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The Effect of Biomass Physical Properties on Top-Lit Updraft Gasification of Woodchips

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, Apartado 0819-07289, El Dorado, Panamá City, Panama
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7625, Raleigh 27695, NC, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas E. Amidon
Energies 2016, 9(4), 283;
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
The performance of a top-lit updraft gasifier affected by biomass (pine wood) particle size, moisture content and compactness was studied in terms of the biochar yield, biomass burning rate, syngas composition and tar content. The highest biochar yield increase (from 12.2% to 21.8%) was achieved by varying the particle size from 7 to 30 mm, however, larger particles triggered tar generation that reached its maximum of 93.5 g/m3 syngas at 30-mm biomass particles; in contrast, the hydrogen content in syngas was at its minimum of 2.89% at this condition. The increase in moisture content from 10% to 22% reduced biochar yield from 12% to 9.9%. It also reduced the tar content from 12.9 to 6.2 g/m3 which was found to be the lowest range of tar content in this work. Similarly, the carbon monoxide composition in syngas decreased to its minimum of 11.16% at moisture content of 22%. Finally, the biomass compactness increased biochar yield up to 17% when the packing mass was 3 kg. However, the addition of compactness also increased the tar content in syngas, but little effect was noticed in syngas composition. View Full-Text
Keywords: top-lit updraft; biochar; syngas; biomass; gasification; tar top-lit updraft; biochar; syngas; biomass; gasification; tar
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James R., A.M.; Yuan, W.; Boyette, M.D. The Effect of Biomass Physical Properties on Top-Lit Updraft Gasification of Woodchips. Energies 2016, 9, 283.

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