Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS


The main purpose of this project is to provide the technical basis for the development of effective gasification technologies for the processing of agricultural residues. This is particularly important for Mediterranean countries where residues are widely available but dispersed over large or hardly accessible areas. Thus, this project is concerned with fixed-bed gasification of agricultural residues for decentralized heat and power production. The different aspects of the problem have been taken into account through the different stages of the process: availability, pre-treatment, transportation and storage of feedstocks, evaluation of their physico-chemical properties and thermo-chemical behaviour, conversion, model development, operation of a commercial plant and combustion tests of the producer gas.
Extensive laboratory-scale experiments have demonstrated that the heating value of the producer gas from agricultural residues is, in some cases, even higher than that from wood. However, pilot scale tests have also evidenced serious difficulties in the attainment of steady operation conditions, because of the very high reactivity and the low bed density (straw), the problematic ash behaviour (straw and olive waste), the high moisture content (grape residues), the high amount of tar produced and/or the very high bed density (almond shells, olive waste). Feedstock pre-treatments (in particular, fractionation and leaching) and co-feeding residues with different characteristics have been found to be effective tools to reduce or to eliminate such drawbacks. Detailed transport models of fixed bed gasification have been developed, which in conjunction with the measured reactivity and chemical kinetics, have been applied to clarify the complex interaction between physical and chemical processes and to optimize the operation of a commercial updraft plant.

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