Conference Dates

May 22-27, 2016


The dual fluidized bed (DFB) steam gasification technology of biomass was developed at Vienna University of Technology and is well-established for transforming biomass into a product gas which can be used for further applications. The DFB steam gasification reactor consists of a gasification chamber (bubbling bed, fluidized with steam) and a combustion chamber (turbulent bed, fluidized with air). Biomass is fed into the gasification chamber and gets in contact with the bed material, typically Olivine, at about 840°C. The released volatiles leave the gasification reactor as product gas. A part of the solid residue, called char, flows with the bed material via a chute to the combustion chamber where it is burnt with air. The bed material is heated up, separated from the flue gas stream in a cyclone and flows back to the gasification reactor via a loop seal where it provides the heat for devolatilization and drying of the biomass. The movement of the char is crucial since a sufficient amount has to flow to the combustion chamber and burn to provide enough energy for bed material heat-up. Up to now little is known about the char concentration in the bed material recirculation stream (or short recirculation stream) and its influencing variables. Therefore, a cold flow model, operated with ambient air, was constructed to study the influence of various parameters on the char concentration in the recirculation stream. Bronze is used as bed material since is matches closest to the scaling criteria. The char is also scaled; polyethylene is used as model char.

The cold flow model, see Figure 1 for the flowsheet, consists of a “gasification chamber” which corresponds to the gasification chamber in the hot plant and is as well operated as a bubbling bed. Via a chute the recirculation stream moves to a rotary valve which enables to set a fixed recirculation rate and make it independent from the following pneumatic conveying. Then, gas and solids are separated in a cyclone and the recirculation stream finally flows back to the gasification chamber. After the loop seal samples are taken for investigation of the model char concentration in the recirculation stream. In the present study the influence of fluidization rate in the gasification chamber, bed material recirculation rate and model char mass in the system on the char concentration in the recirculation stream are investigated. It was found that the model char particles show a flotsam behavior. Higher fluidization rates increase the model char concentration in the recirculation stream because of better mixing, whereas the bed material recirculation rate has only little influence. Doubling and tripling the overall char mass in the system did not lead to a doubling or tripling model char concentration in the recirculation stream. The present observations are helping to better understand the ongoing phenomena inside of the dual fluidized bed gasification reactor and provide knowledge to further optimize it.

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