Gasification

Gasification is the conversion of a solid fuel, such as biomass, into a gaseous fuel.

The gas produced can be:

  • used as a fuel elsewhere;
  • converted to other fuels such as hydrogen or used as a synthesis gas for the manufacture of chemicals; or
  • used immediately for combustion on-site for combined heat and power production.

Renergi's Gasification Technology has been developed by the team led by John Curtin Distinguished Professor Chun-Zhu Li in the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute at Curtin University.

Following a successful pilot plant, a 100 kg/hr demonstration plant has been designed, built and recently commissioned with funding from ARENA.

A key feature of this technology is the use of char as a catalyst (or char-supported catalyst) to catalytically reform tar into a clean gas. This eliminates the need to use a liquid (e.g. water or biodiesel) to scrub the gasification product gas. With this novel technology, we can achieve levels of tar content well below 100mg per cubic metre.

Another important feature of this technology is its compact design, making it particularly suitable for combined heat and power (CHP) generation in distributed mode. It can accept a wide range of biomass as its feedstock.

By minimising volatile-char interactions, Renergi's technology can achieve rapid gasification even at relatively low temperature and atmospheric pressure, greatly reducing the capital and operating costs.

Our technology also incorporates advanced energy recuperation principles to further increase the energy efficiency.

 

Related recent literature:

Patents:

  • C.-Z. Li, L. Dong and R. Gunawan, Process and apparatus for cleaning raw product gas, PCT/AU2014/001135.
  • C.-Z. Li, R. Gunawan and L. Dong, Apparatus for pyrolysing carbonaceous material, PCT/AU2014/001137.
  • C.-Z. Li, H. Wu, M. Asadullah and S. Wang. A method of gasifying carbonaceous material and a gasification system, PCT/AU2011/000936.

Papers:

  • L. Zhang, T. Li, D. Quyn, L. Dong, P. Qiu and C.-Z. Li, Structural transformation of nascent char during the fast pyrolysis of mallee wood and low-rank coals, Fuel Processing Technology, 2015, in press (accepted 4 May 2015).
  • L. Zhang, T. Li, D. Quyn, L. Dong, P. Qiu and C.-Z. Li, Formation of nascent char structure during the fast pyrolysis of mallee wood and low-rank coals, Fuel, 2015, 150, 486-492.
  • Y. Song, J. Xiang, S. Hu, D.M. Quyn, Y. Zhao, X. Hu, Y. Wang and C.-Z. Li, Importance of the aromatic structures in volatiles to the in-situ destruction of nascent tar during the volatile-char interactions, Fuel Processing Technology, 2015, 132, 31-38.
  • Y. Song, Y. Wang, X. Hu, J. Xiang, S. Hu, D. Mourant, T. Li, L. Wu and C.-Z. Li, Effects of volatile-char interactions on in-situ destruction of nascent tar during the pyrolysis and gasification of biomass. Part II. Roles of steam. Fuel, 2015, 143, 555-562.
  • Y. Song, Y. Wang, X. Hu, S. Hu, J. Xiang, L. Zhang, S. Zhang, Z. Min and C.-Z. Li, Effects of volatile-char interactions on in-situ destruction of nascent tar during the pyrolysis and gasification of biomass. Part I. Roles of nascent char, Fuel, 2014, 122, 60-66.
  • Z. Min, J.-Y. Lin, P. Yimsiri, M. Asadullah and C.-Z. Li, Catalytic reforming of tar during gasification. Part V. Decomposition of NOx precursors on the char-supported iron catalyst, Fuel, 2014, 116, 19-24.
  • Y. Wang, X. Hu, Y. Song, Z. Min, D. Mourant, T. Li, R. Gunawan and C.-Z. Li, Catalytic steam reforming of cellulose-derived compounds using a char-supported iron catalyst, Fuel Processing Technology, 2013, 116, 234-240.
  • S. Zhang, M. Asadullah, L. Dong, H.-L. Tay and C.-Z. Li, An advanced biomass gasification technology with integrated catalytic hot gas cleaning. Part II. Tar reforming using char as a catalyst or as a catalyst support, Fuel, 2013, 112, 646-653.
  • C.-Z. Li, Importance of volatile-char interactions during the pyrolysis and gasification of low-rank fuels - A review, Fuel, 2013, 112, 609-623.
  • Y. Wang, X. Hu, D. Mourant, Y. Song, L. Zhang, C. Lievens, J. Xiang and C.-Z. Li, Evolution of aromatic structures during the reforming of bio-oil: Importance of the interactions among bio-oil components, Fuel, 2013, 111, 805-812.
  • L. Dong, M. Asadullah, S. Zhang, X.-S. Wang, H. Wu and C.-Z. Li, An advanced biomass gasification technology with integrated catalytic hot gas cleaning. Part I. Technology and initial experimental results in a lab-scale facility, Fuel, 2013, 108, 409-416.
  • Z. Min, S. Zhang, P. Yimsiri, Y. Wang, M. Asadullah and C.-Z. Li, Catalytic reforming of tar during gasification. Part IV. Changes in the structure of char in the char-supported iron catalyst during reforming, Fuel, 2013, 106, 858-863.
  • Z. Min, P. Yimsiri, S. Zhang, Y. Wang, M. Asadullah and C.-Z. Li, Catalytic reforming of tar during gasification. Part III. Effects of feedstock on tar reforming using ilmenite as a catalyst, Fuel, 2013, 103, 950-955.
  • S. Zhang, Z. Min, H.-L. Tay, Y. Wang, L. Dong and C.-Z. Li, Changes in char structure during the gasification of mallee wood: effects of particle size and steam supply, Energy & Fuels, 2012, 26, 193-198.
  • Y. Wang, X. Li, D. Mourant, R. Gunawan, S. Zhang and C.-Z. Li, Formation of aromatic structures during the pyrolysis of bio-oil, Energy & Fuels, 2012, 26, 241-247.
  • Z. Min, P. Yimsiri, M. Asadullah, S. Zhang and C.-Z. Li, Catalytic reforming of tar during gasification. Part II. Char as a catalyst or as a catalyst support for tar reforming, Fuel, 2011, 90, 2545-2552.
  • Z. Min, M. Asadullah, P. Yimsiri, S. Zhang, H. Wu, C.-Z. Li, Catalytic reforming of tar during gasification. Part I. Steam reforming of biomass tar using ilmenite as a catalyst, Fuel, 2011, 90, 1847-1854.
  • M. Asadullah, S. Zhang and C.-Z. Li, Evaluation of structural features of chars from pyrolysis of biomass of different particle sizes, Fuel Processing Technology, 2010, 91, 877-881.
  • M. Asadullah, S. Zhang, Z. Min, P. Yimsiri and C.-Z. Li, Importance of biomass particle size in structural evolution and reactivity of char in steam gasification, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2009, 48, 9858-9863.
  • D. M. Keown, X. Li, J.-i. Hayashi and C.-Z. Li, Evolution of biomass char structure during oxidation in O2 as revealed with FT-Raman spectroscopy, Fuel Processing Technology, 2008, 89, 1429-1435.
  • D. M. Keown, J.-i. Hayashi and C.-Z. Li, Effects of volatile-char interactions on the volatilisation of alkali and alkaline earth metallic species during the pyrolysis of biomass, Fuel, 2008, 87, 1187-1194.
  • D. M. Keown, J.-i. Hayashi and C.-Z. Li, Drastic changes in biomass char structure and reactivity upon contact with steam, Fuel, 2008, 87, 1127-1132.
  • D. M. Keown, X. Li, J.-i. Hayashi and C.-Z. Li, Characterisation of the structural features of char from the pyrolysis of cane trash using Fourier Transform-Raman spectroscopy, Energy & Fuels, 2007, 21, 1816-1821.
  • C.-Z. Li, Some recent advances in the understanding of the pyrolysis and gasification behaviour of Victorian brown coal, Fuel, 2007, 86, 1664-1683.

Renergi is a start-up private company established in 2012 to commercialise a suite of renewable energy technologies developed in the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. The current technology focus at Renergi include biomass gasification for distributed power and heat generation, biomass pyrolysis and refinery for the production of biochar, bio-oil and advanced biofuels, and co-firing of biomass with coal in the existing coal-fired power stations.

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