Numerical Evaluation of Biochar Production Performance of Downdraft Gasifier by Thermodynamic Model

Donghoon Shin, Akhil Francis, P.V. Aravind, T. Woudstra, W. de Jong, D.J.E.M. Roekaerts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

A theoretical evaluation of the biochar production process using a biomass gasifier has been carried out herein. Being distinguished from the previous research trend examining the use of a biomass gasifier, which has been focused on energy efficiency, the present study tries to figure out the effect of biochar production rate on the overall process performance because biochar itself has now been given a spotlight as the main product. Biochar can be utilized for agricultural and industrial purposes, along with the benefit of climate change mitigation. A thermodynamic model based on chemical equilibrium analysis is utilized to demonstrate the effect of biochar production rate on the producer gas characteristics such as gas composition, LHV (lower heating value) and cold gas efficiency. Three gasifier models using chemical equilibrium model are reconstructed to simulate biochar-producing gasifiers, and seven kinds of biomass are considered as feed material. Depending on the assumptions applied to the models as well as the biomass types, the results of the simulation show a large variance, whereas the biochar yield rate increases. Through regression analysis with a generalized reduced gradient optimization method, simplified equations to estimate the cold gas efficiency (CGE) and LHV of producer gas of the biochar production process were derived as having six parameters of biomass LHV, fractions of ash, carbon and water, reduction zone temperature, and biochar yield rate. The correlation factors between the thermodynamic model and the regression model are 96.54% and 98.73% for the LHV of producer gas and CGE, respectively. These equations can supply the pre-estimation of the theoretical maximum performance of a planning biochar plant.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7650
Number of pages19
JournalEnergies
Volume15
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • biomass
  • biochar
  • downdraft gasifier
  • thermodynamic model
  • correlation equation

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