Schatz Energy Research Center

Biomass Gasification: The Gasifier has been Commissioned

Gasifier Start Up
SERC staff gathers for the much-anticipated initial system start-up. See additional start-up photos on the back page. (Photo credit SERC).

The gasifier system has successfully completed shakedown testing and is now ready for experimental testing. The gasifier burns wood chips in an air-deficient environment to produce a combustible gas made up of mainly hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. The preliminary test results indicate that the production gas composition is very close to the expected values as provided by the manufacturer. Upcoming experiments will include a series of runs using wood chips of varying moisture contents. The production gas will be sampled and analyzed with a gas chromatograph throughout these runs in order to determine the effect of moisture content in the wood chips on the resulting gas composition.

The main gasifier unit and supporting subsystem were installed inside a well-ventilated metal building located at SERC. The gasifier unit is comprised of a hopper and reactor assembly, a gas scrubbing water system, two gas filters, a gas blower, a combustion air blower and a cone gas burner. Additional subsystems to support the research include an instrumentation system, a gas sampling system, and the building safety system.

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Schatz Energy news