Biomass residues from agriculture and agroindustry are suitable sources for the production of energy because they don’t compete with the food chain and they are produced cheaply. Their transformation into heat and power or energy vectors depends on morphology and composition. Shells of almonds and hazelnuts can be easily gasified in fixed beds because of their low fines content and high gas permeation. In this work we investigated the overall process performances and syngas composition, especially the H2
/CO ratio, by changing the air and steam supply. The tests were carried out in a pilot updraft gasifier having a capacity of treating up to 20–30 kg/h of biomass. Experimental data were worked out by surface response analysis as function of the equivalence ratios (ER) in relation to the complete combustion and water reaction. By using only air at ER(O2
) 0.24 the ratio H2
/CO in the syngas was 0.33 while adding steam at ER(H2
O) 0.28 the ratio reached a value of 1.0. The energy conversion efficiency from solid to gas and oils reached maximum values of 76% and 28%, respectively. As anticipated by TGA, hazelnut shells produced less organic volatiles and gas efficiency was generally higher than for almond shells.
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