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Steam-air fluidized bed gasification of distillers grains: Effects of steam to biomass ratio, equivalence ratio and gasification temperature

Kumar, Ajay, Eskridge, Kent, Jones, David D., Hanna, Milford A.
Bioresource technology 2009 v.100 no.6 pp. 2062-2068
renewable energy sources, bioenergy, biomass, distillers grains, gasification, biogas, hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, energy efficiency
In this study, thermochemical biomass gasification was performed on a bench-scale fluidized-bed gasifier with steam and air as fluidizing and oxidizing agents. Distillers grains, a non-fermentable byproduct of ethanol production, were used as the biomass feedstock for the gasification. The goal was to investigate the effects of furnace temperature, steam to biomass ratio and equivalence ratio on gas composition, carbon conversion efficiency and energy conversion efficiency of the product gas. The experiments were conducted using a 3x3x3 full factorial design with temperatures of 650, 750 and 850°C, steam to biomass ratios of 0, 7.30 and 14.29 and equivalence ratios of 0.07, 0.15 and 0.29. Gasification temperature was found to be the most influential factor. Increasing the temperature resulted in increases in hydrogen and methane contents, carbon conversion and energy efficiencies. Increasing equivalence ratio decreased the hydrogen content but increased carbon conversion and energy efficiencies. The steam to biomass ratio was optimal in the intermediate levels for maximal carbon conversion and energy efficiencies.