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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1734; doi:10.3390/en10111734

Supercritical Water Gasification of Biomass in a Ceramic Reactor: Long-Time Batch Experiments

1
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
2
Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Pontoppidanstræde 111, 9220 Aalborg Øst, Denmark
3
Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
4
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Conversion Technology and LCA of Renewable Resources, University of Hohenheim, Gerbenstrasse 9, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
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Abstract

Supercritical water gasification (SCWG) is an emerging technology for the valorization of (wet) biomass into a valuable fuel gas composed of hydrogen and/or methane. The harsh temperature and pressure conditions involved in SCWG (T > 375 °C, p > 22 MPa) are definitely a challenge for the manufacturing of the reactors. Metal surfaces are indeed subject to corrosion under hydrothermal conditions, and expensive special alloys are needed to overcome such drawbacks. A ceramic reactor could be a potential solution to this issue. Finding a suitable material is, however, complex because the catalytic effect of the material can influence the gas yield and composition. In this work, a research reactor featuring an internal alumina inlay was utilized to conduct long-time (16 h) batch tests with real biomasses and model compounds. The same experiments were also conducted in batch reactors made of stainless steel and Inconel 625. The results show that the three devices have similar performance patterns in terms of gas production, although in the ceramic reactor higher yields of C2+ hydrocarbons were obtained. The SEM observation of the reacted alumina surface revealed a good resistance of such material to supercritical conditions, even though some intergranular corrosion was observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: supercritical water gasification; SCWG; reactor; alumina reactor; ceramic reactor; biomass; syngas; bioenergy; reactor material supercritical water gasification; SCWG; reactor; alumina reactor; ceramic reactor; biomass; syngas; bioenergy; reactor material
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Castello, D.; Rolli, B.; Kruse, A.; Fiori, L. Supercritical Water Gasification of Biomass in a Ceramic Reactor: Long-Time Batch Experiments. Energies 2017, 10, 1734.

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