Work Plan

1. Fuel characterisation and ash behaviour

In this subtopic, experiments of different biomass samples are performed in a thermogravimetric apparatus. The idea is to study the effect of temperature and pressure on the variation of the reactivity and the ash sintering for various feedstocks relevant to a large scale gasification process. The conditions were selected mainly to aim at an oxygen gasification process, i.e. no nitrogen was used in the gases. The purpose is to find also optimum conditions of temperature, pressure and gasifying medium for the gasification process of different biomasses. The optimum conditions are those on which reactivity is relatively high with no or weak ash sintering. Similarly, samples of the same kind of biomass collected from different locations and time were also tested here to study the change in characterizations in the same conditions. The difference in reactivity of different biomasses, like bark and forest residue, (at the same conditions of temperature, pressure and gasifying medium) is also studied here.

2. Gas cleanup reactions

This subtopic is focused on chemistry and physical phenomenon taking place at high temperatures in gas reformers and filtration units. The work is highly experimental in nature, supplemented with ap-propriate literature data.

The objectives are:

To gain better knowledge about catalytic gas cleanup processes:

  • What are the main reactions, how tar is decomposing in a reformer?
  • How and when catalyst deactivation can occur?
  • How and when carbon formation takes place in a reformer?

And to gain know-how about the conditions that can lead to clogging of a gas filter as a result of soot formation or condensation of tar.

3. Process evaluations

This topic is divited into three subtopics:

  • Evaluation of alternative end-products for biomass gasification route (FT, methanol, DME, gasoline, SNG)
  • Comparison of competing biotechnical routes to gasification route in the production of liquid transportation fuels
  • Evaluation and assessment of alternative gasification processes suitable for peat.

4 Monitoring of international syngas technology development

In this subtopic the development outside Finland and Finnish development projects is monitored. Latest information and research news are acquired through the networks of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Obtained information will be evaluated and exploited in Finnish R&D projects.

5. New analysis techniques (This additional subtopic is funded by VTT)

Organic compounds generally referred to as “tars” are a major contaminant in the biomass gasification gas. Reliable analysis techniques for tars allow to determine the functioning of the gas cleaning and to assess the quality of the cleaned gas to be used in demanding applications such as gas engine or gas turbine. In this subtopic we wanted to validate the reliability of the current IEA Tar Protocol. In addition, the applicability of a fast on-line tar-measurement technique was studied.

6. Hydrogen from biomass via gasification (This additional subtopic is funded by VTT)

Dedicated biomass gasification technologies are presently developed in many countries for the production of second-generation liquid biofuels. Both fluidised-bed gasification and special entrained flow systems are under intensive development. These technologies can also be used for hydrogen production, which may become an interesting alternative in replacing part of fossil fuel input in oil refining or in chemical industries. In addition, hydrogen-rich fuel gas technologies are being developed for fuel cell applications.

The objective of this subtopic is to evaluate the most attractive ways of utilising dedicated biomass gasification technology in near-to-medium-term hydrogen markets. The subtopic is divided into three tasks: Technology overview, Techno-economic evaluation and Road mapping for industrial plants.