[Gasification] Power Pallet

Mark Ludlow mark at ludlow.com
Thu Jan 31 13:15:31 CST 2013

Perhaps it's time to consider the fate of scrubber water, laden with tars as
it is likely to be. Where does this stuff head to? Are we pretending that
it's some kind of new-age health remedy and bottling it for sale at the
Saturday Market? Or are we heating it slightly and running it through a
marine centrifuge and managing to recover the fuel value that the tars
represent and perhaps crack the tars with another trip through the gasifier?

Even a filter element poses the dilemma of "what do we do with the dirty
filters?" What's the customary method of recycling/disposal?


-----Original Message-----
From: Gasification [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On
Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:32 AM
To: 'Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification'
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Power Pallet

>yes, but remember that all that run these fuels to date are doing so by
tolerating a dirty gas non tar solving reactor, and fighting the tar problem
in the filtering.  on the low tech end this is nearly always a water
scrubbing system, which really just >moves the toxic problem somewhere else,
and actual real world running is highly unattractive.  yes, it will work for
the demo, but the ongoing issues with the bongwater cofferdam challenges
health, regulatory and general pleasurable >concerns.

Not so fast. You can't write off "tar making" gasifiers completely. While
your observation may be true for hundreds of low cost gasifiers now in use,
in the last five years I have seen three small scale gas cleaning systems
using wet scrubbers that would pass California air quality and safety
regulations. One is produced commercially and was demonstrated at the 300
kWe scale. Another was demonstrated at 300 KWe and used on a 1 MWe system.
One was demonstrated on a 100 kWe downdraft gasifier generating 100 kWe from
grass seed screenings. I know of another two in development for the 40 kWe
scale. (I also know of at least one that has failed miserably.) 

Tar making gasifiers may be a solution for some very difficult but abundant
fuel like rice husks and agricultural residues if the tars can be managed
and destroyed acceptably.  


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