Featured Projects

“Bio-oil production and upgrading, and its combustion characteristics”

Naoko Ellis, Kevin Smith and Patrick Kirchen

Single cylinder diesel research engine used to evaluate bio-fuels

Single cylinder diesel research engine used to evaluate bio-fuels

This research is focused on the production of high quality liquid fuels by upgrading pyrolysis oils derived from BC biomass, and determining the engine performance characteristics of the upgraded oils.

The pyrolysis of pelletized BC softwood using a fluidized bed reactor operated at 500 ºC is being investigated. Bio-oil production rates and oil quality as a function of process conditions are being determined. Upgrading of the produced bio-oil by catalytic hydrodeoxygenation, with a focus on identifying catalysts and process conditions to obtain high quality fuels is also being investigated. Finally, the engine performance characteristics of the upgraded bio-oil is being investigated. The combustion and emission characteristics of the upgraded bio-oil (and blends) are being assessed in a single cylinder research engine. The bio-fuel is being contrasted to conventional diesel fuel to highlight its advantages, provide mechanistic descriptions for the differing performances and to elucidate potentials for further refinement.

 

 

“Allothermal biomass steam gasification in dual fludized bed gasifiers for high quality syngas production”

Xiaotao Bi, John Grace, Jim Lim, Naoko Ellis, Paul Watkinson

 

Dual fluidized bed gasification pilot plant at the Pulp and Paper Centre, UBC.

Dual fluidized bed gasification pilot plant at the Pulp and Paper Centre, UBC.

A unique dual fluidized bed gasification pilot plant, consisting of a bubbling fluidized bed gasifier and a CFB riser char combustor, has been designed, fabricated, commisioned for biomass steam gasification to produce high qualtiy syngas. This state-of-the-arts dual-bed unit has also attracted several other projects, including catalytic combustion, chemical loop gasification for in-situ carbon capture, catalytic tar cracking etc.

In the allothermal steam gasification of biomass, the biomass is fed into the bubbling bed gasifier with sand/catalyst as the bed material and gasified at 750~850°C by steam. The gasification residue bio-char mixed with sand is circulated into the riser and combusted by air, and the heat generated from the combustion heats up the sand/catalyst which is returned to the gasifier to support the endothermic steam gasificaiton process. Stable production of high quality syngas of rich H2 and CO, low N2 content and high heating value, has been successfully achieved. Experimental tests are now focused on improving the sysmtem performance and duability, characterizing the hydrodynamics, heat and mass balances for different feedstocks, catalysts under different operating conditions. A noval in-situ solid circulation measurement technique has been devised and demonstrated to support the development of a reactor model for simulation and reactor scaling. In parallel, new catalyst for catalytic tar removal has been under development in a bench scale fixed reactor system and will be incorporated into the pilot gasifier for evaluation and demonstration.