Glycerol and Glycerol/water Gasification for the Decarbonisation of Industrial Heat
Quinonez Arce, Jose Ramon
Andrews, Gordon E.
Maxfield, James D.
Phylaktou, Herodotos N.
Smith, Steve B.
Wakeman, Richard

How to Cite

Quinonez Arce J.R., Andrews G.E., Maxfield J.D., Phylaktou H.N., Smith S.B., Wakeman R., 2023, Glycerol and Glycerol/water Gasification for the Decarbonisation of Industrial Heat, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 105, 199-204.


This research is aimed at using Gaseq equilibrium flame chemistry modelling, to demonstrate that wet waste crude glycerol could be air gasified to produce a Biomass Gasification Gas (BGG) for direct applications as a burner fuel for the decarbonisation of industrial heat. Glycerol is a typical biomass fuel in its composition and it is similar to the distillery waste pot ale (PA), which is about 87% water and 13% pot ale syrup (PAS). Both of these low-cost waste bio-fuels are not easy to burn in conventional burners due to their high viscosity, high boiling point and high water content. There is much agricultural waste and other industrial bio-liquid wastes that are also high in water content, including distillery waste draff, spent grains from the barley malting process and farming manure. Draff is typically 75% water. Consequently, this work investigated the influence of water on BGG composition for wet bio-waste, using glycerol/water mixtures as the demonstration of wet bio-waste. Gasification of biomass can be aided by adding steam to the air gasifier, due to the water gas shift reaction that reacts with steam and CO to produce more hydrogen. However, if the steam generator is a separate plant there are energy efficiency problems. In the present work, the gasifier is heated directly by an inline burner operating very lean and this will vaporise the water in the biomass and produce steam. The burner temperature controls the gasifier operating temperature and the yield of CO and H2, as well as moving the peak energy content of the BGG to richer gasification equivalence ratio. Water in the fuel up to 60% was predicted to still achieve gasification, but the impact on equilibrium hydrogen was only a small increase with a larger decrease in CO. With BGG gas combustion in a boiler it would be possible to recover the heat of vaporisation of water through flue gas condensation and recovery of the heat using burner inlet air cooling.