From coal to biomass gasification : comparison of thermodynamic efficiency

M.J. Prins, K.J. Ptasinski, F.J.J.G. Janssen

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The effect of fuel composition on the thermodynamic efficiency of gasifiers and gasification systems is studied. A chemical equilibrium model is used to describe the gasifier. It is shown that the equilibrium model presents the highest gasification efficiency that can be possibly attained for a given fuel. Gasification of fuels with varying composition of organic matter, in terms of O/C and H/C ratio as illustrated in a Van Krevelen diagram, is compared. It was found that exergy losses in gasifying wood (O/C ratio around 0.6) are larger than those for coal (O/C ratio around 0.2). At a gasification temperature of 927 °C, a fuel with O/C ratio below 0.4 is recommended, which corresponds to a lower heating value above 23 MJ/kg. For gasification at 1227 °C, a fuel with O/C ratio below 0.3 and lower heating value above 26 MJ/kg is preferred. It could thus be attractive to modify the properties of highly oxygenated biofuels prior to gasification, e.g. by separation of wood into its components and gasification of the lignin component, thermal pre-treatment, and/or mixing with coal in order to enhance the heating value of the gasifier fuel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1259
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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