Łukasz GOŚCINIAK* – Institute of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology, Plock, Poland
Please cite as: CHEMIK 2016, 70, 4, 209–218
The processes of biomass thermal conversion focused on generating energy and resources for chemicals syntheses are still a popular topic of scientific research around the world. They are perceived as a renewable and ecological source of resources for the various branches of chemistry and energy production, resulting in a unwavering attention for the technologies of e.g. biomass gasification .
The process of a gasification is carried out in order to obtain a gas consisting mainly of CO, CO2, H2, N2, H2O and CH4. It is a set of transformations taking place in the conditions of elevated temperature with the presence of a gasification agent (e.g. oxygen, air, steam or carbon dioxide), which results in acquiring the gas mentioned above from solid fuels. During the process of gasification both exothermic and endothermic reaction occur, and its simplified course can be described as follows [2-4]:
C + H2O (steam) = CO + H2 (endothermic)
C + CO2 = 2CO (endothermic)
C + O2 = CO2 (exothermic)
C + 2H2 = CH4 (exothermic)
CO + H2O = CO2 + H2 (exothermic)
CO + 3H2 = CH4 + H2O (exothermic)
Gas acquired in this way is known as the synthesis gas or the syngas, and it finds many uses in various branches of industry. It can be used as a resource for chemical synthesis (e.g. the Fisher- Tropsch process), the production of dimethyl ether or methanol, as well as a fuel for the water or steam boiler burner unit. Eventually, after foregoing a deep purification it can be burned in an engine or in a gas turbine. Syngas can also be used for the production of hydrogen or SNG (Substitute Natural Gas) – a gas with the properties of a natural gas [2-3].
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