David, E.; S. Preda; C. Ducu
January 2010
Progress of Cryogenics & Isotopes Separation;2010, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p95
Academic Journal
Renewable biomass and biomass-derived fuels could be readily gasified to produce a fuel gas rich in hydrogen. Among the biomass energy conversion schemes gasification produces a product gas, which based on its properties could be used either to co-produce value-added byproducts or hydrogen. As a readily renewable fuel, biomass may become a significant component in the global sustainable energy mix as fossil fuel resources begin to deplete. In addition, biomass utilization can expedite mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration cycles and promote "green" industries. Hydrogen or fuel gas produced from biomass could be readily used in most of the present natural gas or petroleum derived hydrogen energy conversion devices and also in advanced systems such as fuel cells. The main objective pursued in this work is to investigate the fuel gas(rich in hydrogen) production from biomass wastes by applying the steam gasification technique. Characteristics of steam gasification of two kinds of biomass (rapeseed oil cakes and walnut shells) at different heating rate (in the order of 10-20°C s-1) and different metal oxide catalysts (CaO, MgO and a mixture 50% CaO and 50% MgO) in a gas-solid concurrent down flow free-fall reactor were investigated. The effects of steam/biomass (S/B) mass ratio (0.0-1.0 g/g) and reactor temperature (750-850°C) on the product yields and the compositions of product gas were determined. The experimental results show that the gas yields and the content of H2 in the gas increase with reactor temperature, while the yields of tar, char and the content of CO and CH4 in the product gas decrease. The presence of steam increases the gas yield and reduces the tar and char yields. It is inferred that an in situ steam reforming reaction of tar takes place even in a short gas residence time in the free-fall reactor. Water-gas shift reaction determines greatly the gas compositions and H2 production at higher temperature. The effects of different occurring catalysts, CaO, MgO and a mixture 50% CaO and 50% MgO, were also investigated in the same unit. The mixt catalyst reveals a comparably good performance in terms of catalytic activity of tar destruction and the consequential increase in the production of gases in thus a short vapor-catalyst contact time. The results verify that the presence of steam and catalyst favors the tar decomposition and lead to increasing of hydrogen content in gas yield. The present gasification process could be generally used to produce fuel gas for heat and power.


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