Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Biomass Gasification Related Abstracts

3 UV-Vis Spectroscopy as a Tool for Online Tar Measurements in Wood Gasification Processes

Authors: Philip Edinger, Christian Ludwig


The formation and control of tars remain one of the major challenges in the implementation of biomass gasification technologies. Robust, on-line analytical methods are needed to investigate the fate of tar compounds when different measures for their reduction are applied. This work establishes an on-line UV-Vis method, based on a liquid quench sampling system, to monitor tar compounds in biomass gasification processes. Recorded spectra from the liquid phase were analyzed for their tar composition by means of a classical least squares (CLS) and partial least squares (PLS) approach. This allowed for the detection of UV-Vis active tar compounds with detection limits in the low part per million by volume (ppmV) region. The developed method was then applied to two case studies. The first involved a lab-scale reactor, intended to investigate the decomposition of a limited number of tar compounds across a catalyst. The second study involved a gas scrubber as part of a pilot scale wood gasification plant. Tar compound quantification results showed good agreement with off-line based reference methods (GC-FID) when the complexity of tar composition was limited. The two case studies show that the developed method can provide rapid, qualitative information on the tar composition for the purpose of process monitoring. In cases with a limited number of tar species, quantitative information about the individual tar compound concentrations provides an additional benefit of the analytical method.

Keywords: Tar, Biomass Gasification, UV-vis, on-line

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2 Environmental Impacts Assessment of Power Generation via Biomass Gasification Systems: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Approach for Tars Release

Authors: Grâce Chidikofan, François Pinta, A. Benoist, G. Volle, J. Valette


Statement of the Problem: biomass gasification systems may be relevant for decentralized power generation from recoverable agricultural and wood residues available in rural areas. In recent years, many systems have been implemented in all over the world as especially in Cambodgia, India. Although they have many positive effects, these systems can also affect the environment and human health. Indeed, during the process of biomass gasification, black wastewater containing tars are produced and generally discharged in the local environment either into the rivers or on soil. However, in most environmental assessment studies of biomass gasification systems, the impact of these releases are underestimated, due to the difficulty of identification of their chemical substances. This work deal with the analysis of the environmental impacts of tars from wood gasification in terms of human toxicity cancer effect, human toxicity non-cancer effect, and freshwater ecotoxicity. Methodology: A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach was adopted. The inventory of tars chemicals substances was based on experimental data from a downdraft gasification system. The composition of six samples from two batches of raw materials: one batch made of tree wood species (oak+ plane tree +pine) at 25 % moisture content and the second batch made of oak at 11% moisture content. The tests were carried out for different gasifier load rates, respectively in the range 50-75% and 50-100%. To choose the environmental impacts assessment method, we compared the methods available in SIMAPRO tool (8.2.0) which are taking into account most of the chemical substances. The environmental impacts for 1kg of tars discharged were characterized by ILCD 2011+ method (V.1.08). Findings Experimental results revealed 38 important chemical substances in varying proportion from one test to another. Only 30 are characterized by ILCD 2011+ method, which is one of the best performing methods. The results show that wood species or moisture content have no significant impact on human toxicity noncancer effect (HTNCE) and freshwater ecotoxicity (FWE) for water release. For human toxicity cancer effect (HTCE), a small gap is observed between impact factors of the two batches, either 3.08E-7 CTUh/kg against 6.58E-7 CTUh/kg. On the other hand, it was found that the risk of negative effects is higher in case of tar release into water than on soil for all impact categories. Indeed, considering the set of samples, the average impact factor obtained for HTNCE varies respectively from 1.64 E-7 to 1.60E-8 CTUh/kg. For HTCE, the impact factor varies between 4.83E-07 CTUh/kg and 2.43E-08 CTUh/kg. The variability of those impact factors is relatively low for these two impact categories. Concerning FWE, the variability of impact factor is very high. It is 1.3E+03 CTUe/kg for tars release into water against 2.01E+01 CTUe/kg for tars release on soil. Statement concluding: The results of this study show that the environmental impacts of tars emission of biomass gasification systems can be consequent and it is important to investigate the ways to reduce them. For environmental research, these results represent an important step of a global environmental assessment of the studied systems. It could be used to better manage the wastewater containing tars to reduce as possible the impacts of numerous still running systems all over the world.

Keywords: Environmental Impact, life cycle analysis, Biomass Gasification, LCA, tars

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1 Commissioning, Test and Characterization of Low-Tar Biomass Gasifier for Rural Applications and Small-Scale Plant

Authors: M. Mashiur Rahman, Ulrik Birk Henriksen, Jesper Ahrenfeldt, Maria Puig Arnavat


Using biomass gasification to make producer gas is one of the promising sustainable energy options available for small scale plant and rural applications for power and electricity. Tar content in producer gas is the main problem if it is used directly as a fuel. A low-tar biomass (LTB) gasifier of approximately 30 kW capacity has been developed to solve this. Moving bed gasifier with internal recirculation of pyrolysis gas has been the basic principle of the LTB gasifier. The gasifier focuses on the concept of mixing the pyrolysis gases with gasifying air and burning the mixture in separate combustion chamber. Five tests were carried out with the use of wood pellets and wood chips separately, with moisture content of 9-34%. The LTB gasifier offers excellent opportunities for handling extremely low-tar in the producer gas. The gasifiers producer gas had an extremely low tar content of 21.2 mg/Nm³ (avg.) and an average lower heating value (LHV) of 4.69 MJ/Nm³. Tar content found in different tests in the ranges of 10.6-29.8 mg/Nm³. This low tar content makes the producer gas suitable for direct use in internal combustion engine. Using mass and energy balances, the average gasifier capacity and cold gas efficiency (CGE) observed 23.1 kW and 82.7% for wood chips, and 33.1 kW and 60.5% for wood pellets, respectively. Average heat loss in term of higher heating value (HHV) observed 3.2% of thermal input for wood chips and 1% for wood pellets, where heat loss was found 1% of thermal input in term of enthalpy. Thus, the LTB gasifier performs better compared to typical gasifiers in term of heat loss. Equivalence ratio (ER) in the range of 0.29 to 0.41 gives better performance in terms of heating value and CGE. The specific gas production yields at the above ER range were in the range of 2.1-3.2 Nm³/kg. Heating value and CGE changes proportionally with the producer gas yield. The average gas compositions (H₂-19%, CO-19%, CO₂-10%, CH₄-0.7% and N₂-51%) obtained for wood chips are higher than the typical producer gas composition. Again, the temperature profile of the LTB gasifier observed relatively low temperature compared to typical moving bed gasifier. The average partial oxidation zone temperature of 970°C observed for wood chips. The use of separate combustor in the partial oxidation zone substantially lowers the bed temperature to 750°C. During the test, the engine was started and operated completely with the producer gas. The engine operated well on the produced gas, and no deposits were observed in the engine afterwards. Part of the producer gas flow was used for engine operation, and corresponding electrical power was found to be 1.5 kW continuously, and maximum power of 2.5 kW was also observed, while maximum generator capacity is 3 kW. A thermodynamic equilibrium model is good agreement with the experimental results and correctly predicts the equilibrium bed temperature, gas composition, LHV of the producer gas and ER with the experimental data, when the heat loss of 4% of the energy input is considered.

Keywords: Engine, Biomass Gasification, condensate, low-tar biomass gasifier, tar elimination, deposits

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