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A short overview on purification and conditioning of syngas produced by biomass gasification: Catalytic strategies, process intensification and new concepts

Richardson Y., Blin J., Julbe A.. 2012. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 38 (6) : p. 765-781.

DOI: 10.1016/j.pecs.2011.12.001

Application of the process intensification concept to biomass gasification is relatively recent, but is arousing growing interest by providing true opportunities for developing cost-effective high quality syngas, particularly for small to medium-scale installations, adapted to the economic context of most regions in the world. In this highly swarming context towards process intensification, this article provides an overview of the different strategies which are reported in the literature to perform syngas or H2 purification and conditioning into the gasifier. A promising avenue towards process intensification consists in integrating several functionalities into suitable fluidized bed gasifiers, such as catalytic tar cracking/reforming, CO2 elimination, H2 separation and the elimination of particles and other contaminants. The development of new catalytic integrated gasification concepts is also proposed to achieve high conversion performances while pursuing significant process intensification. This strategy is illustrated by relevant examples such as the design of short contact time partial oxidation catalytic reactors, the implementation of specific reaction media such as supercritical water or molten metal, or the realisation of a close contact between solid catalysts and lignocellulosic biomass. Most of these different technologies are not mature yet and research effort has to be performed for optimizing each of these approaches, calling for a multidisciplinary and multi-scale approach integrating catalysis, chemistry, reaction and process engineering. The design of new advanced gasification reactor concept still has to be pursued in order to achieve the challenging one-step production of a high quality syngas from biomass gasification. The implementation of such innovative biomass gasification breakthrough concepts could be one of the most promising ways of process intensification resulting in a significant cut down of the production costs of synthesis gas and H2 derived from biomass.

Mots-clés : biomasse; lignocellulose; gazéification; bioréacteur; catalyseur; efficacité

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