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Gasification of biomass in supercritical water, challenges for the process design—lessons learned from the operation experience of the first dedicated pilot plant

Boukis, Nikolaos; Stoll, I. Katharina

Gasification of organic matter under the conditions of supercritical water (T > 374 °C, p > 221 bar) is an allothermal, continuous flow process suitable to convert materials with high moisture content (<20 wt.% dry matter) into a combustible gas. The gasification of organic matter with water as a solvent offers several benefits, particularly the omission of an energy-intensive drying process. The reactions are fast, and mean residence times inside the reactor are consequently low (less than 5 min). However, there are still various challenges to be met. The combination of high temperature and pressure and the low concentration of organic matter require a robust process design. Additionally, the low value of the feed and the product predestinate the process for decentralized applications, which is a challenge for the economics of an application. The present contribution summarizes the experience gained during more than 10 years of operation of the first dedicated pilot plant for supercritical water gasification of biomass. The emphasis lies on highlighting the challenges in process design. In addition to some fundamental results gained from comparable laboratory plants, selected experimental results of the pilot plant “VERENA” (acronym for the German expression “experimental facility for the energetic exploitation of agricultural matter”) are presented.

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000131063
Veröffentlicht am 01.04.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Katalyseforschung und -technologie (IKFT)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2227-9717
KITopen-ID: 1000131063
Erschienen in Processes
Verlag MDPI
Band 9
Heft 3
Seiten 1-17
Schlagwörter supercritical water; biomass; gasification; process design
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
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