Torrefaction is a promising biomass upgrading technology as it makes biomass more coal alike and offers benefits in logistics and handling operations. Gasification is an attractive thermochemical conversion technology due to its flexibility in the product gas end-uses. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate whether additional benefits are foreseen when torrefaction is coupled with gasification. Therefore, two commercial torrefied wood fuels and their parent materials are gasified at 800–850 °C under atmospheric steam-oxygen circulating fluidized bed gasification conditions and magnesite as bed material. The torrefied feedstocks consisted of wood residues torrefied by Topell at 250 °C (Topell black), and mixed wood and wood residues torrefied by Torrcoal at 300 °C (Torrcoal black). The gasification results show that torrefaction resulted in an increased gas quality, as it yielded higher H2 and CO contents, a decrease of the CO2 content, increased gas yield and a significant decrease of the total tar content for both feedstocks. For the Torrcoal samples, torrefaction resulted in a decrease in the carbon conversion efficiency (CCE). In addition, the cold gas efficiency (CGE) remained approximately the same due to the increase in the H2 and CO contents. The Topell samples showed an increase in the CCE and CGE upon torrefaction, but this could be attributed to a significant grinding in the screw feeder. It is generally concluded that both torrefied fuels may offer benefits as a feedstock for steam-oxygen blown circulating fluidized bed gasification, in particular in terms of gas quality and yield.
- Circulating fluidized bed