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ECN publication
Comparing direct and indirect fluidized bed gasification: Effect of redox cycle on olivine activity
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass & Energy Efficiency 26-8-2013
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--13-034 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy (Wiley InterScience (, , , Vol., p.-.

Fluidized bed gasification processes are generally considered a good choice for biomass and waste because of its fuel flexibility. Furthermore, it is a relatively low-temperature highly efficient process operating at 700-900°C compared to e.g. coal-based entrained flow processes that mostly operate at 1400-1600°C. Indirect fluidized bed gasification is becoming increasingly popular for some applications due to the possibility of producing a N2-free gas without the need for an air separation unit, as well as complete conversion of the fuel. ECN has developed MILENA indirect gasification, in which gasification and combustion are physically separated, but both reactors are placed in the same vessel. This paper aims to compare the concepts of direct- and indirect (MILENA) fluidized bed gasification on the activity of olivine as bed material. With this purpose, oxidation/reduction cycles have been simulated in a direct gasifier in order to determine the effect of olivine pre-oxidation on its performance in terms of tar destruction and oxygen transport. Results show that olivine pre-oxidation mainly enhances the capacity of oxygen transport of the bed material, which further improves the catalytic effect of iron in olivine towards tar destruction. Oxygen transport capacity of olivine has been quantified as ER = 0.25 at the maximum initial CO2 peak, and it has been estimated that 20-25% wt. of iron in olivine is able to transfer oxygen. On the other hand, it has been found that MILENA operating conditions are equivalent to the point of initial maximum peak of CO2 in the devolatilization stage. This means that oxygen transport capacity of olivine is kept at its maximum due to the continuous combustion/gasification cycles, and olivine is kept activated by cyclical migration of iron into the surface and subsequent fast reduction.

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