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Title: Biomass gasification using a horizontal entrained-flow gasifier and catalytic processing of the product gas
Author: Legonda, Isack Amos
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 409X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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A novel study on biomass-air gasification using a horizontal entrained-flow gasifier and catalytic processing of the product gas has been conducted. The study was designed to investigate the effect of catalyst loading on the product gas. The use of a horizontal entrained-flow gasifier reactor was used to assess the effect of the gasifier reactor orientation on the gasification process. Both experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approaches were employed. The gasification tests were conducted at 800 oC and equivalence ratio of 0.23 while the product gas was catalysed at 350-400 oC and a gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 8000 h-1. Preparation and characterisation of wood powder and catalysts were performed using classical methods. Moreover, the syngas and tar composition were analysed using a gas chromatograph (GC) and GC-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) respectively. The research findings showed that maximum fuel conversion and cold gas efficiency using a horizontal entrained-flow gasifier were 99 % and 70 % respectively. The gasifier length can also be reduced from the common 1000-2000 mm to 500 mm. The catalysis study showed that pumice and kaolin have limited catalytic effect on the product gas. However, doping with CeO2, ZrO2, CuO and NiO improved the syngas heating value, coking resistance and tar conversion. A notable increase in syngas LHV was achieved using ceria doped pumice (8.97 MJ/Nm3) and copper doped pumice (8.66 MJ/Nm3) compared to 6.67 MJ/Nm3 of non-catalytic test. For the tested catalysts, CeO2 doped pumice exhibited highest coking resistance. Furthermore, catalytic tar conversion was mainly through cracking and partial oxidation reactions. The lowest tar yield was found to be 3.55 g/Nm3 using kaolin-ceria-zirconia catalyst compared to 14.92 g/Nm3 of non-catalytic gasification. Tar reduction using untreated pumice was through adsorption and ranged 4-6 g/Nm3. In general, the results of this study suggest that there exist a sensitivity to the gasifier orientation on the overall gasification process. It has also shown that metal oxides have both beneficial and detrimental effects of syngas composition. Although syngas heating value increased with increasing catalyst loading, H2 showed a decreasing trend highlighting that further catalyst modification is required. Furthermore, pumice and kaolin can be utilised as catalyst support in the gasification technology. However, further experimental investigation on doping various catalytic metals and testing at different operating conditions are hereby proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery