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Role of Catalyst in Solid Biomass Gasification

[+] Author Affiliations
K. G. Burra, A. K. Gupta

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Paper No. POWER2016-59039, pp. V001T03A004; 7 pages
  • ASME 2016 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2016 10th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2016 14th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2016 Power Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division, Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division, Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5021-3
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Energy recovery from biomass is of pinnacle importance for renewable and sustainable energy development. Gasification techniques offer efficient and effective transformation of solid biomass into gas/liquid fuels and value added materials. This technique offers clean energy production with improved efficiency compared to other transformation techniques. Catalysts offer improved reaction efficiency and product yield. However, a robust catalyst for efficient biomass conversion to fuel gases requires close examination. Transitional metals, being inert compared to alkali metals, have shown good catalytic activity in reformation reactions, such as, high temperature and low temperature water-gas shift reactions in ammonia plants with good heat conductivity and catalytic activity. In this study catalytic conversion of pine wood chips using dry (CO2) gasification is investigated. The catalytic effects of CuO/Al2O3-SiO2 (made by wetness impregnation) on the rate of gasification, along with the gaseous species evolved during the gasification at different temperatures (700°C to 900°C) using CO2 are investigated in a semi-batch type reactor. The H2/CO ratio in the syngas and the temporal evolution of various gases evolved, their total yield, and the energy yield are quantified from the analysis of gases evolved. The results reveal significant enhancement in H2 yield and production rate along with selective dry reformation of CH4, while the effect on CO yields were unaffected. Improved yields of H2 and CH4 but no change in CO suggest the catalytic activity of CuO in enhancing the formation of high molecular weight hydrocarbons.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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