Fluidized bed reactor

In fluidized bed reactor, the carbonaceous fuel is mixed together with inert bed material (e. g. silica sand) by forcing fluidization medium (e. g. air and/or steam) through the reactor. The inert bed facilitates better heat exchange between the fuel materials, resulting in nearly isothermal operation conditions and high feedstock conversion efficiencies [18, 22]. The maximum operating temperature of the gasifier is typically around 800 — 900oC, which is limited by the melting point of the bed material [18]. Furthermore, the geometry of the reac­tor and excellent mixing properties also means that fluidized bed reactors are suitable for up-scaling [18, 22]. Due to these properties, fluidized bed reactor is currently the most com­monly used gasifier for biomass feedstock [32]. However, this mode of gasifier is not suita­ble for feedstocks with high levels of ash and alkali metals because the melting of these components causes stickiness and formation of bigger lumps, which ultimately negatively affect the hydrodynamics of the reactor [18].

Composition vol%, dry basis

Ref.

CO

CO2

H2

N2

CH4

Other

Non-biomass source

Coal gasification

59.4

10

29.4

0.6

0

0.6

[25]

Coke oven gas

5.6

1.4

55.4

4.3

28.4

4.9

[25]

Partial oxidation of heavy fuel oil

47

4.3

46

1.4

0.3

[26]

Hardwood chips + 20 wt%liquid crude glycerol

19.73

11.67

19.38

NR*

3.82

NR*

[19]

Steam reforming of natural gas

15.5

8.1

75.7

0.2

0.5

0

[25]

Steam reforming of Naphtha

6.7

15.8

65.9

2.6

6.3

2.7

[25]

Water gas

30

3.4

31.7

13.1

12.2

9.6

[25]

Steel Mill

44

22

2

32

0

0

[27]

Biomass and organic waste source

Demolition wood + sewage sludge

10.53

15.02

8.02

60.46

3.19

2.78

[28]

Cacao shell

8

16.02

9.02

61.45

2.34

3.17

[28]

Dairy biomass

8.7

15.7

18.6

56

0.6

0.4

[29]

Switchgrass

14.7

16.5

4.4

56.8

4.2

3.4

[13]

Kentucky bluegrass straw

12.9

17.4

2.6

64.2

2.1

0.8

[30]

Willow

9.4

17.1

7.2

60.42

3.3

2.58

[28]

Note: NR, not reported

The factors that determine which type of gasifier to employ are scale of operation, feedstock size and composition, tar yield and sensitivity towards ash [18]. Currently, three main types of gasifier are commercially employed: fixed bed, fluidized bed and entrained flow reactors [18].

Table 1. Typical composition of syngas and other potential gas streams from various sources

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