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Design and Operate a
Pyrolysis/Gasification Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Dr Witold Kwapinski is heading a research team that will target the construction of a laboratory-scale gasifier and pyrolysis unit that will effectively process biomass and organic waste materials. A wide variety of conditions will be employed to ascertain the effects that these have on the gases, bio-oils and chars formed in the processes and optimum conditions will be established for the production of the products of greatest commercial value. Char will be an important product, due to its massive potential value in agriculture. It can be anticipated that the results will focus attention on a research area with considerable wealth generating potential.

An important output will be to demonstrate how pyrolysis processes compare to incineration in so far as the utilization of organic wastes is concerned. The results obtained will be of great importance to policy makers. There will be significant fundamental studies of applications of those technologies.

Please click here to see the planned design of the new gasifier in more detail.

This project is possible through funding from the Irish HEA. Carbolea obtained we obtain 241 000 Euros fundign from this source and we expect the equipment to be ready at the end of 2009. The diameter of the gasifier will be 5-in and it has 5 m longitude. The solid dosage system with high speed screw feeder and control speed will be able to provide 10 kg solids/h. The integration between process and reactor operation with catalyst design is a primary task of our biorefining project. The process conditions in the reactor with consideration of mass and heat transfer as well as residence time and flow patterns must be controlled to optimise yield of the desired products.

When the system will be working as fluidised gasifier, the temperature in the tube will be over 800°C and the main products will be non-condensable gases. There will be possibility to operate the gasifier by changing the amount of water steam, air or ambient gases to obtain different gaseous products. Biomass gasification with pure steam in a fluidized bed may generate a gasification gas. The gas when derived from a biomass feedstock is referred to as bio-syngas and consists primarily of (H2, CO, CO2, hydrocarbons). To produce bio-syngas from a biomass fuel or chemicals there are several steps:

(a) Gasification of the fuel;

(b) Cleaning of the product gas (removal of tars, S & N compounds);

(c) Usage of the synthesis gas to produce chemicals; and

(d) Usage of the synthesis gas as energy carrier in fuel cells.

We intend to demonstrate the capabilities and feasibility of technologies as well as the potential application of the end-products. We will be investigating the most efficient way to obtain a gasification gas that is very rich in H2 and with very low tar content.

Moreover we plan to add some catalysts to intensify cracking of hydrocarbons and reduce or even eliminate the tar content.

The gasifier will be equipped with sampling systems (for char, tars and vapours) at various points over the fluidised bed of gasifier in order to monitor the process.  This solution will be unique in the world scale and let us answer some very important questions to optimise the process.

• to develop novel and effective configurations to optimize the conditions for biomass particles, with favourable gas–solid mixing and contact efficiencies;
• to study the effect of temperature on the motion of biomass particles in fluidized beds;
• to provide criteria for the specification of optimum inert particles when these are needed to fluidize biomass particles;
• to evaluate fluidization quality and optimize gas–solid flow. Among the topics requiring attention are mixing of binary (biomass and inert) particles, radial and axial species concentration profiles, and solids residence time distributions;
• to develop multiphase flow models, combining elements from experimental findings, conventional models, and more advanced techniques like CFD, to guide design and operation of biomass processes;
• to understand the influence of key particle properties (e.g. particle size distribution) and the presence of particles of extreme shapes (e.g. long thin stalks or flat chips), so that biomass particles can be tailored to provide improved performance.


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05 Oct 2009

Project Update: Gasifier/Pyrolysis Reactor Design

The webpage detailing our work, on the design and construction of a pilot-scale 10kg/hr pyrolyser/gasifier here at the University of Limerick has been updated. Witold Kwpainski and JJ Leahy are the persons with most involvement in this project. More details can be found on the appropriate webpage.


13 Apr 2008

Biomass Conversion Conference Attended in Krakow

Katerina Kryachko, Witold Kwapinski, Dmitri Bulushev and Daniel Hayes attended the ERA Chemistry workshop, entitled “Chemistry of raw material change/chemical transformation of biomass” in Krakow, Poland. This was a very useful event which involved presentations and discussions concerning numerous areas of biomass conversion. The following articles that were presented at this conference can be downloaded here:

Daniel Hayes - "An Outline of Work by Carbolea and the Biofine Process"

Dmitri Bulushev - "Some applications of bio-oil and chemicals production"

Katerina Kryachko - "Investigations of methods of recovery products from Biofine Process and their applications"




 

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