(277f) Optimization of a 3ton/Day Biomass Fed Bubbling Fluidized Bed Gasification System

Buchireddy, P., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Guillory, J., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Zappi, M., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Vutukuri, J., University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Biomass can be converted to different forms of energy via several routes which can be mainly classified into two groups, a) Thermochemical conversion and b) Biological conversion. Thermochemical conversion can be further sub-classified into combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, liquefaction, etc. Conversion of biomass to energy by biological routes involves various techniques including fermentation, digestion, extraction etc. Biomass gasification is the most promising thermochemical route for converting biomass to energy. Gasification process involves partial oxidation of carbonaceous fuels at high temperatures to produce an energy carrier. Gasification of biomass produces fuel gases (producer gas or synthetic gas), which can be used in the generation of electricity, production of transportation fuels and chemicals, hydrogen fuel production etc.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette in collaboration with Cleco Power LLC. (Major Electric Utility Company in Louisiana), has designed and installed 3 ton/day bubbling fluidized bed gasification system to accommodate 1) suitability for biomass waste feedstock, 2) compact configuration with future semi-portability, 3) operate using both air and oxygen as oxidizing medium, and produce syngas usable to generate electricity and/or produce liquid transportation fuels. The system has been installed in 2012 and the reactor has been tested and operated successfully using pine as feedstock. The system is currently being optimized to improve the overall gasification efficiency and produce improved syngas both in terms of quality and energy density.

Tests are being conducted using air and oxygen as gasifying medium, and varying operational parameters such as equivalence ratio, residence times, etc. to optimize the gasification system. In addition, a tar and particulate sampling system has been installed according to the standard tar and particulate sampling guideline, which will be used to evaluate the quality of syngas produced. Overall performance of the pilot scale biomass gasification system will be presented, in addition to the results obtained while optimizing the gasification system. Also, a 25 KW low BTU genset has been installed to produce electricity from biomass, the results of which will be presented.