Woody biomass based gasification process development for SNG or hydrogen synthesis
In the recent years the main R&D objective of the Finnish gasification technology has been the production of transportation fuels from renewable forest biomass. The Finnish BTL process concept is based on oxygen-blown fluidised bed gasification, hot gas filtration and catalytic gas reforming followed by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and final refining to diesel fuel. The process is economically feasible only in a very large scale, at least 300 MW fuel input, and requires efficient energy integration to energy consuming processes, such as a paper mill or an oil refinery. Elsewhere in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden, the emphasis of the development has been on the indirect gasification process for synthetic natural gas (SNG) and BTL applications.
In this project the main objective is to study the technical and economical feasibility of 50 – 200 MW size range production of SNG, hydrogen or ultraclean fuel gas. The emphasis of the work is on the technical R&D work on the different steps of indirectly heated steam-blown gasification and gas cleanup processes, especially the cleanup of steam-blown gasification gas. The target process has investment and operating costs that are lower than in oxygen-blown gasification process.
The main applications or products of this process would be:
• SNG, suitable for pipeline distribution, utilization in NG applications
• Biohydrogen or hydrogen-methane gas mixture, for example for refineries
• Clean fuel gas for SOFC power plants
• Clean fuel gas for combined power production (for NG based IGCC plants, one option for future CCS-power plants)
• Clean medium-Btu gas for industrial process kilns.
On the other hand, the project also continues studies on the central not well-known phenomena that are common in all gasification processes. These include tar formation in fluidised bed gasification, tar behaviour in hot gas filtration and soot formation in gas reforming. In this way the project continues the work done in the earlier UCG (2004-2007) and UCGFunda (2007-2011) projects. The utilisation of the results is thus not limited only to SNG- or hydrogen -applications; also the development of the BTL-processes and gasification based waste utilisation processes will benefit the achieved results.
In this project basic know-how is created about indirectly heated steam gasification and the effects of the various process parameters:
• For gas quality
• For fuel conversion
• For the behaviour of the produced syngas in gas coolers, filters and in gas reforming unit
The aim is not to develop a new indirectly heated gasifier; instead we are going to study and evaluate the existing technology. The created know-how can be utilized generally in gasification process R&D and in the development and design of a new PDU-scale gasification process.
The project is divided into five tasks:
1. Indirect gasification and gas filtration
1.1 Indirect gasification
1.2 Hot gas filtration for indirect gasification
2. Gas reforming
2.1 Externally heated steam reformer
2.2 Controlling the coking phenomenon
3. Gas ultracleaning and synthesis processes
4. Process evaluations
5. Business evaluations
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