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Integrated Biomass Gasification with Catalytic Partial Oxidation for Selective Tar Conversion

Description: Biomass gasification is a flexible and efficient way of utilizing widely available domestic renewable resources. Syngas from biomass has the potential for biofuels production, which will enhance energy security and environmental benefits. Additionally, with the successful development of low Btu fuel engines (e.g. GE Jenbacher engines), syngas from biomass can be efficiently used for power/heat co-generation. However, biomass gasification has not been widely commercialized because of a number of technical/economic issues related to gasifier design and syngas cleanup. Biomass gasification, due to its scale limitation, cannot afford to use pure oxygen as the gasification agent that used in coal gasification. Because, it uses air instead of oxygen, the biomass gasification temperature is much lower than well-understood coal gasification. The low temperature leads to a lot of tar formation and the tar can gum up the downstream equipment. Thus, the biomass gasification tar removal is a critical technology challenge for all types of biomass gasifiers. This USDA/DOE funded program (award number: DE-FG36-O8GO18085) aims to develop an advanced catalytic tar conversion system that can economically and efficiently convert tar into useful light gases (such as syngas) for downstream fuel synthesis or power generation. This program has been executed by GE Global Research in Irvine, CA, in collaboration with Professor Lanny Schmidt's group at the University of Minnesota (UoMn). Biomass gasification produces a raw syngas stream containing H2, CO, CO2, H2O, CH4 and other hydrocarbons, tars, char, and ash. Tars are defined as organic compounds that are condensable at room temperature and are assumed to be largely aromatic. Downstream units in biomass gasification such as gas engine, turbine or fuel synthesis reactors require stringent control in syngas quality, especially tar content to avoid plugging (gum) of downstream equipment. Tar- and ash-free syngas streams are a critical requirement for commercial deployment of biomass-based power/heat ...
Date: May 28, 2011
Creator: Zhang, Lingzhi; Wei, Wei; Manke, Jeff; Vazquez, Arturo; Thompson, Jeff & Thompson, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department