The reason why a plasma gasifier was selected was because of its compactness and low tar formation because of the high temperature achieved. The gasification chamber of the plasma gasifier with the needed capacity is small and can be fit into the container, where the size of the fixed bed gasifier and fluidized gasifier are all too large for this situation. The disadvantage of using a plasma gasifier is it utilizes a high quality energy form, which is electricity, to provide energy needed for the gasification process. This raises the question of the overall energy efficiency of the whole process.
An aspen simulation is conducted on this process concept at the claimed capacity of 1 barrel per day liquid hydrocarbon production. Process conditions such as air feeding rate, air enrichment, plasma gasification operation temperature and pressure, the Fischer Tropsch synthesis operation pressure, syngas conversion, hydrocarbon selectivity and the gas engine efficiency are studied. It is found that with the optimized process condition and the right biomass feed, only 1 dry ton per day biomass fed is needed for 1 barrel per day production.
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