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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Plasma-Assisted Biomass Gasification with Focus on Carbon Conversion and Reaction Kinetics Compared to Thermal Gasification

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Lehrstuhl für Energieverfahrenstechnik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Fürther Str. 244f, 90429 Nürnberg, Germany
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Lehrstuhl für Technische Thermodynamik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, am Weichselgarten 8, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
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Siemens AG, Corporate Technology, Research on Energy and Electronics, Günther-Scharowsky-Str. 1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(5), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11051302
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Fields in Energy & Process Engineering)
Compared to conventional allothermal gasification of solid fuels (e.g., biomass, charcoal, lignite, etc.), plasma-assisted gasification offers an efficient method for applying energy to the gasification process to increase the flexibility of operation conditions and to increase the reaction kinetics. In particular, non-thermal plasmas (NTP) are promising, in which thermal equilibrium is not reached and electrons have a substantially higher mean energy than gas molecules. Thus, it is generally assumed that in NTP the supplied energy is utilized more efficiently for generating free radicals initiating gasification reactions than thermal plasma processes. In order to investigate this hypothesis, we compared purely thermal to non-thermal plasma-assisted gasification of biomass in steam in a drop tube reactor at atmospheric pressure. The NTP was provided by means of gliding arcs between two electrodes aligned in the inlet steam flow with an electric power of about 1 kW. Reaction yields and rates were evaluated using measured gas temperatures by the optical technique. The first experimental results show that the non-thermal plasma not only promotes the carbon conversion of the fuel particles, but also accelerates the reaction kinetics. The carbon conversion is increased by nearly 10% using wood powder as the fuel. With charcoal powder, more than 3% are converted into syngas. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-thermal plasma; wood gasification; charcoal gasification; water steam gasification; plasma stability; optical temperature measurement; carbon conversion; reaction kinetics; Arrhenius diagram non-thermal plasma; wood gasification; charcoal gasification; water steam gasification; plasma stability; optical temperature measurement; carbon conversion; reaction kinetics; Arrhenius diagram
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Pang, Y.; Bahr, L.; Fendt, P.; Zigan, L.; Will, S.; Hammer, T.; Baldauf, M.; Fleck, R.; Müller, D.; Karl, J. Plasma-Assisted Biomass Gasification with Focus on Carbon Conversion and Reaction Kinetics Compared to Thermal Gasification. Energies 2018, 11, 1302.

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