 000 to 10 000 tonne is required, per annum, to fuel a 1 MWe Electricity output. Actual tonnage per megawatt depends of course on the quality (CV) of the biomass and the moisture content and on the actual combustion process chosen.

2.0 Crop Residues:

  • Maize stalks (Stover).
  • Sugar Cane tops and trash (beware high alkaline salts) 
  • Sugar Cane Bagasse; (after extraction of sugar juice).
    Forestry post-harvest residues
  • Various other crop residues.

3.0 Animal residuesWaste:
  • Dung from cattle & other ruminants
  • Chicken litter
  • Pig Manure
4.0 Energy Crops:

  • Sugar Cane, Napier Grass and other grasses (Miscanthus etc).
  • Papyrus.
  • Oil-seed crops.
  • Timber for Bio-Mass (e.g. Casuarina, Eucalyptus, Poplar, Pine, Wattle etc).
  • Enery-cane Sorghum.
  • Bamboo.
  • Moringa & other fruit-bearing/oilseed trees
  • Jatropha Curcas (where permitted).

5.0 Municipal

Garden refuse and other dry organic waste: (clippings from verge clearing and parks maintenance).

  • Household refuse; 
    for recovery of methane gas from landfill sites and in future from high-temperature incineration/ torrefaction).

  • Sorted MSW arising from MERF operations;
    (Can be used as feedstock for various Gasification
    systems and especially for use in pyrolysis processors).

  • Dried Sewerage sludge; 
    (Feedstock for Anaerobic Digester systems to produce Methane that can be stored, used as fuel for power generation or heating).

6.0 Feed-stock supplies:

Several timber forests have now been identified (in KZN province, for example), that are of a sufficient size, to potentially yield the required  critical mass tonnages, to justify the implementation of the AMANDLA Resources [ARD] proposal, for a "New Co Power Generation Enterprise"  from renewable energy resources [without the need to use scarce food-crop arable land, for the production of the needed Bio-Mass].

7.0 Capital Investment:

ARD has also linked with investors who are available to provide the needed capital resources,, to build the required logistics infrastructure, facilitate co-operative agreements with the Rural communities and established forestry operations and for the establishment of the needed processing plants and power generation facilities that will convert this renewable resource into an economically viable source of supplementary energy.

8.0 "REFIT Tariffs": now "REBID".

The previously announced renewable feed-in tariff structures, for supply into the National Grid made this  economically viable -although recent reviews and reductions in these tariffs suggest that power purchase agreements are more likely to be viable with direct-use customers, rather than with Eskom, for small and medium-scale projects.

The Municipal Financve Management Act [MFMA] prescribes that the municipality may only purchase electric power form an independent supplier if teh tariff is equal to or lower than teh Eskom Neagflex tariff.

Also; contracts may only run for three years  -thus inhibiting uptake by municipalities in South Africa!

Carbon Credits:

Adding to this however; when considering the use of CDM funding (Carbon Credits) ARD believes that it will soon achieve the financial and economic imperative to launch  Community-owned Pilot Power-from-Bio-Mass generation plants, here in South Africa. 

More-especially however, where the offtake client is independent of the grid and the power can be supplied dierct to user

9.0 Technical competence;:

is available to Amandla Resources from established resources. 

ARD also now has access to a wider range of alternative technology partners, from North America, Europe & China; depending on the type and quality of the available Bio-Mass, different technological solutions may be available and ARD recognises that there is no "one-size fits all" approach to  finding the best solution.

Liquid Drop-in Fuels from Bio-wastes:

10.0 Agricultural: 
and related
local community development. 

Companion Websites:
  Email GroPower:  Permaculture Centre

Biomass sources [General comment] (Wikipedia).

Biomass energy is derived from three distinct energy sources: wood, waste, and alcohol fuels. Wood energy is derived both from direct use of harvested wood as a fuel and from wood waste streams.

The largest source of energy from wood is pulping liquor or “black liquor,” a waste product from processes of the pulp, paper and paperboard industry. Waste energy is the second-largest source of biomass energy.

The main contributors of waste energy are municipal solid waste (MSW), manufacturing waste, and landfill gas. Biomass alcohol fuel, or ethanol, is derived  from corn (maize), other cereals, sugar cane and sugar beet (for example). Its principal use is as an oxygenate in gasoline.

Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol, synthetic Diesel and biodiesel. Methane gas is the main ingredient of natural gas. Smelly stuff, like rotting garbage, and agricultural and human waste, release methane gas - also called "landfill gas" or "biogas."

Crops like corn and sugar cane can be fermented to produce the transportation fuel, ethanol. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, can be produced from left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats.

Agricultural companies:
[Target Resources

  • Pig farms;
  • Cattle farms;
  • Poultry farms;
  • Crop production companies;
  • Combined type companies.

Food industry companies:
[Processing operations].

  • Distillery and bio-ethanol plants;
  • Brewery plants;
  • Sugar mill;
  • Meet processing factories;
  • Veterinarian and sanitation plants;
  • Starch and treacle plants;
  • Yeast plants;
  • Milk plants;
  • Bakery plants;
  • Chips and potato processing plants
  • Juice and tinned food producers;
  • Wineries;
  • Fish processing plants.

Green-house farms:.

[Intensive Agricultural enterprise]

BioDiesel producers.
[Processors of Vegetable Oils]. 
(Oil-seed production via perennial and annual crop types).

Waste recycling enterprises.
(BioMass recovery and processing).

Municipal waste water-treatment nts.

(Sewage-sludge to fertiliser and as feedstock for Gasifier).

Themal conversion:

These are processes in which heat is the dominant mechanism to convert the biomass into another chemical form. The basic alternatives are separated principally by the extent to which the chemical reactions involved are allowed to proceed:

Combustion, Gasification, Pyrolysis.CPD (that is a chemical deploymerisation process)

There are a number of other less common, more experimental or proprietary thermal processes that may offer benefits such as hydrothermal upgrading (HTU) and hydro-processing. Some have been developed for use on high moisture content biomass, including aqueous slurries, and allow them to be converted into more convenient forms. Some of the Applications of thermal conversion are Combined heat and power (CHP) and Co-firing.

Chemical conversion: [Incl CPD- AlphaKat]

A range of chemical processes may be used to convert biomass into other forms, such as to produce a fuel that is more conveniently used, transported or stored, or to exploit some property of the process itself.

Catalytic Pressureless Depolymerisation:

Amandla Resources was associated with Alphakat GmbH for their AlphaKat KDV (CPD) process for the direct conversion of biomass into synthetic Diesel. However their process did not appear to have been commercially developed at this time. More recent advances may have rasised this technology to  a level for consideration however.

As biomass is a natural material, many highly efficient biochemical processes have developed in nature to break down the molecules of which biomass is composed, and many of these biochemical conversion processes can be harnessed.

The AlphaKat CPD process proposed to emulate and reproduce this process to enable the production of Diesel transportation "Drop-in" fuel, directly from biomass but more realistically from waste plastics and other organic materials!

Biochemical conversion makes use of the enzymes of bacteria and other micro-organisms to break down biomass. In most cases micro-organisms are used to perform the conversion process:

Other chemical processes such as Converting straight and waste vegetable oils into BioDiesel is Transesterification. This produces Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (type Diesel) and normally must be used only as a blend of up to 20% mixed with conventional fossil diesel.

However the AlphaKat CPD process claims to convert the entire plant (biomass) into Bio- GTL (gas-to-liquid) Diesel and is not confined to the conversion of only the vegetable oil component! Alpakat claims that its CPD diesel can be used as a "Drop-in" 100% replacement for conventional fossil diesel and does not require to be blended

What Is The Best Way to Turn Plants into Energy? 

Here is what Scientific American has to say:

1. Using biomass plant-matter to produce electricity rather than ethanol results in more recoverable energy from the same amount of land.

2. Gasification is the route preferred by Amandla Resources - syngas plants can produce copious qualtities of low CV "Syngas" that can be used to drive downstream processess to produce electric power, for example?

A typical stack of small diameter logs, trimwaste and "slash" that is not otherwise of much commercial value - unless it is bundled and delivered to a nearby processing plant for BioMass energy conversion!

JJohn Deere make specialised equipment for forestry operations including this machine that bundles the trim- waste effectively.

Waste being bundled and compressed for transport out of the forest, to a processing plant.

Watse bundles being transported out of the forest.

Bundles of Trim-waste each account for up to 1 Gigawatt of heat energy.

By clearing away forestry slash & trim -waste, the incidence and severity of unconttrolled forest fires can be significantly reduced. 


All the above graphics are  available to view in greater detail on the John Deere website.

What does "Scientific American" have to say about Bio-Energy?

Grassoline: Biofuels beyond Corn.

Scientists are turning agricultural leftovers, wood and fast-growing grasses into a huge variety of biofuelseven jet fuel. But before these next-generation biofuels go mainstream, they have to compete with oil at $60 a barrel.


The remnants (or 'stover') of corn (and similar grass species -e.g. Sugar Cane), after it's harvested, can be a good source of biofuel, especially when combined with the right enzymes (for direct conversion into Bio-Fuel / Alcohol).

Biomass conversion process to useful energy.

There are a number of technological options available to make use of a wide variety of biomass types as a renewable energy source. Conversion technologies may release the energy directly, in the form of heat or electricity, or may convert it to another form, such as liquid biofuel or combustible biogas. While for some classes of biomass resource there may be a number of usage options, for others there may only one appropriate technology.

  1. Thermal conversion

  2. Chemical conversion
  3. Biochemical conversion

Key Concepts:
(with acknowledgment
to Scientific American);

Second-generation Bio-­fuels
made from the inedible parts of plants are the most environmentally friendly and technologically promising near-term alternatives oil.

Most of this “Grassoline”
 will come from agricultural residues such as cornstalks, weed-like energy crops and wood waste (BioMass).

The U.S. (for example) can grow enough of these feed-stocks to replace about half the country’s total consumption of oil, without affecting food supplies.
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