291687 Characterization of Pilot-Scale, Pressurized Fluidized Bed Biomass Gasification Products Using Gas Chromatography (GC) Techniques

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Jess Earl, Chemical Engineering , University of Utah , Salt Lake City, UT, Daniel J. Sweeney, Institute for Clean and Secure Energy, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT and Kevin Whitty, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

As concern over the use of fossil fuels grows, interest in the use of biomass and waste materials as energy sources has increased. Thermal conversion of biomass by gasification is a widely applicable technique due to its range of feedstocks (e.g. woody biomass, herbaceous perennial crops, agricultural residues, municipal solid waste), scale, and applications (e.g. transportation fuels, electricity production, chemical synthesis). Currently, the commercialization of biomass gasification is limited due to challenges in fuel pretreatment and feeding, and gas cleanup due to tar and sulfur species formation.  A 200 kW, steam-blown, pressurized fluidized bed gasifier was used to produce synthesis gas from a woody biomass feedstock. This study assesses the reactor performance in converting woody biomass to synthesis gas by analyzing product gas compositions, which are measured using a micro-GC. In addition, a GC-FID (flame ionization detector) was used to compare tar yields for different gasifier operating conditions (temperature and pressure) and feedstock types.

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