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Biomass Gasification in a Fluidized Bed Reactor

Nader Mahinpey, Malcolm Wilson University of Regina, Energy INet

Energy INet
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research and demonstration projects. To build capacity, research and intellectual. To develop consortia to accomplish the above in an effective way. www.energyinet.com

University of Regina
Building expertise and capacity in a variety

of capture and storage areas:

Geological storage of CO2 Capture of CO2 from flue gases Risk assessment, performance assessment Gasification biomass and mixed fuels Hydrogen production

Lab-Scale Gasifier

Fluidized Bed Reactor in U of R

Gasification w/oxygen
C+1 2 O2 C + O2


Exothermic Highly exothermic


Gasification w/carbon dioxide

C + CO 2 Endothermic

Gasification w/steam
C + H 2O CO + H 2 Endothermic

Gasificati on w/hydrogen
C + 2H2 CH4 CO + H2O H2 + CO2 Exothermic

Water- gas shift


Methanatio n
CO + 3H2 CH4 + H2O Highlyexothermic

Experimental Design

Feed: Wheat Straw (Davidson) Particle diameter: 2 mm Gasification agent: air & steam Temperature: 800C Pressure: 1 atm No inert bed material (fluidized by itself)


Bed-agglomeration Sintering Fouling and corrosion Tar formation Entrainment & Elutriation Influence of particle size Emissions: Particulate, NOx, SOx, Unburned hydrocarbons, Halogen compounds (HCI), Alkali metal compounds (NaCI, NaOH. KCI, KOH)


Experimental: measuring the composition of product gas and finding the influence of steam/air ratio, feed/air ratio on the amount of hydrogen production, heat transfer study (Film, Single-particle, Emulsion phase/packet model, Kinetic model), effects of operating conditions on heat transfer coefficients Simulation : Kinetics (Different models i.e.,uniformreaction model, Shrinking-core model), mass transfer studies (homogeneous bed approach, bubbling bed approach), Hydrodynamics

Kinetics Simulation
Aspen Plus Software Program

Solid Fraction

Yield distribution data available Unknown reaction stochiometry and kinetics Devolatilization


Unknown or unimportant reaction kinetic Known stochiometry

volatile combustion


Known reaction kinetic CSTR reactors User supplied kinetics subroutine when solids, such as char, are participating in the reactions

Char combustion


Aspen Plus

Main Reactions of Gasification

Heterogeneous reactions
C + O 2(1 )CO + (2 1)CO 2 2
C + H O CO + H 2 2

C + CO 2CO 2
C + 2H CH 2 4

Main Reactions of Gasification (Cont)

Homogeneous reactions
CO + H O CO + H 2 2 2
H + 12 O2 H O 2 2

CO + 1 2 O 2 CO

CO + 3H 2 CH 4 + H 2 O

Hydrodynamic simulation
Fluent software program

2D and 3D modeling and simulation of the

gasifier fluid dynamics in bubbling flow regime and comparison of the results with available experimental data using Fluent CFD package. Utilizing a UDF (user defined function) for gasification reactions and comparison of the results with experimental data.

2D and 3D Modeling

Bed Expansion


0.1 s

0.2 s

0.3 s

0.5 s







10 s

Expanded Bed Height

Empirical Formulas Umf* Hf (m)

Hf H mf

= 1+

* 21.4 U U mf


1.006 0.376 P dP 0.126

(U )
* mf


p wg p a



Hf(2D simulation)=0.63 Hf (3D simulation) =0.62 2D Error=4% over estimates for model 3D Error = 2.7% over estimated for model

Pressure Fluctuation

Volume Fraction of solid

Next Phase (Short term)

Co-gasification of wheat straw and other

waste biomass, also biomass and coal. Potential for mixed low grade fuels (pet. coke, coal, bitumen).