The expected world population growth by 2050 is likely to pose great challenges in the global food demand and, in turn, in the fertilizer consumption. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has forecasted that 46% of this projected growth will be attributed to Africa. This, in turn, raises further concerns about the sustainability of Africa’s contemporary fertilizer production, considering also its high dependence on fertilizer imports. Based on these facts, a novel “green” route for the synthesis of fertilizers has been considered in the context of the African agriculture by means of plasma technology. More precisely, a techno-economic feasibility study has been conducted for a small-scale plasma-assisted nitric acid plant located in Kenya and South Africa with respect to the electricity provision by renewable energy sources. In this study, standalone solar and wind power systems, as well as a hybrid system, have been assessed for two different electricity loads against certain economic criteria. The relevant simulations have been carried out in HOMER software and the optimized configurations of each examined renewable power system are presented in this study.
Anastasopoulou, A., Butala, S., Patil, B., Suberu, J., Fregene, M., Lang, J., … Hessel, V. (2016). Techno-economic feasibility study of renewable power systems for a small-scale plasma-assisted nitric acid plant in Africa. Processes, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4040054