Investigation of Air and Air-Steam Gasification of High Carbon Wood Ash in a Fluidized Bed Reactor

Adrian K. James, Steve S. Helle, Ronald W. Thring, P. Michael Rutherford, Mohammad S. Masnadi

Abstract


The pulp and paper industry in an effort to offset fossil fuel demand uses woody biomass combustion as a renewable energy source to meet their ever-growing energy demands. Boiler combustion systems are often used to provide this energy. However, large amounts of high carbon ash are produced from some boilers resulting in technological, economic and environmental challenge. This high carbon ash is considered to be of very little economic and environmental value and is typically sent to landfills. Reuse of this ash in some boilers requires upgrading and is not economically feasible. Therefore, this study investigates the feasibility of gasifying high carbon wood ash of particle sizes smaller than 3 mm, while comparing its behaviour to that of unburned wood. Gasification was conducted in a stainless steel bubbling fluidized bed reactor 3-inch diameter and height of approximately 800 mm using air and air-steam as gasifying agents. Parameters of interest included equivalence ratio (ER), gas calorific value, carbon conversion efficiency and produced gas yield. High carbon ash was successfully gasified at low temperatures and atmospheric pressure and showed similar trends as woody biomass. The higher heating value (HHV) and carbon conversion efficiency increased with increasing temperature. The H2/CO molar ratio was higher for the air-steam process. Future areas of research could include investigating the viability of producing a gas of even higher heating value.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/eer.v4n1p15

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Energy and Environment Research   ISSN 1927-0569 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0577 (Online)
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