aAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, Iowa State University, NSRIC, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
bBiological Engineering Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J.2X4
cDesert Development Center, American University - Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
A two-phase model capable of predicting the performance of \ue000uidized bed biomass air-steam gasi\u00ffcation reactor during dynamic and steady state operations was developed based on the two phase theory of \ue000uidization. Material and energy balances were taken into consideration and the minimization of free energy technique was used to calculate the gas mole fractions. The \ue000uidized bed was divided into three zones (jetting, bubbling and slugging) and the mass and heat transfer coe\ue001cients were calculated for each zone in both bubble and emulsion phases. The model includes the hydrodynamics, transport and thermodynamic properties of \ue000uidized bed. The \u00ffnite element method was used to solve the partial di\ue002erential equations. The input variables of the computer program included \ue000uidization velocity, steam \ue000ow rate and biomass to steam ratio. The model is capable of predicting the bed temperature, gas mole fractions, higher heating value and production rate.? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
During the period 1991\u20131996, the world crop yields of sorghum, corn, rye, rice and wheat increased by 20.1%, 19.5%, 30.1%, 8.7% and 4.6%, respectively. Crop production will continue to increase to feed the ever-increasing population of the world. The current world production of cereals is about 2:0\u00d7 109metric tones . This means that about 2:34\u00d7 109ton of straw are produced annually for which the market is becoming rather limited . Ghaly et al.  reported that wheat crop alone yields over 750 million ton of straw of which 60\u201380% can be utilized for energy through energy conversion processes such as pyrolysis, combustion and gasi\u00ffcation. Gasi\u00ffcation is the process by which organic matter is converted to gas, tar and char through thermal decomposition in a low oxygen environment, followed by secondary reactions of the resulting volatiles . The produced combustible char and tar can be burned with air to provide the necessary energy for processing .
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