Gasification of coal, biomass, and other carbonaceous materials for high-quality syngas production is considered using concentrated solar energy as the source of high-temperature process heat. The solar reactor consists of two cavities separated by a SiC-coated graphite plate, with the upper one serving as the radiative absorber and the lower one containing the reacting packed bed that shrinks as the reaction progresses. A 5-kW prototype reactor with an 8 cm-depth, 14.3 cm-diameter cylindrical bed was fabricated and tested in the High-Flux Solar Simulator at PSI, subjected to solar flux concentrations up to 2300 suns. Beech charcoal was used as a model feedstock and converted into high-quality syngas (predominantly H2 and CO) with packed-bed temperatures up to 1500 K, an upgrade factor of the calorific value of 1.33, and an energy conversion efficiency of 29%. Pyrolysis was evident through the evolution of higher gaseous hydrocarbons during heating of the packed bed. The engineering design, fabrication, and testing of the solar reactor are described.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
Experimental Investigation of a Packed-Bed Solar Reactor for the Steam-Gasification of Biomass Charcoal
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Piatkowski, N, Wieckert, C, & Steinfeld, A. "Experimental Investigation of a Packed-Bed Solar Reactor for the Steam-Gasification of Biomass Charcoal." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer, Fluids Engineering, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences. ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 2. Jacksonville, Florida, USA. August 10–14, 2008. pp. 355-360. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2008-54118
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