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Equilibrium Model for Biomass Gasification

Equilibrium Model for Biomass Gasification

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EQUILIBRIUM MODEL FOR BIOMASS GASIFICATION
Anil Khadse
1
, Prasad Parulekar 
2
, Preeti Aghalayam
1
and Anuradda Ganesh
2*
1,
 Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400076 
2,
 Energy Systems Engineering, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400076 
 *
Corresponding author, Energy Systems Engineering, IIT Bombay, Powai,Mumbai-400076 Phone: 022-25767886, Fax: 022-25726875, e-mail:aganesh@me.iitb.ac.in
Abstract
The utilization of biomass will provide sufficient energy which can be used for electricity generation, engineapplications, etc. Gasification is the process in which biomass is converted into clean and combustible gas in the presence of steam and air. To model gasification process in detail, knowledge of chemical reaction kinetics isrequired which is not available in open literature. Thermodynamic equilibrium composition prediction is theimportant step in modeling the gasification process. Here the biomass is represented as CH
x
O
y
. The biomass isreacted with steam and air to give product gases viz. CO, CO
2
, H
2
and CH
4
. The model assumes that the principle reactions are at thermodynamic equilibrium. The model equations containing four atom balances (C,O, H and N) and three equilibrium relations are solved for gas compositions using MATLAB. The four types of  biomasses from India are used for prediction of equilibrium gas compositions. These four samples are compared based on gross calorific values.
Keywords:
Biomass, Thermodynamic equilibrium, gasification.
1. Introduction
Biomass is a non conventional energy source. The main biomass sources are wood, saw dust, agriculturalresidues, aquatic and marine biomass and wastes (Bridgwater, 1994). The utilization of biomass will providesufficient energy which can be used for electricity generation, engine applications, etc. Gasification is the process in which biomass is converted into clean and combustible gas in the presence of steam and air. Thereare different gasifiers like updraft, downdraft, cross draft and fluidized bed gasifiers (Khummongkol andArrunlaksadamrong, 1990).The main aim of this study is to produce producer gas from biomass and use it in engine for power generation.The experimental set up is shown in Figure 1. As shown in the Figure 1, the biomass is fed from top and isgasified to produce producer gas.
 Figure 1: Experimental set up
UPDRAFTGASIFIERTARCRACKINGUNITGAS COOLER +STEAM GENERATORS. I.ENGINEAIRBLOWERASHBIOMASSINGAS 800
O
CSTEAM+ AIR
 
 Equilibrium Model for Biomass Gasification
107
 
The tar in the outlet gases is cracked thermally in the tar cracking unit. The gases coming out of the tar crackingunit is at 800
o
C and hence need to be cooled. A heat exchanger is provided for the same and then this cooledgas is used for engine applications. The steam generated out of the heat exchange between hot gas and coolingwater is mixed with input air to the gasifier. The addition of steam will enhance the hydrogen percentage in the product gas and its calorific value thereby.We assumed that updraft gasifier is at thermodynamic equilibrium. The review of various thermodynamicequilibrium models and its applications is given by Channiwala (1992). The gasification reactions occur are atequilibrium and thermodynamic equilibrium compositions are predicted for four biomasses. The effect of air input, steam/air ratio is studied for each biomass. They are compared based on their calorific value.
2. Thermodynamic Equilibrium Model
2.1 Assumptions
1. Biomass is represented by the general formula C H
x
O
y
 2. The gasification products contain CO
2,
CO, H
2
, CH
4
, N
2
, H
2
O and un-burnt carbon3. The reactions are at thermodynamic equilibrium4. The reactions proceed adiabaticallyBased on the above assumptions, the general reaction of biomass with air and steam is written asC H
x
O
y
+ z (p O
2
+ (1-p) N
2
)+ k H
2
O = a CO
2
+ b CO + c H
2
+ d CH
4
+ e N
2
+ f H
2
O+ g C (1)Where, x and y are the H/C and O/C mole ratio, respectively. The moisture content of the biomass is neglectedand the product quality depends on the x and y.The above reaction represents an overall reaction but a number of competing intermediate reactions take placeduring the process. These are:1)
 
OxidationC+ O
2
=CO
2
(2)2)
 
Steam gasificationC+H
2
O=CO+H
2
(3)3)
 
Bouduard reactionC+ CO
2
=2CO (4)4)
 
Methanation reactionC+2H
2
=CH
4
(5)
 
5) Water gas-shift reactionCO+ H
2
O=CO
2
+ H
2
(6)Out of these only four reactions are independent reactions, which are chosen as oxidation, steam gasification, bouduard reaction, and the methanation reaction. The water gas shift reaction can be considered as thesubtraction of the steam gasification and bouduard reactions. Oxidation reaction is typically assumed to be veryfast and goes to completion (Von Fredersdorff and Elliott, 1963) and three reactions namely bouduard reaction,steam gasification and methanation are in equilibrium.
2.2. Model Equations
Taking atom balances on carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, we obtain,Carbon 1 = a + b + d + g (7)Oxygen y + 2pz + k = 2a + b + f (8)Hydrogen x + 2 k = 2c + 4d + 2f (9) Nitrogen z (1-p) = e (10)The three equilibrium relations for the three reactions (other than oxidation) are -1) Bouduard reaction(11)
2
21
cocoe
 y P  y K 
=
 
108
Advances in Energy Research (AER – 2006)
2) Steam gasification reaction(12)3) Methanation reaction(13)The equilibrium constants are given by(14)Where,
Δ
G
0
is the Gibb’s free energy (kJ/mol), T is the temperature in K and R is the universal gas constant inconsistent units.The energy balance can be considered as follows -The heat of the overall gasification reaction (1) is given by(15)At adiabatic condition, this heat of reaction is zero. Heat of reaction at the reference temperature is calculatedusing heats of combustions of the species.(16)Thus, (17)where
 
Δ
 H 
 R
 
is the heat of reaction,
 
Δ
 H 
ci
is the heat of combustion of species ‘i’,
n
i
is the moles of species ‘i’,
 pi
 is the specific heat capacity of species ‘i’.The eight non-linear algebraic equations (7-13 and 17) are solved simultaneously in order to determine a, b, c, d,e, f, g (which determine the product gas composition) and the adiabatic temperature, at various pressures usingthe solver FSOLVE in MATLAB. The model is simulated without energy balance. This gives us the expectedexit gas compositions at each temperature and pressure. Inclusion of energy balance will give the adiabatictemperature along with gas compositions. Gross calorific value is calculated using the following formulaGCV=(b
Δ
 H 
cCO
+ c
 
Δ
 H 
cH2
+ c
Δ
 H 
cCH4
) / (a + b + c + d+ e)(18)The ultimate analysis of four biomasses used in this study (Iyer et al., 2002) are tabulated in Table 1.
Table 1: Ultimate analysis of different biomass samples (Iyer et al., 2002)
Sr.No. Biomass sample C % H% N% O% Ash%Calorific valuekcal/kg
1. Saw dust 52.28 5.2 0.47 40.85 1.2 37952. Bagasse (A.P.) 47 6.5 0.00 42.5 4 42003. Subabul 42.76 5.68 1.07 49.29 1.2 39804. Rice husk 36.42 4.91 0.59 35.88 22.2 3000
3. Results and Discussions
3.1. The Effect of Temperature
Figure 2 shows the product gas compositions and gross calorific value for Sawdust gasification without steam.The CO and H
2
are increases with increase in temperature. CO
2
, H
2
O and CH
4
are decrease with increase intemperature. Figure 3 shows the product gas compositions and gross calorific value for Sawdust with air and
O H  H coe
 y P  y y K 
22
2
=
 H CH e
 P  y y K 
23
24
=
 RT G K 
e
0
ln
Δ=
∫ 
+Δ=Δ
=
 pinii R R R
 R
dT n H  H 
1
)()(
42
)(
cCH cH cCOccoal  R R
 H  H  H  H  H 
ΔΔΔΔ=Δ
∫ 
+Δ=
=
 pinii R R
 R
dT n H 
1
)(0

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