Bioenergy II: Scale-up of the Milena biomass gasification process

C.M. Meijden, van der, H.J. Veringa, B.J. Vreugdenhil, A. van der Drift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The production of Substitute Natural Gas from biomass (Bio-SNG) is an attractive option to reduce CO2 emissions and replace declining fossil natural gas reserves. The Energy research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) is working on the development of a technology to convert a wide range of biomass into Bio-SNG. The ECN Bio-SNG technology is based on indirect gasification of biomass. The MILENA indirect gasifier is developed to produce a gas, which can be upgraded into SNG with a high efficiency. Because of the indirect heating of the gasification process, no air separation is required. Char and tar are removed from the producer gas and are used as fuel to produce the required heat for the gasification process. The OLGA tar removal technology is used to remove tar and dust from the gas. After gas cleaning, the gas is catalytically converted into a mixture of CH4, CO2 and H2O. After compression and removal of CO2 and H2O, the remaining methane can be used as Bio-SNG. ECN produced the first Bio-SNG in 2004, using a conventional fluidized bed gasifier. The lab-scale MILENA gasifier was built in 2004. The installation is capable of producing approximately 8 Nm3/h methane-rich medium calorific gas with high efficiency. The lab-scale installation has been in operation for more than 1000 hours now and is working fine. Several biomass fuels were tested. Woody biomass appears to be the most suited fuel. The lab-scale gasifier is coupled to lab-scale gas cleaning installations (including OLGA) and a methanation unit. The integrated system was tested during several duration tests. The 30 kWth lab-scale gasifier was scaled up to 800 kWth biomass input. ECN has recently finished the construction of this pilot-scale gasifier, which has been taken into operation in the summer of 2008. First results, using wood as a fuel, show that the gas composition is similar to gas from the lab-scale installation. The pilot scale gasifier will be coupled to the existing pilot scale OLGA gas cleaning unit in 2009. Tests with the pilot-scale MILENA and OLGA will form the basis of a 10 MW MILENA – OLGA – gas engine demonstration plant. This demonstration will be taken into operation in 2012 and will be followed by a large SNG demonstration. 10 MW biomass input is seen as an attractive commercial scale for combined heat and power production from biomass. The scale foreseen for a commercial single-train Bio-SNG production facility is between 50 and 500 MWth. The expected net overall efficiency from wood to Bio-SNG is 70%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A53-1/21
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Bioenergy II: Scale-up of the Milena biomass gasification process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this