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Paper No.


Gasification of Two Biomass Fuels in Bubbling Fluidized


Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on

Fluidized Bed Combustion

May 16 - 19, 1999

Savannah, Georgia

Copyright ©1999 by ASME

Gasification of two Biomass Fuels in Bubbling Fluidized Bed

F. Miccio*
Istituto Ricerche sulla Combustione – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche IRC-CNR
via Metastasio 17, 80125 Napoli, Italy - Tel +39-81-5935379 - Fax +39-81-5931567
O. Moersch, H. Spliethoff, K.R.G. Hein
Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Dampfkesselwesen IVD-Universität Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 23 - 70550 Stuttgart, Germany - Tel. +49-711+6853565 - Fax. +49-711+6853491

ABSTRACT leading to a finer elutriable particulate, since the

residual fuel particle after the devolatilization
The gasification of two biomass fuels,
conserves a good mechanical resistance.
beech wood and a dry granular sewage sludge
from the Swiss Combi process, has been ex-
perimentally studied. The gasification was car- INTRODUCTION
ried out in a laboratory scale ABFB facility, op- The properties of the fuel particle play an
erated at steady state. The fuels have both a high important part during the conversion of fossil
content of volatile matters but differ principally and renewable fuels in bubbling fluidized beds.
for their ash content, which is approximately 1% Segregation phenomena can be ascribed to high-
and 56% in beech and sewage sludge, respec- volatile fuels because of the propensity of parti-
tively. The attention was focused on the pres- cles in course of devolatilization to move up to
ence of particulate and tar in the producer gas the bed surface [Fiorentino, 1997] with a veloc-
which affect the process efficiency and give ity depending principally, among various pa-
negative drawbacks in the utilization in motors rameters, on particle density. The conversion of
or turbines for power generation. The influence the residual char particle is strongly affected by
of operating variables (i.e. process temperature topological and mechanical properties, the diffu-
and equivalence ratio) on the gasification per- sion of reactants and products as well as the
formances was explored. Results show that the patterns of the associated comminution being
composition of the producer gas is quite inde- strictly related to such properties [Bhatia and
pendent of whatever fuel is gasified. As far as Perlmutter, 1981, Chirone et al., 1991]. High-
sewage sludge is concerned, process perform- ash fuels can be subjected to catalytic effects
ances are poorer and steady state operation is [Smoot and Smith, 1985]; consequently, the
difficult, because of the high elutriation rate of burnout time of particles drastically changes.
fines, the continuous increasing of the bed height The metal inclusions in ashes undergo vaporiza-
and the interaction between ash and bed materi- tion and successive condensation depending on
als. The tar yield was always high for both fuels. their volatility; the presence of certain species in
Unexpectedly, the gasification of a blend of two ashes could favor the sorption of such metals on
fuels gave a minimum tar yield, probably as- the particle surface instead of as aerosols [Cenni
cribed to a catalytic effect. A difference was et al., 1998]. Ashes could accumulate in the bed,
found comparing the comminution behavior of sinterize or interact with inert materials [An-
beech wood and dry sewage sludge. The former thony, 1995], leading to the generation of ag-
undergoes fragmentation with the generation of gregates or mineral deposits on the bed particle
relatively large, elutriable fragments; the latter surface and to the modification of the bed fluid-
is principally subjected to mechanical abrasion, dynamic.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed
The gasification represents a more effi- choice, when using biomass fuels having a simi-
cient and attractive process for power genera- lar composition on dry ash-free basis. This
tion from biomass with respect to the combus- means that the fate of volatiles, which represents
tion. In both environments, the particle devola- the major part of the combustible matters, and
tilization occurs under quasi similar conditions, the occurrence of homogeneous reactions are
because a reducing atmosphere due to pyrolysis quite independent of the properties of char par-
vapors involves the particle. Consequently, the ticles. It can also be expected that differences
knowledge about phenomena occurring during are found as far as the condensed phase behavior
devolatilization (e.g. the fuel segregation during (i.e. ash evolution, comminution phenomena,
this stage or the primary fragmentation) can be mechanism of chemical reaction and diffusion in
extended from combustion to gasification. On the char) is concerned. The comparison was
the contrary, since the residence time of the char pursued by focusing the attention on the quality
particle is much higher for gasification than for of the producer gas, the ash behavior, the tar
combustion, it can be expected that particle yield and the carbon elutriation, during gasifica-
properties during the char conversion stage act tion of single biomass fuels and their blend.
differently, depending on whether combustion or
gasification is carried out (e.g. comminution EXPERIMENTAL
phenomena could be emphasized under gasifica-
The experimental facility used to carry out
gasification tests is sketched in Fig. 1. Steady
The present work deals with the compari-
state operation is made possible by means of
son of the gasification behavior in a bubbling
external heating by electrical furnaces. The re-
fluidized bed of two biomass reference fuels,
action chamber consists of a bubbling fluidized
which have strong differences as far as ash con-
bed with an internal diameter of 108 mm and a
tent, ash composition and topological properties
125 mm ID freeboard section. The reactor is
of the fuel particle are concerned. The goal of
equipped with accessories and instrumentation
the paper is to ascertain that the composition of
to perform measurements of temperature, pres-
the producer gas, at the same operating condi-
sure, gas, tar and particulate concentrations
tions, does not change significantly with the fuel
during steady-state experiments of gasification.
A more detailed description of the facility, the
gas analysis
tar sampling
experimental technique and the procedure used
freeboard for the laboratory analyses can be found else-
135 mm ID
where [Miccio et al., 1998]. The tar concentra-
tion was measured by means of a quasi on-line
analyzer, designed and developed at the IVD,
University of Stuttgart [Moersch et al., 1998],
freeboard probe
(trace heated) ceramic candle filter which allows measurements every two minutes.
(trace heated)
Two fuels were used during gasification
2.8 m

air tests: a beech wood (BW) and a dry granular

5 heating zones sewage sludge (DSS). Table I shows physical
(3,8 kW each) screw feeder
and chemical properties of such fuels. The beech
wood originated from local forests; after a
fluidization column predrying stage, it was chopped to the desired
108 mm ID
size by means of a cutting mill. Beech wood is a
air typical ligneous biomass, with high-volatile and
bed material withdrawal electrical preheater (3,6 kW) low-ash content and a residual moisture ranging
gas distribution plate between 16 and 22%. The dry sewage sludge
was obtained from the Swiss Combi process by
Figure 1 - Experimental facility mechanical and thermal treatment of a raw sew-
Table I - Physical and chemical properties of biomass fuels
Fuel: Beech wood Dry sewage sludge
Density, kg m3 510 1830
Low heating value, MJ kg-1 18.38 7.85
Particle size range, mm 0-5 0-5
Particle size distribution
Average diameter, mm Cumulat. distr., % Cumulat. Distr., %
0.06 1.10 0
0.16 2.33 0
0.35 5.53 0
0.50 9.32 0
0.90 17.08 0
1.50 48.08 4.75
3.00 96.24 89.97
5.00 100.00 100.00
Proximate analysis
Moisture, % 16.0 - 22.0 4.68
Volatiles (dry basis), % 84.90 41.61
Ash (dry basis), % 1.03 56.11
Fixed carbon (dry basis), % 14.07 2.28
Ultimate analysis (dry basis), %
Carbon 50.40 20.42
Nitrogen 0.26 2.35
Hydrogen 7.21 3.18
Sulfur 0.00 0.61
Ash 1.03 56.11
Oxygen (by diff.) 41.10 17.33
Ash analysis (ash basis), %
Sodium 0.561
Potassium 1.121
Calcium 10.657
Magnesium 0.860
Aluminium 4.052
Silicium 19.071
Iron 5.235

age sludge. The final products are rather spheri- off (C), the latter two being produced by fast
cal granules (Fig. 2A), gray in color and uniform heating up to 800 °C in a muffle furnace. It ap-
in size. The dry sewage sludge is dust-free, not pears that there is not a significant change of
smelling and storable for a long period. Differ- shape and volume of the particle upon its con-
ently from beech wood, it presents a high ash version. Furthermore, the char particle (Fig. 2B)
content (56.11 %) and, consequently, the calo- shows an increased internal porosity with re-
rific value evaluated on mass basis is low spect to the raw granule (Fig. 2A); the porosity
(7.85 MJ/kg). The granules of dry sewage disappears in the exhausted particle (Fig 2C)
sludge have a fairly good mechanical resistance; because of ash fusion and re-arrangement during
the particle breaks if subjected to a compression char conversion.
stress - hand operated by means of a pencil - The granulometric distributions of both
approximately equal to 10 N and fragments can fuels are reported in Table I. The top particle
be rather easily pulverized. size was 5 mm in both cases; fines (i.e. lower
For dry sewage sludge, Fig. 2 reports than 1.0 mm) were retrieved only for beech
SEM pictures of a raw granule (A), a char parti- wood. A blend was prepared by mixing equal
cle (B) and an ash particle after complete burn- masses of both fuels. The feeding of such a
velocity Umf in air at the temperature of 800 °C
A was 11 cm/s and the expanded bed height
ranged between 80 and 90 cm.
The main operating variables of experi-
ments were the process temperature T and the
equivalence ratio λ, defined as the mass ratio
between the actual flow rate of the air and the
stoichiometric flow rate required for the fuel
combustion. The fluidization air was preheated
up to 500 °C. The reactor worked at fixed gas
velocities in the freeboard (i.e. 0.38 m/s). Con-
sequently, the undisturbed fluidization velocity
U was in the range 30 - 40 cm s-1 corresponding
to the beginning of the slugging regime for the
B given bed diameter and sand size.


Interaction between fuel ashes and bed

Upon gasification of beech wood there
was no evidence of accumulating ashes in the
bed or their interactions with quartz sand, up to
a temperature of 900 °C. On the contrary, nu-
merous ash skeletons were retrieved in dis-
charged materials, and sand particles turned
their color, from gray to red-brown, when dry
C sewage sludge was gasified. An appreciable in-
creasing of the bed height was also noted during
DSS gasification. The presence of ash skeletons
in discharged materials confirms that fuel parti-
cles do not undergo fragmentation phenomena
during stages of devolatilization and char con-
version, as already observed for the particles
converted in the muffle furnace (Fig. 2). Since
DSS granules have a residual mechanical resis-
tance upon their conversion and the fluidization
velocity is kept at relatively low values, the me-
chanical abrasion operated by bed materials on
Figure 2: SEM pictures of a raw granule (A), the particle surface, which is consumed by a
a char particle (B) and an ash particle after
shrinking particle mechanism, is not able to give
complete burn-off (C) for dry sewage sludge
a generation rate of elutriable fines comparable
to the mass rate of fuel ashes. Consequently,
blend in the reactor was proved to be sufficiently
ashes accumulate in the bed leading to the dilu-
steady and reliable.
tion of the original quartz sand with particles
The bed material was quartz sand with a
distributed over a wide range (from 150 to
narrow size range (0.40 - 0.60 mm) belonging to
2000 µm).
the B group of Geldart classification [Kunii and
Levenspiel, 1991]. The minimum fluidization
Table II - Results of AAS and SEM analyses for sand materials

Element Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry Surfacial Analysis

Fresh sand Fatigued sand ∆ Fresh sand Fatigued sand ∆

g/kg g/kg % g/kg g/kg %

Si 280.000 311.000 11 944.000 406.300 -57

Ca 1.500 15.000 900
Fe 2.215 9.223 316 3.400 77.200 2171
Al 8.400 12.100 44 31.000 107.300 246
K 12.900 9.000 -30 10.000 14.500 45
Mg 0.170 1.010 494 3.600 31.600 778
Na 0.830 1.310 58
Zn 0.007 0.200 2757
Cu 0.016 0.083 419

Laboratory analyses were performed on following the experimental procedure for the
samples taken from the bed in order to give a determination of the bed carbon load [Miccio et
confirmation of the deposition of elements from al., 1998]. In such a situation the bed tempera-
ashes over particle surface. Table II reports the ture increases over the set-point (up to 980 °C),
results of off-line analyses carried out by means the cooling of the bed in the actual reactor being
of atomic adsorption spectroscopy (AAS) and not possible, and the temperature of char parti-
surface analysis via scanning electron micro- cles increases with respect to bed temperature.
scope (SEM). The comparison between fresh
and fatigued sand (i.e. after approximately 10 Producer gas
hours of operation with dry sewage sludge at Table III reports the average results of
800 °C) shows that fatigued sand was particu- gasification tests operated using both fuels and
larly enriched of some elements which are pres- their blend (50% by weight). The concentration
ent in sewage sludge ashes, as reported in Tab. I of principal gaseous species on dry basis, the tar
(Ca, Fe and Mg). Their deposition occurred concentration in the producer gas, the carbon
along the particle surface, since the measured elutriation rates at the reactor exit (EC) and in
value of the area covered by Si in fatigued sand the freeboard (EC,fr) and the carbon load in the
drastically falls down in SEM analysis. Of bed are reported. The carbon elutriation rate is
course, the large deposition of iron oxides normalized with respect to the total carbon
(∆ = 317 % and 2171 % for AAS and SEM, feeding rate.
respectively) is responsible of the observed The quality of the producer gas (i.e. con-
change in sand color. centration of combustible species) is improved in
Aggregates with a size up to 40 mm were all cases by decreasing the equivalence ratio and
also retrieved in the bed after experiments car- increasing the process temperature. The com-
ried out at a temperature of 900 °C; such aggre- parison between the results of the two fuels
gates have a dark color and a porous structure shows that the hydrogen concentration attained
with a good mechanical resistance. Their forma- with dry sewage sludge is higher than that with
tion must be ascribed to the fusion of ashes beech wood, except in the case λ=0.35 and
and/or sintering of ash and bed materials, be- T=800 °C. The result can be explained taking
cause of the higher temperature during such into account that the ratio between volatiles and
tests. However, it is reasonable to suppose that fixed carbon is higher for DSS than for BW
the aggregates were produced at the end of the (18.25 and 6.03, respectively). As a conse-
gasification experiment, when the fuel feeding is quence, the role of homogeneous reactions is
switched off and the carbon in the bed is burned, more important during dry sewage sludge gasifi-
Table III - Experiments of biomass gasification

Operating conditions Results

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Equivalence Process CO2 CO H2 CH4 tar Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon
ratio temperature elutriation elutriation conversion load
exit freeboard in freeboard
- °C % % % % mg/m3 % % % g
Beech wood
0.15 800 17.9 18.6 14.8 6.2 14000 5.5 15.0 9.5 81
0.25 800 18.8 14.5 12.8 4.0 8200 3.8 6.2 2.4 37
0.35 800 19.2 11.4 10.8 3.0 4500 2.9 2.9 0.0 17
0.25 900 16.4 17.7 15.3 3.8 4970 2.2 3.6 1.4 19
Dry sewage sludge
0.15 800 16.0 13.5 19.7 2.2 11400 6.4 8.1 1.7 176
0.25 800 16.7 11.5 14.7 2.5 6860 5.4 7.9 2.5 104
0.35 800 17.5 9.6 9.0 2.9 2620 4.7 8.2 3.5 57
0.25 900 11.0 20.0 21.0 2.7 3750 3.9 5.0 1.1 81
Beech wood - dry sewage sludge blend
0.25 800 17.3 13.5 14.7 3.8 5540 5.3 6.4 1.1 81
0.25 900 13.5 19.0 19.0 2.5 3050 3.0 4.0 1.0 44

cation, leading to increased formation of hydro- large amount and Mg in traces, leading to en-
gen by cracking and partial oxidation of gaseous hance the cracking of tar species in the regions
hydrocarbons [Littlewood, 1977]. During gasifi- of the bed and freeboard. However, this effect is
cation of the biomass blend, the gas composition not able to drastically reduce the tar concentra-
is always at an intermediate level with respect to tion and principally operates on tar species from
BW and DSS gasification operated at the same beech wood pyrolysis, because the tar abatement
conditions. is less marked in the gasification of DSS alone.
The tar concentration in the producer gas
is high for both fuels and drastically decreases
with the equivalence ratio (Fig. 3) and the tem- Particle conversion
perature (Fig. 4). It is worth to note that dry Figures 5 and 6 report the dependence on
sewage sludge gasification results in a lower tar the equivalence ratio of the carbon elutriation
yield, in spite of the higher ratio between vola- rate and bed carbon load, respectively. Dry sew-
tiles and fixed carbon. Among various variables age sludge shows higher values of such vari-
influencing tar genesis, the different organic ables, if compared to beech wood. The differ-
structure of the fuel and the ash content could ence is more pronounced in the case of the bed
be considered. The former influences the nature carbon load, which always increases at least by
of vapors from the fuel pyrolysis resulting in the 100 %, when switching from BW to DSS gasifi-
generation of more refractory species when cation. Furthermore, the results are consistent
beech wood is pyrolyzed; the latter modifies the with the experimental findings of Donsì et al.
particle temperature and the duration of the de- [1978] for coal combustion, which show the
volatilization stage, which are known to influ- increasing of the carbon elutriation rate with the
ence the tar yield [Moersch, 1998]. The tar con- bed carbon load. The different fragmentation
centration with the biomass blend is unexpect- behavior of the two fuels could provide an inter-
edly lower than the values of BW and DSS at pretation of the large difference in the bed car-
both the temperatures of 800 and 900 °C bon load. A ligneous biomass, similar to beech
(Fig. 4). The experimental finding could be at- wood, has been characterized by Chirone et al.
tributed to a catalytic effect [Bridgewater, 1995] [1997], which demonstrated the occurrence of
operated by DSS ash, where Ca is present in a primary and percolative fragmentation, during

beech wood
dry sewage sludge
Tar concentration, mg m-3





0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4
Equivalence ratio

Figure 3: Tar concentration versus the equivalence ratio (T=800 °C)

combustion, with the consequent generation of beech wood gasification particles with a size
smaller fragments. DSS granules do not undergo larger than the upper detection limit of the appa-
fragmentation, conserving their original size and ratus (i.e. 564 µm) are collected at the cyclone.
shape during conversion. The larger the particle These particles must be very porous and light in
size, the higher the resistance to mass diffusion, order to be elutriable. Again, results reported in
the lower is the global kinetics of char gasifica- Fig. 7 confirm the main difference in the evolu-
tion. It is also known from literature [Smooth tion of the fuel particle during its conversion, as
and Smith, 1985] that the reactivity of carbona- far as comminution phenomena are concerned.
ceous particles appreciably decreases at a late The beech wood undergoes fragmentation (pri-
state of their conversion, because carbon is di- mary, secondary and percolative) because of the
luted in the ashes and the internal diffusion of absence of a coherent ash skeleton and the in-
gaseous reactants is more difficult. Similarly, the creasing porosity with the particle conversion.
high ash content of DSS represents an obstacle Elutriable particles of relatively large size are
to the gas diffusion; as a consequence, the in- produced in the bed via fragmentation and suc-
trinsic kinetics of the particle conversion is cessively separated by the cyclone. On the con-
lower than for low-ash fuels. In conclusion, the trary, the fines generation during dry sewage
bed carbon load increases, a longer time being sludge gasification is principally caused by the
required for the complete conversion of fuel mechanical abrasion along the external surface
particles in the bed. of the particle, leading to the formation of fines
Figure 7 reports the size distribution with smaller sizes.
measured by means of a Malvern equipment of Results of particle sampling by means of
powders collected at the cyclone (Fig. 7A) and the freeboard probe are also reported in Ta-
the ceramic filter (Fig. 7B). It clearly appears ble III in terms of the percent carbon elutriation
that the size of elutriated fines is shifted toward rate EC,F (col. 9) and percent carbon conversion
smaller diameters, passing from beech wood to in the freeboard (col. 10). The latter is the dif-
dry sewage sludge. Furthermore, during the ference between columns 9 and 8. The residence
Tar concentration, mg m -3








beech wood blend dry sewage sludge
Figure 4: Tar concentration as a function of the fuel type (λ=0.25)

time of gas in the freeboard is approximately

equal to 4 s for each test. Accordingly to meas- Ut =
( )
4d p ρ p − ρ g g
urements at reactor exit, EC,F decreases with an 3ρ g C D
increasing of the equivalence ratio, during gasi- In the equation ρp and ρg are the densities
fication of beech wood at 800 °C. The situation of the particle and gas, g is the gravity accelera-
is reversed in experiments with dry sewage tion and CD is a function or the particle Rey-
sludge gasified at the same temperature: EC,F nolds number. In turn, the particle residence
assumes a rather constant value (approximately time in the freeboard tp,F is calculated by Eq. 2,
8%), whatever λ may be. The carbon conversion being LF the length of the freeboard:
in the freeboard strongly decreases for BW tests LF
(from 9.5 to 0 %) and smoothly increases for t p, F = (2)
DSS tests (from 1.7 to 3.4 %), with an increas- U g ,F − U t
ing of the equivalence ratio. The difference in Assuming for BW char an apparent den-
the comminution behavior could partially explain sity of 300 kg m-3, from a comparison with data
the different trend of carbon conversion in the available in literature for a similar ligneous bio-
freeboard for biomass fuels under investigation. mass [Masi et al., 1997], and average particle
Since elutriated fines from beech wood have a sizes of 800, 400 and 200 µm, the terminal ve-
larger size dp (Fig. 7), the particle terminal ve- locity at 800 °C is equal to 1.76, 0.88 and
locity Ut in the freeboard could not be negligible 0.15 m s-1, respectively. It clearly appears that
with respect to the gas velocity Ug,F, leading to the terminal velocity is smaller than the gas ve-
increase the residence time of particles in the locity in the freeboard (i.e. 0.38 m/s) only in the
freeboard. The terminal velocity (Eq. 1) has last case. It is worth to note that the assumed
been evaluated following the procedure pro- value of ρp is referred to an unconverted bio-
posed by Kunii and Levenspiel (1991). mass char and the irregular shape of char parti-
cles is not taken into consideration, leading to
the overestimation of the terminal velocity.

beech wood
dry sewage sludge
Carbon elutriation rate, %

0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4
Equivalence ratio
Figure 5: Carbon elutriation rate versus the equivalence ratio (T=800 °C)

Anyway, the finding that the terminal velocity is bon conversion in the freeboard during beech
comparable with the gas velocity, leads to an wood gasification with respect to dry sewage
appreciable increasing of the residence time in sludge, in particular under unfavorable condi-
the freeboard, via Eq. 2. Furthermore, it is rea- tions of gasification.
sonable to suppose that the highest generation Finally, as far as results of the particle
rate of large fragments is obtained at λ=0.15, conversion are concerned, the blend fuel shows
i.e. under unfavorable conditions of gasification. an intermediate behavior with respect to the
Differently from beech wood, particles elutriated single fuels (Tab. 3). The results confirms the
during DSS gasification are smaller than 150 µm absence of mutual effects or interactions be-
(Fig. 7), corresponding to low values of the ter- tween the particles of different fuels (e.g. cataly-
minal velocity (e.g. Ut = 0.08 m/s at dp=80 mm sis by ashes), which can expected only if the fuel
and rp=1000 kg m-3) and the residence time of mixing is more intense and at the particle scale.
the particles is practically equal to that of the
gas. A further effort to explain the difference of
freeboard carbon conversion could be done
looking at the carbon content of elutriated fines.
This latter is much lower for dry sewage sludge
(< 5%) than for beech wood (approximately
50%), because of the huge ash content in char
particles of DSS. Again, elutriated fines which
leave the bed are less reactive for dry sewage
sludge than for beech wood [Smooth and Smith,
1985]. The cooperation of the above mentioned
factors, longer residence time and higher char
reactivity, leads to an enhancement of the car-

beech wood
dry sewage sludge
Bed carbon load, g




0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4
Equivalence ratio
Figure 6: Bed carbon load versus the equivalence ratio (T=800 °C)

CONCLUSIONS from beech wood pyrolysis. The phenomenon

represents an interesting aspect for further stud-
The gasification of two biomass fuels,
beech wood and dry sewage sludge, was carried
Carbon conversion and elutriation oc-
out rather smoothly in a bubbling fluidized bed
curred simultaneously during the gasification.
reactor. The quality of the producer gas is quite
Again, particle properties influence the commi-
independent of the fuel, achieving concentra-
nution behavior: for beech wood the generation
tions of combustible species which allow the
of coarse elutriable particles was prevalently
utilization for power production. The feeding of
operated by fragmentation paths. On the con-
a blend of such fuels was also tested, giving a
trary, dry sewage sludge was principally sub-
producer gas with intermediate properties with
jected to mechanical attrition, the granule having
respect to that of single fuels.
a coherent ash skeleton. As a consequence, size
For dry sewage sludge strong interactions
and shape of elutriated particles change signifi-
with bed materials were noted: accumulation of
ashes in the bed, deposition of mineral matters
Measurements of particulate concentration
on bed particles and sintering of ash and sand
and chemical analyses of the samples obtained in
with formation of relatively large aggregates.
the freeboard and at reactor exit showed that the
The tar yield was always high, whatever
carbon conversion in the freeboard is relevant,
fuel was gasified. Tar concentration for dry
under certain conditions, for beech wood. On
sewage sludge was lower than for beech wood,
the contrary, for dry sewage sludge, because of
confirming that tar genesis is sensitive to particle
the smaller residence time of elutriated particles
properties and to the chemical nature of the or-
and the lower char reactivity, the carbon conver-
ganic components. Unexpectedly, the gasifica-
sion in the freeboard is less sensitive to the
tion of the blend gave a minimum tar yield. The
equivalence ratio.
results could be explained by supposing a cata-
lytic effect of sewage sludge ashes on tar species
The author F. Miccio gratefully acknowl- Anthony, E.J. (1995), "Fluidized Bed Combus-
edges the Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung, tion of Alternative Solid Fuels; Status, Successes
Bonn (Germany) for the granting of a research and Problems of the Technology", Prog. Energy
fellowship at the IVD, University of Stuttgart, in Combust. Sci., Vol. 21, 239
which framework this research was carried out. Bhatia, S.K. and Perlmutter, D.D. (1981), "A
The authors are indebted to Ms. G. Lotsch, Ms. Random Pore Model for Fluid-Solid Reactions:
S. Mayer and Ms. A. Wöll of IVD for chemical Diffusion and Transport Effects", AIChE J., Vol.
analysis of samples. Ms. C. Zucchini of IRC- 27, p. 247
CNR is also acknowledged for SEM Bridgewater, A.V. (1995), "The Technical and
Economical Feasibility of Biomass Gasification for
Power Generation", Fuel, Vol. 74, p. 631


9 beech wood
dry sewage sludge
Size distribution, %

2 Cyclone

10 1 10 100 1000

9 B beech wood
dry sewage sludge
Size distribution, %


1 10 Particle size, µm 100 1000

Figure 7: Size distribution of collected fines at the cyclone (A) and the filter (B)
(λ=0.15 and T=800°C)
Cenni, R., Frandsen, F., Gerhardt, T., Spli-
ethoff, H., Hein, K.R.G. (1998), "Study on Metal
Species Partitioning along the Flue Gas Path in
Combustion of Bituminous Coal and Dry Sewage
Sludge", Proc. of 1998 Int. Conf. on Incineration &
Thermal Treatment Technologies, May 11-15 Salt
Lake City, Utah, p. 689
Chirone, R., Greco, G., Salatino, P. and Scala,
F. et al. (1997), "The Relevance of Comminution
Phenomena in the Fluidized Bed Combustion of a
Biomass (Robinia Pseudoacacia)", Proc. of 14th
ASME FBC Conference, Vol. 1, p. 145
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