A novel solar process and reactor for thermochemical conversion of biomass to synthesis gas is described. The concept is based on dispersion of biomass particles in a molten inorganic salt medium and, simultaneously, absorbing, storing and transferring solar energy needed to perform pyrolysis reactions in the high-temperature liquid phase. A lab-scale reactor filled with carbonates of potassium and sodium was set up to study the kinetics of fast pyrolysis and the characteristics of transient heat transfer for cellulose particles (few millimeters size) introduced into the molten salt medium. The operating conditions were reaction temperatures of 1073–1188 K and a particle peak-heating rate of 100 K/sec. The assessments performed for a commercial-scale solar reactor demonstrate that pyrolysis of biomass particles dispersed in a molten salt phase could be a feasible option for the continuous, round-the-clock production of syngas, using solar energy only.
Solar Gasification of Biomass: A Molten Salt Pyrolysis Study
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division July 2003; final revision February 2004. Associate Editor: A. Steinfeld.
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Adinberg, R., Epstein, M., and Karni, J. (July 19, 2004). "Solar Gasification of Biomass: A Molten Salt Pyrolysis Study ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2004; 126(3): 850–857. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1753577
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