Biomass Gasification is a relatively new technology able to convert any kind of biomass energy with lower heat values, such as the wastes from cultivation, forests and organic wastes in to combustible gas. Then this gas is fed to a generator that generates electricity.
The utilization of renewable energy sources can offer numerous environmental benefits, and provides sustainable power which can be used in industry and other utilities. This type of gasification can offer market for dedicated energy crops, and the needed energy for the generation of power; therefore, it offsets and reduces the need for other types of fuel, such as fossil fuel. Utilization of biomass can offer an alternative method of power generation, which is also much more cost effective.
Using biomass gasification for power generation can be a plausible solution to several issues, such as the environmental pollution, the renewable energy and the organic wastes. This is the reason why the technology of biomass gasification has been attracting increasingly more applications and research. Although new, this technology has been continuously optimized.
Gasification for power generation can be realized in three ways. Here they are in short:
- The fuel gas which is produced with this type of gasification is directly put in to a boiler, which produces steam. The steam is redirected to a steam turbine, which is able to generate electricity.
- The clean gas can drive a pertinent turbine in order to generate electricity- The clean gas can drive a gas engine in order to create power
Biomass gasification is a thermo-chemical process which has the potential to convert lingo-cellulosic biomasses in to gas or liquid intermediate, which is the proper material for further refining to valuable products. Today, the technologies that use gas engines for the gasification usually get wide acceptance and applications, due to their rather small capacity.
The main advantages of this process are the low investment, the nimble arrangement, the reliable techniques used, the low costs, and the overall compact structure. Moreover, this type of gasification demands simple operation and low maintenance costs, as well as lower demands for gas quality. Gasification, more than combustion, can be more environmentally effective, and offers additional operational advantages; it is a very reliable way to use the produced gas in fuel cells.
The power plant needed in this case depends on the economics of the gasification process and its logistics, as well as the feedstock that might be utilized. The commercial fuel cell power plants are usually planned in the two to three MW range, which can also be used for the gasification at the same range. Large plants can be configured by multiples on the particular plant, but larger plants are also desirable.
Gasification rely on a chemical process which takes place at high temperatures, more than 700C; this is what distinguishes this process from any other biological process, such the anaerobic digestion which is used to produce biogases. In general all types of organic materials can play the role of raw materials for the gasification, such as plastic wastes, wood and biomass.