Gasification

Development Potential Bio-Oil

The major drawback of biomass is that the energy density is an order of magnitude lower than that of crude oil (Table 4-17). When it is further considered that biomass for fuel is a difficult to handle solid (grain is an exception in that it almost flows like water), this implies that fuel biomass can never be shipped economically over long intercontinental distances.

Table 4-17

Energy Densities of Various Fuels

Fuel

Particle Density

Bulk Density

Energy Density

GJ/m3 bulk

kg/m3

kg/m3

product

Crude oil

855

35.8

Coal

1350

700

21

Natural gas (80 bar)

57

2.9

Biomass

450

230

3.7

Bio-oil

1200

20

Gasoline

760

35

Methanol

784

19

Therefore, when contemplating really large biomass production, the first conver­sion that has to take place is to convert the biomass into a transportable product. The best way to accomplish this is by flash pyrolysis, which is a fast pyrolysis at a high temperature of 450^-75 °С. In this way the solid biomass is converted into a transport­able liquid with an energy density of about 20GJ/m3 (see Table 4-17), which is similar to that of methanol. The pyrolysis plants can be located anywhere, because they can be economically built on a reasonably small scale. A stand-alone gasifier is only likely to be economic for world-scale plants, and hence they always depend on biomass from a variety of sources. The energy conversion of flash pyrolysis is now 75% but could well increase to 80% in the future. The bio-oil product is a transportable material that has as its only disadvantage that it is corrosive due to the presence of organic acids. A big advantage is that it can be gasified with oxygen in the same commercial gasifiers that can process heavy oil fractions. An added advantage of bio-oil is that it is easily homogenized. Holt and van der Burgt (1997) proposed such a concept of decentralized flash pyrolysis plants feeding a single large gasification installation. Research on details of actual implementation is continuing (Henrich, Dinjus, and Meier 2002).

Table 4-18 lists some of the most important properties of bio-oils. Additional data, in particular of some important organic compounds in bio-oil, is contained in Henrich, Dijus, and Meier (2002). In terms of its suitability for gasification in a standard oil gasifier, the most important aspects are the pH (material selection of the feed train) and the alkaline ash content. This latter may favor the use of a radiation screen instead of simple refractory lining.

Gasification

Liquid Wastes

Organic Chemical Waste. Organic wastes from chemical production vary as widely as the processes from which they originate. One published example is the feedstock to a waste gasification plant at …

Carbon Management

In the Texaco process, soot is extracted from the carbon-water mixture with naphtha and recycled with the feedstock to the reactor where it is gasified to extinction. The black water …

Common Issues

Operating Temperature Any fluid bed depends on having the solid particles of a size that can be lifted by the upward flowing gas. A large portion (over 95%) of the …

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