Biomass Pyrolysis In a Three-Stage Gasifier

Monday, November 8, 2010: 2:06 PM
Grand Ballroom H (Marriott Downtown)
Tom R. Marrero, chemical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and David L. Seidel, Seidel Research and Development Company, LLC (SRADCO, LLC), Columbia, MO

The purpose of this paper is to present results of experimental studies of the pyrolysis/gasification of various biomass materials. The experiments have been conducted over the last five years in one prototype system with three separate reaction chambers lined with refractory materials. In the feed chamber pyrolysis or primary gasification occurs; the second chamber serves as a partial combustor, and the outlet chamber is a high-temperature reactor. The prototype has sampling points in, after and in-between the three chambers from which a variety of biomass products--solid, liquid and gaseous--are extracted. Biomass feed materials have been: corn, corn stover, clover, grasses, milo stover, peanut shells, oak wood, wood sawdust, cow manure , horse manure , hog manure, compressed paper, grumb rubber, chipped rubber tires, whole tires, and other renewable wastes. These experiments have resulted in mass and energy balances for the pyrolysis/gasification system, operations with precise temperatures in each chamber, low air-emissions of criteria pollutants, and a relatively high thermal efficiency. The biomass derived products are high carbon content activated biochar, biocrude oils, and biofuel gases generated by a sustainable process. The properties of the biomass derived products were tested for purity, density, liquid and gas absorption, and adsorption, thermal conductivity, fuel characteristics, and other properties. Some of the results are an 85% carbon content biochar with high methane and nitrogen uptake properties, a 1250 BTU per cubic foot biogas, and a golden high viscosity lubricating oil, soil revitalizing amendment or fertilizer and various grades of biofuel oils and lubricants. The experiments yielded promising results for new techniques in the processing of activated carbon, nanocarbons, carbides, natural fertilizers, absorbents, and adsorbents, natural chemical solvents, oils, alternative fuels and gases. Thus, the significance of these prototype tests is the design and construction of a scaled-up system for commercial projects to manufacture carbon products for high-value applications utilizing low-value sustainable renewable biomass feed materials.

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