- 4:48 PM

Low-Temperature Gasification of Cellulosic Biomass

Sameer Parvathikar and Johannes W. Schwank. Chemical Engineering, Transportation Energy Center, University of Michigan, 2300 Hayward, 3014 H.H. Dow Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136

Small modular biopower systems offer a low footprint and cost effective solution to existing problems like global deforestation and increased food prices, in large scale biomass usage. A broad range of technologies exist for the conversion of biomass into useful products. Gasification and pyrolysis has traditionally been carried out at very high temperatures and the catalysts used have been targetted at tar reduction and syn-gas quality product formation. Previous research has also focussed on evaluating products on the basis of total gas formation and total oil formation. Significant gaps exist in the understanding of low temperature gasification and product analysis.

Thermogravimetric analysis of biomass decomposition has been carried out in different atmospheres and in the presence of different primary catalysts. The main focus of the research has been on the identification and quantification of the products of biomass gasification and pyrolysis according to their functional groups as a function of the temperature and time of evolution. This would enable the identification of volatiles evolved at low temperatures and and investigate the feasibility of using these volatiles to make useful products. The gases have been analysed by gas chromatography and fourier transform IR spectroscopy and the liquid products have been analysed by a GC/MS. The effect of different primary and secondary catalysts in altering product composition and yields are also discussed.