Steam gasification of char from wood chips fast pyrolysis: Development of a semi-empirical model for a fluidized bed reactor application

Abstract : This study, performed in the context of GAYA project, focuses on the development of a simple predictive model about steam gasification of char from woodchips fast pyrolysis. A semi-empirical model was developed through experiments in a macro thermogravimetric analyzer which owns the peculiar ability of fast heating, as well as to deal with macro-size particles and higher mass loads compared to conventional TGA. The experimental results show that gasification is controlled by chemical kinetics and internal transfer phenomena. During gasification, char particles can be considered as isothermal in a given range of temperatures and particle sizes, more likely for low values. The gasification model was based on the effectiveness factor, which involves the chemical kinetics and diffusion rate. The chemical kinetics were expressed by a classical Arrhenius law, whereas empirical expressions from mathematical fitting of the experimental data were established for the diffusion coefficient and surface function. The diffusion coefficient from this work is suspected to probably include supplementary rate limiting phenomena, apart from steam porous diffusion, such as H2 inhibition and/or the decrease of temperature within char particles because of the endothermic character of gasification. The model globally predicts with accuracy the gasification rate in typical operating conditions of a fluidized bed reactor. For its simplicity and reliability, this approach can be used for the modelling of char gasification in the conditions of interest.
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S. Septien, Francisco Javier Escudero Sanz, Sylvain Salvador, S. Valin. Steam gasification of char from wood chips fast pyrolysis: Development of a semi-empirical model for a fluidized bed reactor application. Biomass and Bioenergy, Elsevier, 2015, 77, pp.64-74. ⟨10.1016/j.biombioe.2015.03.011⟩. ⟨hal-02088596⟩

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