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Title: Process intensification in syngas production and cleaning
Authors: Mohamed, Abdulaziz Hemmali
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The aim of this work was to develop an intensified syngas cleaning system for different applications of the cleaned gas. The main target of syngas cleaning is the destruction of tars although the removal of heavy metals is also important. The syngas cleaning strategies include water scrubbing followed by further cleaning and moisture reduction, low temperature capture of tars and destruction of tars at high temperatures preferably at the gasifier exit temperature. In the present study, initially a novel downdraft intensive 50kWe air-blown auto-thermal gasifier was used for the gasification of refinery sludge indicating that refinery sludge could be gasified with low levels of tar as a result of catalytic tar cracking during gasification since refinery sludge initially contained large amounts of catalytic rare earth elements. It contained tar and particulate matter of less than 90 ± 6.0 mg/Nm3 and calorific value of 3.71 ± 0.4 MJ/Nm3 (wet gas), which is sufficient for power generation using an internal combustion engine (ICE). Gas composition, tar content and heat content of the produced gas were determined. Results were compared with those obtained with wood chips (reference feedstock). In the development of intensified syngas cleaning systems, we used a model syngas (carbon dioxide) and model tar (crude oil). A new/novel, multi-functional tar removal rig was designed and fabricated. It can be used as a water scrubber or for tar removal under electric field in the absence or presence of biphilic (both hydrophilic to adsorb water and lipophilic to adsorb tars) adsorbents in the form of functionalized PolyHIPE Polymers (PHPs). These PHPs were produced, functionalized and characterized using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and surface area analysis (SAA) and then used in the form of packed bed for the adsorption of model tars from model syngas. According to the literature, using the syngas in a power production application, the tar concentration in syngas needs to be less than 100 mg/Nm3 which requires particle and tars reduction efficiencies of 90 % for a satisfactory operation of an Internal Composition Engine (ICE) using syngas produced in a downdraft gasifier. vii Maximum tar removal efficiencies under the prevailing process conditions were: water scrubbing 45.9 ± 4.5 %; adsorption by the sulphonated PolyHIPE Polymers (s-PHP) 61.8 ± 2.5 %; high voltage application with conductive electrodes 97.5 ± 1.5 % at 25kV; and the combination of s-PHP with electric field resulted in 96.7 ± 1.9 % % tar removal efficiency. The advantage of high voltage gas cleaning is that it can be used at high temperatures and that no other material is used as adsorbent which requires regeneration once they are saturated with tar, etc. Finally, another electrical method was designed to crack the model tars using plasma induced catalytic conversion. The results indicate that hydrocarbon profile of crude oil in the model syngas shifted towards low carbon number.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

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