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Title: Modelling of gasification of poultry litter
Author: Font Palma, Carolina
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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The poultry industry in Europe is vast and proper waste management is required in order to comply with environmental regulations. As a result, poultry litter represents a potential fuel candidate for thermal conversion technologies since it is an available source. Therefore, a process for the gasification of poultry litter is examined in this study. This process integrates a fluidised bed gasifier with a gas turbine with the aim of generating combustibles gases for energy production. This resulted in a viable solution for a small scale system to be installed on-site the biomass source. The system allows the treatment of waste with the additional benefit of generation of energy, and is suitable for a poultry farm to avoid the transportation of litter to centralised plants. Among the by-products generated during gasification, such as NOx, SO2, and fly ash, tar is a major issue when implementing this technology because tar can cause operational problems as a result of the possible formation of aerosols and soot formation due to repolymerization. A process simulation using Aspen Plus was used to evaluate four levels of integration. The equilibrium model was applied to evaluate integration schemes involving recuperation of energy from the gas turbine exhaust gases. The recuperation of residual heat to preheat air and product gases was performed with the aim of achieving the highest electrical efficiency. For the conventional "atmospheric layout", the fuel gases have to be cooled down before being compressed to the desire pressure, which causes to waste energy from the hot fuel gases. The benefit of the "pressurised layout" is that all process stages can be maintained hot. Process efficiency analyses showed that even when the "atmospheric layout" was set with energy recuperation, the "pressurised layout" delivered higher efficiencies with or without the energy recuperation into the gasifier. After a bibliographic review, the lignin content of biomass was concluded responsible for tar formation because of its aromatic nature. As lignin components, guaiacol, vanillin and catechol were chosen as tar precursors due to its presence in lignin structure. A reaction mechanism and its corresponding kinetics were derived. This mechanism was based on the three-lignin unit decomposition into lighter molecules and greater aromatic rings. Some of the tar products were involved in combustion and/or steam gasification reactions. The tar reaction mechanism was introduced into the kinetic model for the gasification of poultry litter. The results showed agreement with experimental work from previous reports for the evolution of primary tars. However, the model overestimated the total tar concentration. When the model was compared with the equilibrium model, the trends of the main product gases agreed as the air:fuel ratio was varied.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Poultry litter ; Biomass ; Gasification ; Tar formation ; Modelling ; Kinetics