Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Advanced biomass gasification with hot gasification gas cleaning for electricity production and other end products

This is a feasible and advanced gasification gas cleaning process. It has been developed in the last ten years for biomass gasification in fluidized bed. It has been already applied to different types of feedstocks (pine wood chips, cereal straw, residues from olive oil manufacture ("orujillo"), etc...) and of gasifying agents (air, pure steam, and steam-O2 and air-steam mixtures). The core or basis of this application is the use of commercial steam-reforming, nickel-based, catalysts downstream from a fluidized bed biomass gasifier. These catalysts can be easily obtained from different EU manufacturers such as BASF, ICI-Catalco, Haldor Topsøe A/S, etc. The catalysts, usually ring-shaped, are used in adiabatic fixed bed reactors.

The catalysts convert and/or transform the unwanted tar, as well as the CH4 and the small hydrocarbons (C2 and C3), present in the gasification gas into H2 and CO. The gasification gas is then cleaned of tar and also the chemical energy contained in the tar is transferred to the gasification gas. Tar contents in the cleaned gasification gas as low as 10 mg/Nm3 have been achieved by using these catalysts. This so clean or polished gas can be used for advanced end uses such as electricity generation with gas engines and gas turbines.

The key aspect to generate a feasible overall gasification process is the life of the catalyst. A high life, no deactivation, of the catalyst can be obtained if the upstream gasifier has a good design and operation. When the upstream gasifier generates a gas with a tar content lesser than 2 mg/Nm3, and the H2O/C ratio in the gas is above 2, then a high catalyst life is assured.

This gas cleaning technology can be also applied to fixed bed gasifiers and to other types of feedstocks such as sewage sludge, coal, RDF and plastics from MSW.

Reported by

University Complutense of Madrid (UCM)
Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry (UCM)
28040 Madrid
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