Jiggle bed reactor for testing catalytic activity of olivine in bio-oil gasification

Conference Dates

May 22-27, 2016


The Jiggle Bed Reactor (JBR) is a batch-wise operating micro fluidized bed reactor that was designed for screening the endothermic catalytic reactions. A vertical actuator attached to the bottom of reactor provides fluidization of the catalytic bed. Induction heating generates the required heat for endothermic reactions inside the catalytic bed so that heat transfer coefficient is similar to that in large-scale fluidized bed reactors.

Olivine is a natural magnesium iron silicate mineral that can have catalytic effect in a gasification reaction due to its iron content. However, iron has a redox property; i.e. it can absorb oxygen to convert Fe+2 to Fe+3 and then release the oxygen depending on the oxidative and reductive environment. Therefore, it is important to have a true understanding of iron activity and thus let it undergo an appropriate pretreatment step before injecting the gasification feed.

The JBR was utilized to conduct bio-oil gasification tests for syngas production, without added steam or oxygen, at the presence of different prepared olivine particles (calcined with air at 850°C and 1000°C and reduced with hydrogen at 800°C) as well as silica sand. Experiments were conducted at temperature 800°C and at different reaction times. Yield data were compared with equilibrium data obtained from a developed thermodynamic model.

Results showed that olivine was an active catalyst for bio-oil gasification when it was initially reduced with hydrogen, providing complete bio-oil conversion as well as maximum syngas yield. However, calcined olivine was inappropriate, as it released oxygen that reacted with the combustible products.

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