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Design and testing of a low-cost, pilot-scale batch gasifier for food processing byproducts

Bowser, T.J., Weckler, P.R., Patil, K.N., DeWitt, C.
Applied engineering in agriculture 2005 v.21 no.5 pp. 901-906
gas production (biological), food processing wastes, waste utilization, slaughterhouse wastes, waste wood, meat processing, wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion, equipment design, gasification
Byproduct disposal from food processing operations is an increasing problem. Gasification is an alternative, value-added process for handling some food processing byproducts. A low-cost, pilot-scale, updraft, batch gasifier was designed, fabricated, and tested at the Oklahoma State University to test feasibility of gasification of food processing byproducts. A complete description of the design and schematics of the gasifier are given. The gasifier system demonstrated simple operational requirements and stable performance when gasifying food processing byproducts. The food processing byproducts tested were: dried sludge obtained from the discharge of a dissolved air flotation unit at a value-added meat processor; wood pellets; and mixtures of wood pellets and dried sludge. Cold gas efficiency of the gasifier ranged from 47% to 60%. Ash production ranged from 6% to 16% of the feedstock input (mass basis). Composition of the producer gas (volume basis) included 2% to 3% H2; 12% to 17% CO; and, 1% to 4% CH4. The study accomplished the design and validated the operation of a low-cost, batch gasifier by successfully demonstrating its capability to gasify food processing byproducts.