Thermodynamic Modeling of Allothermal Steam Gasification in a Downdraft Fixed-bed Gasifier
Musinguzi, Wilson B.
Okure, Mackay A.E.
Silva, Izael Da
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A process of converting a solid carbonaceous fuel into a gaseous energy carrier in presence of a gasifying medium at high temperature is called gasification. The resulting gaseous energy carrier, known as producer gas, is more versatile in its use than the original solid fuel. Gasification is widely considered as a more efficient and less polluting initial thermochemical upstream process of converting biomass to electricity. The objective of this study was to investigate the process of allothermal steam gasification in a fixed-bed downdraft gasifier for improved quality (HHV, high hydrogen content) of the producer gas generated. The study involved thermodynamic equilibrium modeling based on equilibrium approach in which the concentrations of the gaseous components in the producer gas at equilibrium temperature are determined based on balancing the moles in the overall gasification equation. The results obtained suggest that the maximum equilibrium yield of producer gas with high energy density is attained at a gasification temperature of around 820oC and a steam/biomass ratio of 0.825 mol/mol. The equilibrium yield was richer in hydrogen at 52.23%vol, and with a higher heating value of 11.6 MJ/Nm3. Preliminary validation of the model results using experimental data from literature shows a close relationship. The study has further shown the advantage of using steam as a gasifying medium towards the improved quality of the producer gas generated.