An Experimental Study of Catalytic Effects on Reaction Kinetics and Producer Gas in Gasification of Coal-Biomass Blend Chars with Steam
Thesis DisciplineChemical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
The objective of this thesis is to experimentally investigate the performance of steam gasification of chars of pure coal (lignite, sub-bituminous), pure biomass (radiata pine, eucalyptus nitens) and their blends. The influences of gasification temperature, types of coal and biomass, coal-biomass blending ratio, alkali and alkaline earth metal (AAEM) in lignite, on specific gasification characteristics (producer gas composition and yield, char reactivity) were studied. In addition, synergistic effects in co-gasification of coal-biomass blend char were also investigated. This project is in accordance with objectives of the BISGAS Consortium.
In this study, experiments were performed in a bench-scale gasifier at gasification temperatures of 850°C, 900°C and 950°C, respectively. Two types of coals (lignite and sub-bituminous) and two kinds of biomass (radiata pine and eucalyptus nitens) from New Zealand were selected as sample fuels. From these raw materials, the chars with coal-to-biomass blending ratios of 0:100 (pure coal), 20:80, 50:50, 80:20 and 100:0 (pure biomass), which were derived through the devolatilization at temperature of 900°C for 7 minutes, were gasified with steam as gasification agent. During the gasification tests, the producer gas composition and gas production were continuously analysed using a Micro gas chromatograph. When the gas production was undetectable, the gasification process was assumed to be completed and the gasification time was recorded. The gasification producer gas consisted of three main gas components: hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
The results from gasification of chars of individual solid fuels (coal or biomass) confirmed that biomass char gasification was faster than coal char gasification. The influences of gasification temperatures were shown as: when gasification temperature increased, the H2 yield increased in coal char gasification but decreased in biomass char gasification. In the meantime, CO yields increased while CO2 yields decreased in both coal char and biomass char gasification. In addition, the char reactivity of all the pure fuel samples increased with elevated gasification temperatures.
The results from co-gasification of coal-biomass blend char exhibited that the syngas production rate, which is defined as the total gas production divided by the gasification completion time, was enhanced by an increase in gasification temperatures as well as an increase in the biomass proportion in the blend. The AAEM species played a significant catalytic role in both gasification of pure coal chars and co-gasification of coal-biomass blend chars. The presence of AAEM increased the producer gas yield and enhanced the char reactivity.
The positive synergistic effects of the coal-biomass blending char on syngas production rate only existed in the co-gasification of lignite-eucalyptus nitens blend chars. The other blend chars showed either insignificant synergistic effects or negative effects on the syngas production rate.