Pressurized Entrained Flow Gasification of Pulverized Biomass – Experiences from Pilot Scale Operation
Weiland, F.
Hedman, H.
Wiinikka, H.
Marklund, M.
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Weiland F., Hedman H., Wiinikka H., Marklund M., 2016, Pressurized Entrained Flow Gasification of Pulverized Biomass – Experiences from Pilot Scale Operation, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 50, 325-330.
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One of the goals in the national energy strategy of Sweden is that the vehicle fleet should be independent of fossil fuels by 2030. To reach that goal and to domestically secure for supply of alternative fuels, one of the suggested routes is methanol production from forest residues via pressurized and oxygen blown entrained flow gasification. In this context, ongoing industrial research in a 1 MWth gasification pilot plant is carried out at SP Energy Technology Center (SP ETC) in Piteå, Sweden. The plant is operated with pulverized or liquid fuels at process pressures up to 10 bar and this work summarizes the experiences from over 600 hours of operation with forest based biomass fuels. This paper covers results from thorough process characterization as well as results from extractive samplings of both permanent gases and particulate matter (soot) from inside the hot gasifier. Furthermore, the challenges with pressurized entrained flow gasification of pulverized biomass are discussed. During the characterization work, four of the most important process parameters (i.e. oxygen stoichiometric ratio (?), fuel load, process pressure and fuel particle size distribution) were varied with the purpose of studying the effect on the process performance and the resulting syngas quality. The experimental results showed that the maximum cold gas efficiency (CGE) based on all combustible species in the syngas was 75% (at ?=0.30), whereas the corresponding value based only on CO and H2 (with respect to further MeOH synthesis from the syngas) was 70% (at ?=0.35). As expected, the pilot experiments showed that both the soot yield and soot particle size was reduced by increasing ?. One of the additional conclusions from this work was that; minimizing heat losses from the gasifier is of utmost importance to optimize the process performance regarding energy efficiency (i.e. CGE). Therefore, a well-insulated refractory lined gasifier is the primary alternative in regards to reactor design to maximize the CGE. Future development of the PEBG process should focus on identifying suitable hot-phase refractory, that exhibit long life-time and can sustain the alkali-rich biomass ash under gasification conditions. In addition to this, the remaining issue around how to improve the slag flow from the reactor, by additives or fuel mixing, should be investigated.
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