Biomass is a fuel of increasing interest in power generation since it is clean and renewable. Besides conventional power generating systems biomass fuel will be utilized in Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plants in the near future.
Carbona Inc. (the successor to Enviropower Inc.) is commercializing a biomass fueled IGCC system. This system is based on a simplified IGCC process which applies the gasification technology originally developed by the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) and further developed by Enviropower before licensing the technology to Carbona and an advanced hot gas clean-up system.
An extensive pilot test program has been carried out by Enviropower/Carbona covering all aspects of a biomass based gasification process. More than 5000 tons of different biomass feedstocks have been gasified at the pilot plant in Tampere, Finland. The pilot plant converts 15 MW (51 MMBtu/h) thermal input of fuel to product gas. Several biomass qualities/mixtures have been used during the test runs including hard wood, soft wood with and without branches, needles and bark. Short rotation biomass like willow and alfalfa have also been tested.
This paper concentrates on the results and differences in gasification of different biomass materials with special emphasis on the suitability of product gas for gas turbines, the fate of ammonia, vapor phase alkali metals and air toxics. The development of demonstration projects is also discussed in this paper.