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LEBEN GALICIA: Collation, handling and thermochemical conversion of biomass in a pyrolysis pilot plant. Energy use of resulting products


UNION ELECTRICA FENOSA (UEF), promotor of the large integrated biomass project in Spain, is going to conduct a specific technical-economic study, that will not be based just on theoretical cost estimates, but on realistic cost, benefit evaluations gained by tenders and in-depth negotiations with the "producers" of biomass, the suppliers of hardware and software in the area of harvesting, transport, conversion and storage of biomass, as well as distributors and users of generated energy.

The general aim of the project is the use and conversion of biomass from Galicia into fuel products suitable for use in industrial or power plants, instead of conventional, non renewable, fossil fuels.
The LEBEN-GALICIA project is currently in its second phase, which basically consists of the construction and experimental operation of a pilot pyrolysis plant.
A general programme of activities was established, then the basic parameters of the pilot plant were defined. There were, essentially, the following:
an integral treatment unit for drying and milling of vegetal wastes, followed by thermal conversion (flash pyrolisis);
easy transport to another location (the installation would be mounted on a skid, so it could be transferred by lorry);
flexibility in functioning and adaptability to a wide range of raw materials;
a capacity of 200 kg/h of dry material;
production of coal of about 30 kg/h and 140 kg/h of biooil;
setting of the pyrolysis conditions;
obtainment of biooil through stepwise condensation of the pyrolysis gases.

Next, the engineering of the plant was carried out.
Given the choice of a transportable plant, the placing of the equipment on a skid has proved to be a very costly in both time and money. This has required the use of less optimal technical solutions than would have been used had there been freedom of space.
In addition, the application of the ASME code has given rise to difficulties in the use of materials and in the design of in some equipments owing to the acute working conditions.
The nucleus of the project will be the pilot plant where the prime biomass material from the forestry or wood industry will be collected, prepared and finally processed in a pyrolisis reactor where thermochemical conversion takes place.

The products of this reactor will be cooled, filtered and collected step by step obtaining a high amount of oily substance, a lower quantity of charcoal in granulated form and the remainder uncondensable gases that still have a certain amount of heat content. The oily substance will be the object of an important part of the research work within the project. It will firstly be necessary to modify and optimize the plant in order to obtain an optimum quantity and quality of oil. It also implies a thorough analysis and testing of different products obtained in the pilot plant operating under different test conditions and consuming different biomass samples and mixtures

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Union Eléctrica Fenosa SA
53,Capitán Haya
28020 Madrid