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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

A review on bed material particle layer formation and its positive influence on the performance of thermo-chemical biomass conversion in fluidized beds

Kuba M, Skoglund N, Öhman M, Hofbauer H. A review on bed material particle layer formation and its positive influence on the performance of thermo-chemical biomass conversion in fluidized beds.Fuel.2021.291:120214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2021.120214

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Bed material particle layer formation plays a significant role in thermo-chemical conversion of biomass. The interaction between biomass ash and bed material in fluidized bed conversion processes has been described for a variety of different applications and spans from fundamental research of formation mechanisms to effects of this layer formation on long-term operation in industrial-scale. This review describes the current state of the research regarding the mechanisms underlying layer formation and the positive influence of bed material particle layer formation on the operation of thermo-chemical conversion processes. Thus, the main focus lies on its effect on the catalytic activity towards gasification reactions and the impact on oxygen transport in chemical looping combustion. The review focuses on the most commonly investigated bed materials, such as quartz, feldspar or olivine. While the most relevant results for both the underlying mechanisms and the subsequently observed effects on the operation are presented and discussed, knowledge gaps where further research is necessary are identified and described.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Effect of biomass fuel ash and bed material on the product gas composition in DFB steam gasification

Fürsatz K, Fuchs J, Benedikt F, Kuba M, Hofbauer H. Effect of biomass fuel ash and bed material on the product gas composition in DFB steam gasification. Energy. 2021.219:119650.

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Gasification is a thermochemical process that transforms carbonaceous matter into a gaseous secondary energy carrier, referred to as product gas. This product gas can be used for heat and power generation but also for syntheses. One possible gasification technology suitable for further synthesis is dual fluidised bed (DFB) steam gasification. The H2:CO ratio, which determines the suitability of the product gas for further synthesis, is influenced by the catalytic activity inside the gasification reactor. Eleven DFB steam gasification experiments were performed comparing the catalytic activity for various bed material and fuel combinations. The bed materials used were K-feldspar, fresh and layered olivine, and limestone, and the fuels gasified were softwood, chicken manure, a bark–chicken manure mixture and a bark-straw-chicken manure mixture. The water-gas-shift (WGS) equilibrium deviation was used to evaluate the catalytic activity inside the gasification reactor. It was shown that both the fuel ash and bed material have an effect on the catalytic activity during gasification. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry showed the initial layer formation for experiments with ash-rich fuels. Isolated WGS experiments were performed to further highlight the influence of bed material, fuel ash and fuel ash layers on the WGS equilibrium.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Fischer-Tropsch products from biomass-derived syngas and renewable hydrogen

Gruber H, Groß P, Rauch R, Reichhold A, Zweiler R, Aichernig C, Müller S, Ataimisch N, Hofbauer H. Fischer-Tropsch products from biomass-derived syngas and renewable hydrogen. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2021.11(6):2281-2292

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Global climate change will make it necessary to transform transportation and mobility away from what we know now towards a sustainable, flexible, and dynamic sector. A severe reduction of fossil-based CO2 emissions in all energy-consuming sectors will be necessary to keep global warming below 2 °C above preindustrial levels. Thus, long-distance transportation will have to increase the share of renewable fuel consumed until alternative powertrains are ready to step in. Additionally, it is predicted that the share of renewables in the power generation sector grows worldwide. Thus, the need to store the excess electricity produced by fluctuating renewable sources is going to grow alike. The “Winddiesel” technology enables the integrative use of excess electricity combined with biomass-based fuel production. Surplus electricity can be converted to H2 via electrolysis in a first step. The fluctuating H2 source is combined with biomass-derived CO-rich syngas from gasification of lignocellulosic feedstock. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis converts the syngas to renewable hydrocarbons. This research article summarizes the experiments performed and presents new insights regarding the effects of load changes on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Long-term campaigns were carried out, and performance-indicating parameters such as per-pass CO conversion, product distribution, and productivity were evaluated. The experiments showed that integrating renewable H2 into a biomass-to-liquid Fischer-Tropsch concept could increase the productivity while product distribution remains almost the same. Furthermore, the economic assessment performed indicates good preconditions towards commercialization of the proposed system.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Influence of solvent temperature and type on naphthalene solubility for tar removal in a dual fluidized bed biomass gasification process

Tonpakdee P, Hongrapipat J, Siriwongrungson V, Rauch R, Pang S, Thaveesri J, Messner M, Kuba M, Hofbauer H. Influence of solvent temperature and type on naphthalene solubility for tar removal in a dual fluidized bed biomass gasification process. Current Applied Science and Technology. 2021.21(4):751-76.

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Tar condensation is a cause of blockage in downstream application of the gasification process. An oil scrubber is considered as an effective method for tar removal. In this research, the naphthalene solubility in different local Thai oils and water was investigated in a laboratory-scale test-rig. The solubility value was conducted at 30, 50, 70, and 80°C. Biodiesels investigated were rapeseed methyl ester (RME) and two different palm methyl esters (PME 1 and PME 2). Furthermore, vegetable oils including sunflower oil, rice bran oil, crude palm oil, and refined palm oil were examined. The results showed that higher temperature enhanced naphthalene solubility in all types of investigated oils. Biodiesel has the highest value of naphthalene solubility. All scrubbing oils have similar naphthalene solubility trends at the temperature range of 50-80°C in the order of RME > PME 1 > PME 2 > diesel > sunflower oil > refined palm oil > rice bran oil > crude palm oil. Based on these experimental investigations, PME 1 has a naphthalene solubility value similar to RME. Therefore, PME 1 has been selected to be tested as scrubbing solvent in the 1 MWel prototype dual fluidized gasifier located in Nong Bua district, Nakhon Sawan province, Thailand.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Innovative laboratory unit for pre-testing of oxygen carriers for chemical-looping combustion

Fleiss B, Fuchs J, Penthor S, Arlt S, Pachler R, Müller S, Hofbauer H. Innovative laboratory unit for pre-testing of oxygen carriers for chemical-looping combustion. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2021

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Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is a highly efficient CO2 separation technology with no direct contact between combustion air and fuel. A metal oxide is used as an oxygen carrier (OC) and acts in a dual fluidized bed as a separation tool and supplies the fuel with oxygen, which as an oxidation medium causes combustion to CO2 and H2O. The use of solid fuels, especially biomass, is the focus of current investigations. The OC plays a key role, because it must meet special requirements for solid fuels, which are different to gaseous fuels. The ash content, special reaction mechanisms, and increased abrasion make research into new types of OC essential. Preliminary testing of OC before their use in larger plants regarding their suitability is recommended. For this reason, this work shows the design and the results of a laboratory reactor, which was planned and built for fundamental investigation of OC. Designed as a transient fluidized bed, the reactor, equipped with its own fuel conveying system and an in situ solid sampling, is intended to be particularly suitable for cheap and rapid pre-testing of OC materials. During the tests, it was shown that the sampling device enables non-selective sampling. Different OC were tested under various operating conditions, and their ability to convert different fuels could be quantified. The results indicate that OC can be sufficiently investigated to recommend operation in larger plants.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Interactions of Olivine and Silica Sand with Potassium- or Silicon-Rich Agricultural Residues under Combustion, Steam Gasification, and CO2Gasification

Li G, Nathan GJ, Kuba M, Ashman PJ, Saw WL. Interactions of Olivine and Silica Sand with Potassium- or Silicon-Rich Agricultural Residues under Combustion, Steam Gasification, and CO2Gasification. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 2021.60(39):14354-14369.

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Interactions between olivine or silica sand and potassium (K)-rich grape marc or silicon (Si)-rich wheat straw were studied in a fixed-bed reactor under combustion, steam, or a CO2 gasification atmosphere. This study focused on the effects of atmosphere composition, feedstock, and bed material type on the thermochemical aspects of agglomeration. The agglomeration extent of grape marc with olivine as the bed material under air and steam atmospheres is significantly less than with silica sand. The presence of CO2, compared to that of O2 or steam, was found to promote the reaction between K and olivine by facilitating the production of reactive silica from olivine carbonization. The use of olivine promotes the release of K by more than 10% compared with silica. No significant differences were observed in the agglomeration extent of wheat straw in its interaction with either olivine or silica sand. Nevertheless, olivine alters the agglomeration mechanism of wheat straw to become “melting-induced” from “coating-induced” in a silica bed.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Single Pellet Combustion of Sewage Sludge and Agricultural Residues with a Focus on Phosphorus

Häggström G, Hannl TK, Hedayati A, Kuba M, Skoglund N, Öhman M. Single Pellet Combustion of Sewage Sludge and Agricultural Residues with a Focus on Phosphorus. Energy & Fuels. 8 June 2021.

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Recycling of phosphorus in combination with increased utilization of bioenergy can mitigate material and global warming challenges. In addition, co-combustion of different fuels can alleviate ash-related problems in thermal conversion of biomass. The aim of this study is to investigate the ash transformation reactions of mainly P in co-combustion of P-rich sewage sludge (SS) with K-rich sunflower husks (SH) and K- and Si-rich wheat straw (WS). Single pellets of 4 mixtures (10 and 30 wt % SS in WS and 15 and 40 wt % SS in SH) and pure SS were combusted in an electrically heated furnace at process temperatures relevant for fluidized bed combustion (800 and 950 °C). Collected ash fractions were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma techniques, ion chromatography, scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations were performed to interpret the results. Over 90% of K and P was found to be captured within the residual ash with 30–70% P in crystalline K-bearing phosphates for mixtures with low amounts of SS (WSS10 and SHS15). The significant share of K and P in the amorphous material could be important for P recovery. For the lower percentage mixtures of SS (WSS10 and SHS15), P in crystalline phases was mainly found in K-whitlockite and CaKPO4. For the higher percentage SS mixtures, most of P was found in whitlockites associated with Fe and Mg, and no crystalline phosphates containing K were detected. For P recovery, co-combustion of the lower SS mixtures is favorable, and they are suggested to be further studied concerning the suitability for plant growth.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Steam gasification of biomass – Typical gas quality and operational strategies derived from industrial-scale plants

Larsson A, Kuba M, Berdugo Vilches T, Seemann M, Hofbauer H, Thunman H. Steam gasification of biomass – Typical gas quality and operational strategies derived from industrial-scale plants. Fuel Processing Technology. 2021.212:106609.

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Steam gasification enables the thermochemical conversion of solid fuels into a medium calorific gas that can be utilized for the synthesis of advanced biofuels, chemicals or for heat and power production. Dual fluidized bed (DFB) gasification is at present the technology applied to realize gasification of biomass in steam environment at large scale. Few large-scale DFB gasifiers exist, and this work presents a compilation and analysis of the data and operational strategies from the six DFB gasifiers in Europe. It is shown that the technology is robust, as similar gas quality can be achieved despite the differences in reactor design and operation strategies. Reference concentrations of both gas components and tar components are provided, and correlations in the data are investigated. In all plants, adjusting the availability and accessibility to the active ash components (K and Ca) was the key to control the gas quality. The gas quality, and in particular the tar content of the gas, can conveniently be assessed by monitored the concentration of CH4 in the produced gas. The data and experience acquired from these plants provide important knowledge for the future development of the steam gasification of biomass.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Ultra-low temperature water-gas shift reaction catalyzed by homogeneous Ru-complexes in a membrane reactor - membrane development and proof of concept

Logemann M, Wolf P, Loipersböck J, Schrade A, Wessling M, Haumann M. Ultra-low temperature water-gas shift reaction catalyzed by homogeneous Ru-complexes in a membrane reactor - membrane development and proof of concept. Catalysis Science and Technology. 2021.11(4):1558-1570. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0CY02111C

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A monolithic membrane reactor combining the supported ionic liquid-phase (SILP) catalyzed ultra-low temperature water–gas shift reaction (WGSR) with in situ product removal is presented. The SILP catalyst consists of the transition metal complex [Ru(CO)3Cl2]2 homogeneously dissolved in 1-butyl-2,3-dimethylimidazolium chloride [C4C1C1Im]Cl and supported on alumina pellets. These Ru-SILP pellets are deposited inside the channels of a silicon carbide monolith. The resulting monolithic catalyst is very active and stable in the WGSR in the temperature range between 120 and 160 °C, thereby making full use of the high equilibrium conversion at these conditions. A facilitated transport membrane was coated onto the smooth outside of the SiC monolith to allow preferential removal of CO2 compared to H2. The proof of this concept has been shown under industrially relevant conditions using a biogas feed. These results demonstrate, for the first time, the combination of homogeneous SILP catalyzed WGSR with enhanced in situ removal of one of the products (here: CO2) via facilitated transport membrane separation.


Scientific Journals | 2020

A novel production route and process optimization of biomass-derived paraffin wax for pharmaceutical application

Gruber H, Lindner L, Arlt S, Reichhold A, Rauch R, Weber G, Trimbach J, Hofbauer H. A novel production route and process optimization of biomass-derived paraffin wax for pharmaceutical application. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2020;275:124135

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The Biomass to Liquid (BtL) Fischer-Tropsch (FT) route converts lignocellulosic feedstock to renewable hydrocarbons. This, paper shows a novel production route for biomass-derived synthetic paraffin wax via gasification of lignocellulosic feedstock, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) and hydrofining. The Fischer-Tropsch wax was fractionated, refined and analyzed with respect to compliance to commercial standards. The fractioned paraffin waxes were hydrofined using a commercial sulfide NiMo–Al2O3 catalyst and a trickle bed reactor. A parametric variation was performed to optimize the hydrofining process. It was shown that the produced medium-melt paraffin wax could fulfill the requirements for “Paraffinum solidum” defined by the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur). The high-melt wax fraction showed potential to be used as food packaging additive. Furthermore, the renewable wax was analyzed regarding PAH content and it was shown that the hydrofined wax was quasi-PAH-free.


Scientific Journals | 2020

Aqueous phase reforming of pilot-scale Fischer-Tropsch water effluent for sustainable hydrogen production

Zoppi G, Pipitone G, Gruber H, Weber G, Reichhold A, Pirone R, Bensaid S. Aqueous phase reforming of pilot-scale Fischer-Tropsch water effluent for sustainable hydrogen production. Catalysis Today.2020.

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Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis produces an aqueous stream containing light oxygenates as major by-product. The low carbon concentration of the organics makes its thermal recovery unprofitable. Thus, novel processes are needed to utilize this waste carbon content. In this work, the aqueous phase reforming of the wastewater obtained from a 15 kWth Fischer-Tropsch plant was explored as a promising process to produce hydrogen at mild temperatures. The FT product water was firstly characterized and afterward subjected to the reforming at different reaction temperatures and time, using a platinum catalyst supported on activated carbon. It was observed that, besides activity, the selectivity towards hydrogen was favored at higher temperatures; equally, increasing the reaction time allowed to obtain the total conversion of most molecules found in the solution, without decreasing the selectivity and reaching a plateau at 4 hours in the hydrogen productivity. In order to get more insights into the reaction mechanism and product distribution derived from the APR of FT product water, several tests were performed with single compounds, finding characteristic features. The importance of the position of the hydroxyl group in the molecule structure was highlighted, with secondary alcohols more prone to dehydrogenation pathways compared to primary alcohols. Moreover, no interference among the substrates was reported despite the mixture is constituted by several molecules: in fact, the results obtained with the real FT product water were analogous to the linear combination of the single compound tests. Finally, the reuse of the catalyst showed no appreciable deactivation phenomena.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Developing an adsorption-based gas cleaning system for a dual fluidized bed gasification process

Loipersböck J, Weber G, Rauch R, Hofbauer H. Developing an adsorption-based gas cleaning system for a dual fluidized bed gasification process.Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2020.

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Biomass has the potential to make a major contribution to a renewable future economy. If biomass is gasified, a wide variety of products (e.g., bulk chemicals, hydrogen, methane, alcohols, diesel) can be produced. In each of these processes, gas cleaning is crucial. Impurities in the gas can cause catalyst poisoning, pipe plugging, unstable or poisoned end products, or harm the environment. Aromatic compounds (e.g., benzene, naphthalene, pyrene), in particular, have a huge impact on stable operation of syngas processes. The removal of these compounds can be accomplished by wet, dry, or hot gas cleaning methods. Wet gas cleaning methods tend to produce huge amounts of wastewater, which needs to be treated separately. Hot gas cleaning methods provide a clean gas but are often cost intensive due to the high operating temperatures and catalysts used in the system. Another approach is dry or semi-dry gas cleaning methods, including absorption and adsorption on solid matter. In this work, special focus was laid on adsorption-based gas cleaning for syngas applications. Adsorption and desorption test runs were carried out under laboratory conditions using a model gas with aromatic impurities. Adsorption isotherms, as well as dynamics, were measured with a multi-compound model gas. Based on these results, a temperature swing adsorption process was designed and tested under laboratory conditions, showing the possibility of replacing conventional wet gas cleaning with a semi-dry gas cleaning approach.


Conference contributions | 2020

Dual fluidized bed steam gasification of biomass – the basic technology for a broad product portfolio

Kuba M. Dual fluidized bed steam gasification of biomass – the basic technology for a broad product portfolio. 6th Central European Biomass Conference (oral presentation). 2020.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Fate of Phosphorus in Fluidized Bed Cocombustion of Chicken Litter with Wheat Straw and Bark Residues

Häggström G, Fürsatz K, Kuba M, Skoglund N, Öhman M. Fate of Phosphorus in Fluidized Bed Cocombustion of Chicken Litter with Wheat Straw and Bark Residues. Energy and Fuels. 2020.34:1822-1829

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This study aims to determine the fate of P during fluidized bed co-combustion of chicken litter (CL) with K-rich fuels [e.g., wheat straw (WS)] and Ca-rich fuels (bark). The effect of fuel blending on phosphate speciation in ash was investigated. This was performed by chemical characterization of ash fractions to determine which phosphate compounds had formed and identify plausible ash transformation reactions for P. The ash fractions were produced in combustion experiments using CL and fuel blends with 30% CL and WS or bark (B) at 790–810 °C in a 5 kW laboratory-scale bubbling fluidized bed. Potassium feldspar was used as the bed material. Bed ash particles, cyclone ash, and particulate matter (PM) were collected and subjected to chemical analysis with scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM–EDS) and X-ray diffraction. P was detected in coarse ash fractions only, that is, bed ash, cyclone ash, and coarse PM fraction (>1 μm); no P could be detected in the fine PM fraction (<1 μm). SEM–EDS analysis showed that P was mainly present in K–Ca–P-rich areas for pure CL as well as in the ashes from the fuel blends of CL with WS or B. In the WS blend, P was found together with Si in these areas. The crystalline compound containing P was hydroxyapatite in all cases as well as whitlockite in the cases of pure CL and WS blend, of which the latter compound has been previously identified as a promising plant nutrient. The ash fractions from CL and bark blend only contained P in hydroxyapatite. Co-combustion of CL together with WS appears to be promising for P recovery, and ashes with this composition could be further studied in plant growth experiments


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Impact of residual fuel ash layers on the catalytic activation of K-feldspar regarding the water–gas shift reaction

Fürsatz K, Kuba M, Janisch D, Aziaba K, Hammerl C, Chlebda D, Łojewska J, Hofbauer H. Impact of residual fuel ash layers on the catalytic activation of K-feldspar regarding the water–gas shift reaction. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2020

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Interaction of biomass ash and bed materials in thermochemical conversion in fluidized beds leads to changes of the bed particle surface due to ash layer formation. Ash components present on the bed particle surface strongly depend on the ash composition of the fuel. Thus, the residual biomass used has a strong influence on the surface changes on bed particles in fluidized bed conversion processes and, therefore, on the catalytic performance of the bed material layers. Ash layer formation is associated with an increase in the catalytic activity of the bed particles in gasification and plays a key role in the operability of different biomass fuels. The catalytic activation over time was observed for K-feldspar used as the bed material with bark, chicken manure, and a mixture of bark and chicken manure as fuels. The changes on the bed material surfaces were further characterized by SEM/EDS and BET analyses. Raman, XPS, and XRD analyses were used to characterize the crystal phases on the bed material surface. An increase in surface area over time was observed for K-feldspar during the interaction with biomass ash. Additionally, a more inhomogeneous surface composition for fuels containing chicken manure in comparison to pure bark was observed. This was due to the active participation of phosphorus from the fuel ash in the ash transformation reactions leading to their presence on the particle surface. A decreased catalytic activity was observed for the same BET surface area compared to bark combustion, caused by the different fuel ash composition of chicken manure.


Conference contributions | 2020

Influence of ash forming elements from biogenous residues on fluidized bed conversion processes

Fürsatz K, Influence of ash forming elements from biogenous residues on fluidized bed conversion processes. 6th Central Eurpean Biomass Conference, 22-24 January 2020, Graz.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Influence of bed materials on the performance of the Nong Bua dual fluidized bed gasification power plant in Thailand

Siriwongrungson V, Hongrapipat J, Kuba M, Rauch R, Pang S, Thaveesri J, Messner M, Hofbauer H. Influence of bed materials on the performance of the Nong Bua dual fluidized bed gasification power plant in Thailand. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2020;

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Bed materials and their catalytic activity are two main parameters that affect the performance of the dual fluidized bed (DFB) gasification system in terms of product gas composition and tar levels. Two sources of bed materials were used for the operation of a commercial DFB gasification system in Thailand, using woodchips as a biomass feedstock. One source of the bed materials was the calcined olivine which had been used in the Gussing Plant, Austria, and the other activated bed material was a mixture of fresh Chinese olivine and used Austrian olivine with additives of biomass ash, calcium hydroxide and dolomite. These bed materials were collected and analysed for morphological and chemical composition using a scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). The product gas was cleaned in a scrubber to remove tars, from which the samples were collected for gravimetric tar analysis. Its composition data was automatically recorded at the operation site before it entered the gas engine. From the SEM, EDS and XRF analyses, calcium-rich layers around the bed materials were observed on the activated bed material. The inner layers of bed materials collected were homogeneous. Biomass ash, which was generally added to the bed materials, had significant calcium and potassium content. These calcium-rich layers of the bed materials, from the calcium hydroxide, biomass ash and dolomite, influenced system performance, which was determined by observing lower tar concentration and higher hydrogen concentration in the product gas.


Technical Reports | 2020

Investigation of the formation of coherent ash residues during fluidized bed gasification of wheat straw lignin

Priscak J, Fürsatz K, Kuba M, Skoglund N, Benedikt F, Hofbauer H. Investigation of the formation of coherent ash residues during fluidized bed gasification of wheat straw lignin. Energies. 2020;13(15):3935:

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Thermal conversion of ash-rich fuels in fluidized bed systems is often associated with extensive operation problems caused by the high amount of reactive inorganics. This paper investigates the behavior of wheat straw lignin—a potential renewable fuel for dual fluidized bed gasification. The formation of coherent ash residues and its impact on the operation performance has been investigated and was supported by thermochemical equilibrium calculations in FactSage 7.3. The formation of those ash residues, and their subsequent accumulation on the surface of the fluidized bed, causes temperature and pressure fluctuations, which negatively influence the steady-state operation of the fluidized bed process. This paper presents a detailed characterization of the coherent ash residues, which consists mostly of silica and partially molten alkali silicates. Furthermore, the paper gives insights into the formation of these ash residues, dependent on the fuel pretreatment (pelletizing) of the wheat straw lignin, which increases their stability compared to the utilization of non-pelletized fuel.


Conference contributions | 2020

Optimizing of a hydrogen production plant by optimization of the CO2 removal step

Loipersböck J. Optimizing of a hydrogen production plant by optimization of the CO2 removal step. 6th Central European Biomass Conference (oral presentation) 2020.

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Hydrogen production in 2010 was estimated to 50 Mt/a. 96 % of today’s hydrogen is produced by converting fossil fuels in thermochemical processes. As main conversion technology steam reforming of natural gas and naphtha has been established. Hydrogen is mainly used in refineries, for ammonia production and in several chemical production plants. Hydrogen is also seen as a promising alternative energy carrier for the transport sector. Therefor an increasing demand on hydrogen over the next years can be assumed.  
To substitute fossil produced hydrogen several renewable hydrogen routes have been established. Beside electrolysis of water also steam reforming of biogas, methane pyrolysis and gasification technologies have been developed. This work will focus on hydrogen production based on dual fluidized bed gasification of biomass.  
Dual fluidized bed gasification gives the possibility to establish a renewable hydrogen production route and substitute fossil fuels. A hydrogen production plant consisting of a dual fluidized bed gasifier, a water gas shift stage, a CO2 removal, a pressure swing adsorption and a steam reformer were erected and operated over 1000 h. The gathered data was validated and a model for up-scaling was developed. A benchmark size of 10 MW fuel input power was used as base for economic estimations. As described in previous work an overall efficiency of 55 % can be achieved, which is comparable to alternative technologies. Compared to other renewable routes, hydrogen production based on dual fluidized bed gasification gives the possibility of a fuel flexible system for continuous hydrogen production.  
Hydrogen production derived by DFB gasification of wood is a reliable process, which needs to be optimized due to economic reasons. Special attention has to be paid on the CO2 removal, to obtain an economic efficient process.  
In this study a parameter variation of the CO2 removal, which consists of absorption and desorption column, was done. Mono-ethanol-amine (MEA) was used as a solvent. One focus of the experimental investigations was the desorption at low temperatures to gain the possibility of using temperature levels which are common in district heat grids. For the experiments real synthesis gas with impurities was used. Over the gas cleaning steps of the hydrogen production plant, impurities were removed and hydrogen content was increased. To increase the efficiency of the CO2 removal and further the hydrogen production, a parameter study was done. A good correlation between separation efficiency and desorption temperature could be observed.  
Economics were calculated comparing natural gas steam reforming, electrolysis and hydrogen production based dual fluidized bed gasification. First results show a high potential for establishing the BioH2 plant as a commercial production plant. An economic plant operation with wood chips can be achieved at plant sizes of 20-30 MW fuel input power. A switch to lower quality biomass can reduce the economic feasible plant size even further.  
Keywords: hydrogen, up-scaling, economics, CO2 removal


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Surface characterization of ash-layered olivine from fluidized bed biomass gasification

Kuba M, Fürsatz K, Janisch D, Aziaba K, Chlebda D, Łojewska J, Forsberg F, Umeki K, Hofbauer H. Surface characterization of ash-layered olivine from fluidized bed biomass gasification. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 2020

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The present study aims to present a comprehensive characterization of the surface of ash-layered olivine bed particles from dual fluidized bed gasification. It is well known from operation experience at industrial gasification plants that the bed material is activated during operation concerning its positive influence on gasification reactions. This is due to the built up of ash layers on the bed material particles; however, the chemical mechanisms are not well understood yet. Olivine samples from long-term operation in an industrial-scale gasification plant were investigated in comparison to fresh unused olivine. Changes of the surface morphology due to Ca-enrichment showed a significant increase of their surface area. Furthermore, the Ca-enrichment on the ash layer surface was distinctively associated to CaO being present. The presence of CaO on the surface was proven by adsorption tests of carbon monoxide as model compound. The detailed characterization contributes to a deeper understanding of the surface properties of ash layers and forms the basis for further investigations into their influence on gasification reactions.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2020

Thermochemical equilibrium study of ash transformation during combustion and gasification of sewage sludge mixtures with agricultural residues with focus on the phosphorus speciation

Hannl TK, Sefidari H, Kub M, Skoglund N, Öhmann M. Thermochemical equilibrium study of ash transformation during combustion and gasification of sewage sludge mixtures with agricultural residues with focus on the phosphorus speciation. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery.2020

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The necessity of recycling anthropogenically used phosphorus to prevent aquatic eutrophication and decrease the economic dependency on mined phosphate ores encouraged recent research to identify potential alternative resource pools. One of these resource pools is the ash derived from the thermochemical conversion of sewage sludge. This ash is rich in phosphorus, although most of it is chemically associated in a way where it is not plant available. The aim of this work was to identify the P recovery potential of ashes from sewage sludge co-conversion processes with two types of agricultural residues, namely wheat straw (rich in K and Si) and sunflower husks (rich in K), employing thermodynamic equilibrium calculations. The results indicate that both the melting behavior and the formation of plant available phosphates can be enhanced by using these fuel blends in comparison with pure sewage sludge. This enhanced bioavailability of phosphates was mostly due to the predicted formation of K-bearing phosphates in the mixtures instead of Ca/Fe/Al phosphates in the pure sewage sludge ash. According to the calculations, gasification conditions could increase the degree of slag formation and enhance the volatilization of K in comparison with combustion conditions. Furthermore, the possibility of precipitating phosphates from ash melts could be shown. It is emphasized that the results of this theoretical study represent an idealized system since in practice, non-equilibrium influences such as kinetic limitations and formation of amorphous structures may be significant. However, applicability of thermodynamic calculations in the prediction of molten and solid phases may still guide experimental research to investigate the actual phosphate formation in the future.


Conference contributions | 2019

Aqueous phase reforming of Fischer-Tropsch water fraction

Zoppi G, Pipitone G, Gruber H, Weber G, Reichhold A, Pirone R, Bensaid S. Aqueous phase reforming of Fischer-Tropsch water fraction. ICPS 2019.

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Conference contributions | 2019

Decomposition of tars in dual fluidized bed gasification – mechanisms of formation and decomposition in long-term operation

Umeki K, Priscak J, Kuba M. Decomposition of tars in dual fluidized bed gasification – mechanisms of formation and decomposition in long-term operation. ICPS 2019.

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Conference contributions | 2019

Development of a New Method for Investigation of the Ash Melting Behavior in the Fluidized Bed Conversion Processes

Priscak J, Kuba M, Hofbauer H. Development of a New Method for Investigation of the Ash Melting Behavior in the Fluidized Bed Conversion Processes. ICPS 2019.

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Technical Reports | 2019

Fischer-Tropsch products from biomass-derived syngas and renewable hydrogen

Gruber H, Groß P, Rauch R, Reichhold A, Zweiler R, Aichernig C, Müller S, Ataimisch N, Hofbauer H. Fischer-Tropsch products from biomass-derived syngas and renewable hydrogen. 2019.

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Global climate change will make it necessary to transform transportation and mobility away from what we know now towards a sustainable, flexible, and dynamic sector. A severe reduction of fossil-based CO2 emissions in all energy-consuming sectors will be necessary to keep global warming below 2 °C above preindustrial levels. Thus, long-distance transportation will have to increase the share of renewable fuel consumed until alternative powertrains are ready to step in. Additionally, it is predicted that the share of renewables in the power generation sector grows worldwide. Thus, the need to store the excess electricity produced by fluctuating renewable sources is going to grow alike. The “Winddiesel” technology enables the integrative use of excess electricity combined with biomass-based fuel production. Surplus electricity can be converted to H2 via electrolysis in a first step. The fluctuating H2 source is combined with biomass-derived CO-rich syngas from gasification of lignocellulosic feedstock. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis converts the syngas to renewable hydrocarbons. This research article summarizes the experiments performed and presents new insights regarding the effects of load changes on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Long-term campaigns were carried out, and performance-indicating parameters such as per-pass CO conversion, product distribution, and productivity were evaluated. The experiments showed that integrating renewable H2 into a biomass-to-liquid Fischer-Tropsch concept could increase the productivity while product distribution remains almost the same. Furthermore, the economic assessment performed indicates good preconditions towards commercialization of the proposed system.