Microwave-driven plasma gasification for biomass waste treatment at miniature scale

Guido S J Sturm, Alex Navarrete Muñoz, A. Purushothaman Vellayani, Georgios D. Stefanidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
288 Downloads (Pure)


Gasification technology may combine waste treatment with energy generation. Conventional gasification processes are bulky and inflexible. By using an external energy source, in the form of microwave-generated plasma, equipment size may be reduced and flexibility as regards to the feed composition may be increased. This type of gasification may be combined with fuel cell technology to generate electricity for on-site microwave generation. In this paper, we present short gasification experiments with cellulose, as model biomass compound, in air plasma. In order to optimize reaction rates, gasification and plasma generation are combined in the same volume in order to expose the solids to plasma of maximum intensity. The heating value of the fuel gas yield exceeds, up to 84%, the net microwave energy transmitted into the reactor over a range of operating conditions. As the system has not been optimized, in particular regarding residence time, the results give confidence that this concept can eventually be developed into a viable small-scale decentralized gasification technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7438874
Pages (from-to)670-678
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Biomass
  • cellulose
  • microwave plasma
  • plasma gasification
  • waste.

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