Presented is a novel gasification application where biomass is steam-gasified and natural gas is steam-reformed simultaneously in a solar reactor. Solar-driven gasification is a proven technology, and can augment the biofuel industry as a domestic fuel source. Gasification performed in an indirectly heated gasifier can achieve temperatures greater than 1150 °C , mitigating or eliminating the production of CO2, tar, char, and light hydrocarbon gases in the product gas. This reduces the need for gas clean-up technology and will not require a downstream water-gas shift reactor to adjust H2:CO. Thermodynamics favor the formation of only hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the product synthesis gas. Therefore, a predictable H2:CO can be controlled and tuned for downstream fuel conversion. Since the majority of biomass carbon is converted to CO, more than twice as much biomass is converted to a useable liquid fuel than in a traditional gasification process. Preliminary experiments show that reactor temperatures must exceed 1350 °C in order to reduce the effects of the water-gas shift reaction and reform practically all light hydrocarbon gases, including CH4. This operating temperature is consistent with realizable concentrated solar energy systems.
1. Piatkowski, N., et al., Solar-driven gasification of carbonaceous feedstock-a review. Energy & Environmental Science, 2011. 4(1): p. 73-82.
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