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THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

FAMU-FSU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

DOWNDRAFT GASIFICATION OF VARIOUS BIOMASS FEEDSTOCKS FOR

ENERGY PRODUCTION

By

HANS ROESCH

A Thesis submitted to the

Department of Mechanical Engineering

in partial fulfillment of the

requirements for the degree of Master of Science

Degree Awarded:

Fall Semester, 2011

UMI Number: 1508483

All rights reserved

INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent on the quality of the copy submitted.

In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. UMI 1508483 Copyright 2012 by ProQuest

UMI 1508483

Copyright 2012 by ProQuest LLC.

All rights reserved. This edition of the work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code.

unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box

ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, MI 48106 - 1346

Hans Roesch defended this thesis on November 07, 2011.

The members of the supervisory committee were:

Anjaneyulu Krothapalli Professor Directing Thesis

Juan Carlos Ord´o˜nez Committee Member

Jonathan Clark Committee Member

The Graduate School has verified and approved the above-named committee members, and

certifies that the thesis has been approved in accordance with university requirements.

ii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to acknowledge my advisor Dr. Anjaneyulu Krothapalli for providing me

with guidance and financial support. I appreciated the opportunity to work, research, and study at the Energy and Sustainability Center (ESC) at Florida State University. I would also like to thank my colleague in biomass gasification research, Phd candidate John Das- comb, for all of his help with project direction, experiments, data processing, writing, and

editing. I would also like to thank the past and present ESC researchers including Brenton Greska, Jonathan Pandolfini, Shannon Ingersoll, Justin Kramer and Ifegwu Eziyi for all of their help and input. I would like to thank Juan Carlos Ord´o˜nez and Jonathan Clark for serving on my thesis committee. I want to thank the staff of the Mechanical Engineering department; George Green, Delandrea Humose, and Jon Cloos for clerical assistance and

purchasing help. Finally, I would also like to thank everyone at the fluids research lab for their support and understanding during loud and sometimes aromatic experiments. All of this work would not have been possible without your help and support.

I would also like to extend thanks to all of the companies that provided pelletized biomass for experimentation. Thanks to:

PetroAlgae for supplying the BioCrude algae pellets

Free Clean Energy LLC for the municpal solid waste pellets

Renewable Energy Crops for the miscanthus pellets

BioPlus Inc. for the peanut shell pellets

Enviro Energy LLC for the field grass pellets

I would like to give special thanks to my brother, Karl Roesch, for helping me out when

I needed it and for his late night graphic design help. I want to acknowledge my parents (Patric and Laura Roesch), my aunt (Missy Gunnels), and my uncle (Mike Schneider) for their support and the occasional free meal. I would also like to thank several good friends

including Mindy Hall, Nancy McCabe, Lauralee Neno, Paul Prestarri, Sean Ficht, Branden Perry, and Genevieve Turner for their support and help with keeping me motivated.

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Tables

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List of Figures

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viii

Abstract .

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x

1 Introduction

 

1

1.1 Background

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1.1.1 Renewable Energy

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1.1.2 Biomass

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1.1.3 Gasification

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1.2 Project Development

 

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1.2.1 Motivation and Relevance

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1.2.2 Goals and Objectives .

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2 Experiment Development

 

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2.1 Equipment

 

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8

2.1.1 Gasifier

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2.1.2 Engine and Generator Set

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2.1.3 Heat Exchanger .

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2.1.4 Measurement Devices

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2.2 Procedure

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2.2.1 Feedstock Analysis

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15

2.2.2 Gasifier and Total System Characterization

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15

2.2.3 Syngas from Various Feedstocks

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3 Experiment Results

 

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3.1 Overview

 

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3.2 Feedstock Analysis

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3.3 Gasifier and Total System Characterization

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3.4 Syngas from Various Feedstocks

 

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29

3.5 Error Analysis

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34

4 Model Development

 

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4.1 Background

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35

4.2 Thermodynamic Equilibrium Model

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35

4.2.1 Method

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35

4.2.2 Results

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37

 

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4.3 Model Adjustment

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40

4.3.1 Method

 

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40

4.3.2 Results

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41

4.4 Model Comparison and Testing

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5 Extended Analysis

 

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5.1 Background

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47

5.2 Feedstock Selection .

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5.3 Syngas Modelling and Expected Performance

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5.4 Cost Analysis

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5.5 Environmental Impacts and Sustainability

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6 Conclusion

 

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6.1 Relevant Contributions

 

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6.2 Overview and Final Remarks

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6.3 Future Work

 

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55

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56

Biographical Sketch

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v

LIST OF TABLES

3.1

Proximate analysis data for experimental feedstocks

 

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3.2

Ultimate analysis elemental breakdown for experimental feedstocks

 

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3.3

Ultimate analysis higher heating values for experimental feedstocks

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3.4

Average experimental efficiencies for gasifier and system characterization

 

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3.5

Engine, generator, and heat exchanger performance with pure methane

 

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3.6

Principal component experimental syngas compositions

 

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3.7

Heavy hydrocarbon components in experimental syngas compositions

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3.8

Calculated dry basis syngas heating values from experiments

 

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31

3.9

System performance parameters calculated from feedstock experiment data .

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3.10

Expected system performance parameters calculated for each experimental

 

feedstock

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4.1

Equilibrium model dry basis syngas compositions for experimental feedstocks

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4.2

Equilibrium model dry basis syngas heating values for experimental feedstocks

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4.3

Adjusted model dry basis syngas compositions for experimental feedstocks

 

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41

4.4

Adjusted model dry basis syngas heating values for experimental feedstocks .

42

4.5

Experimental(reported), equilibrium and adjusted model lower heating values

 

for researched feedstocks

 

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5.1

Researched feedstock composition parameters needed for adjusted model cal-

 

culations

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5.2

Adjusted model dry basis syngas composition for researched feedstocks

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48

5.3

System performance parameters for researched feedstocks

 

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49

5.4

Regional variation in levelized cost of energy for different generation resources [4] 50

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5.5 Cost and energy output expected for all feedstocks [7], [28], [11], [5]

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5.6 Levelized cost of energy for electrical and total system operation by feedstock

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vii

LIST OF FIGURES

1.1

World marketed energy consumption, 2007-2035 (Quadrillion BTU)

 

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1.2

Current biomass conversion methods overview [33]

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1.3

Biomass source percentages in world primary energy mix [9]

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1.4

Schematic comparison of several different types of gasifiers [21]

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2.1

Ankur Scientific gasifier used in experiments

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2.2

Section schematic of gasifier and syngas cleaning system .

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2.3

Prakash engine and generator set used in experiments

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2.4

Eagle Eye Power load-bank

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2.5

Gasifier system master control box .

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2.6

Heat exchanger attached to engine before and after insulation .

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2.7

Typical experimental gas chromatograph readout .

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2.8

Thermocouple locations inside gasifier

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2.9

Diagram of system processes in experiments .

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2.10

Power and energy flow rate diagram for the system, where:

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3.1

Composite wet basis proximate analysis for experimental feedstocks

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3.2

Composite dry basis elemental ultimate analysis for experimental feedstocks

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3.3

Ultimate analysis heating values for experimental feedstocks

 

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3.4

Thermocouple temperature development without engine .

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3.5

Thermocouple temperature development with engine .

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3.6

Internal temperature profile and reaction zone locations without engine

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3.7

Internal temperature profile and reaction zone locations with engine

 

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viii

3.8

Syngas composition and lower heating value development with engine

 

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3.9

Temperature difference for water across heat exchanger at various flow rates

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3.10

System efficiencies at various heat exchanger water flow rates

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3.11

Composite principle component experimental syngas compositions

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3.12

Experimental syngas heating values

 

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3.13

Calculated system efficiencies for experimental feedstocks

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