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

Biomass gasification and pyrolysis: state of the art and future prospects

Both gasification and pyrolysis technologies have made significant progress over the last three years. Although neither technology is yet truly economic in the absence of fiscal incentives, the scientific and technical knowledge base has grown considerably. This will contribute towards improving technology and reducing costs.

For gasification, a technical and economical optimum has not been found between simple reactor design, effective gas cleaning and efficient utilization of the gas. Also the optimization of plant capacity considering technical and economic constraints and the availability of the biomass for each location is still at a very early stage. Gasification of biomass is a promising option especially for electricity generation. Within the overall electricity market two niches were identified where this technology fits well. These are: plants up to around 5 MW electrical capacity based on disposal of wood waste and related materials for small and medium sized enterprises in the wood processing sector; plants up to around 20 MW electrical capacity, or as large as possible dependent on biomass availability, to meet the demand for green electricity to be covered by utilities. The most promising option at the moment for the first niche market appears to be fixed bed gasifiers with an internal combustion (IC) engine and for the second niche market atmospheric CFB gasifiers with a gas turbine in a combined cycle system.

Fast pyrolysis offers the unique advantages of a liquid that can be stored and/or transported and which can be used for fuel and/or chemicals production.

Reported by

UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART
Hessbruehlstrasse, 49 a
70565 STUTTGART
Germany
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