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Development of Computer Control System for the Pilot Scale Fluidized Bed Biomass Gasification System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009877.(doi:10.13031/2013.30010)
Authors:   Amado Latayan Maglinao Jr., Sergio Canzana Capareda
Keywords:   Gasification, fluidized bed, control system.

A pilot scale fluidized bed biomass gasifier developed at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas was instrumented with thermocouples, pressure transducers and motor controllers for monitoring gasification temperature and pressure, air flow and biomass feeding rates. A process control program was also developed and employed for easier measurement and control The gasifier was then evaluated in the gasification of sorghum, cotton gin trash (CGT) and manure. The expected start-up time, operating temperature and desired fluidization were achieved without any trouble in the instrumented gasifier. The air flow rate was maintained at 1.99 kg/min and the fuel flow rate at 0.95 kg/min. The process control program considerably facilitated its operation which can now be remotely done. The gasification of sorghum, CGT and manure showed that they contained high amounts of volatile component matter and comparable yields of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. Manure showed higher ash content while sorghum yielded lower amount of hydrogen. Their heating values and gas yields did not vary but were considered low ranging from only 4.09 to 4.19 MJ/m3 and from 1.8 to 2.5 m3/kg, respectively. The production of hydrogen and gas calorific values were significantly affected by biomass type but not by the operating temperature.

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