Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Biomass gasifier/Stirling generator for developing countries

The Stirling engine is an external combustion engine, inside which a charge gas is permanently sealed. It has a very high potential efficiency and can use any source of heat. This project focused on stationary applications and the engine therefore required low speeds and lower pressure charge gases, such as air and nitrogen, which are cheaper than helium and easier to seal in. Other associated technologies required include a gasifier, a gas burner, and a fuel storage handling and feed system. The biomass gasifier would be designed to produce a hot, low calorific value gas to fuel the engine and be able to run on a variety of fuels, including wood blocks, wood chips, sawdust or rice husks.

Detailed engineering drawings were completed and quotations for the production of the first prototypes were obtained. A fixed-bed gasifier was designed, built and tested with 2 wood fuels with positive results. A gas burner/ejector system was also constructed and tested on the gas produced by the gasifier. With the exception of the nitrogen oxides and particulate content of the gas, which were out of specification, the results from these tests were mostly positive. The dirty gas could be purified by installing a different gas cleaning device. Testing of the fully integrated system is yet to be completed.


Drummond HISLOP
Tel.: +44-171-7922241
Fax: +44-171-7922543