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On the role of potassium as a tar and soot inhibitor in biomass gasification
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy, Biorefinery and Energy. Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1806-4187
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 254, article id 113488Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The work investigates in a drop tube furnace the effect of potassium on carbon conversion for three different types of fuels: an ash lean stemwood, a calcium-rich bark and a silicon-rich straw. The study focuses on an optimal method for impregnating the biomass with potassium. The experiments are conducted for 3 different impregnation methods; wet impregnation, spray impregnation, and dry mixing to investigate different levels of contact between the fuel and the potassium. Potassium is found to catalyse both homogenous and heterogeneous reactions. All the impregnation methods showed a significant effect of potassium on heterogeneous reactions (char conversion). The fact that dry mixing of potassium in the biomass shows an effect reveals the existence of a gas-induced mechanism that supply and distributes potassium on the char particles. Concerning the effect of potassium on homogenous reactions, it is found that potassium in the gas phase leads to much lower yields of C2 hydrocarbons, heavy tars and soot. The results indicate that potassium reduces the likelihood of light aromatic to progress toward heavier polyaromatic hydrocarbons clusters, thereby inhibiting the formation of soot-like material. A moderate interaction between the added potassium and the inherent ash forming elements is also observed: Potassium has a smaller effect when the fuel is naturally rich in silicon. The combined results are of interest for the design of a gasification process that incorporates recirculation of naturally occurring potassium to improve entrained flow gasification of biomass. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2019. Vol. 254, article id 113488
Keywords [en]
Alkali, Biomass, Gasification, Potassium, Soot, Tar
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-39842DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.113488Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070904380OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-39842DiVA, id: diva2:1356526
Note

Funding details: Energimyndigheten, 43207-1; Funding details: Kempestiftelserna; Funding text 1: We thank the Swedish Energy Agency for supporting this work through “catalytic entrained flow gasification of biomass (project number: 43207-1)”, and the Kempe Foundation for the financial support to construct the equipment. The authors would also like to express their gratitude to Ali Hedayati and Maria Roudiouchkina for their invaluable help with the SEM/EDS analysis.

Available from: 2019-10-01 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-10-01Bibliographically approved

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