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(640e) Targeting Techniques for Efficient Biomass Gasification

Magagula, S., University of South Africa
Sempuga, B. C., University of South Africa
Stacey, N. T., University of South Africa
A systematic method for the synthesis of efficient biomass processes is presented. The methodology is demonstrated through the synthesis and optimization of processes for the conversion of biomass into gaseous or liquid fuels. Process synthesis tools are applied to determine process limitations and theoretical targets in biomass gasification, providing a basis for the design of efficient processes. It is shown that the chemical potential of biomass is sufficient to provide more energy than required for its gasification. If this energy is recoverable, the gasification process could be run at its highest thermodynamic efficiency. Alternatively, the excess energy can be used for the increased output of desired products by co-feeding methane and/or carbon dioxide with biomass allowing one to manipulate the mass balance of the process to maximize hydrogen yield, which is desired for fuel cell applications, or maximize syngas gas yield for synthetic fuel application. These targets guide the selection of the best design route with knowledge of only the available raw materials and the desired products. The techniques developed in this manuscript are of use to design engineers as well as to researchers developing new processes, and serve as a useful teaching tool for both postgraduate and undergraduate students.