Influence of in-bed catalysis by ash-coated olivine on tar formation in steam gasification of biomass
Journal article, 2018
The use of catalytic bed materials has become a state-of-the-art solution to control the concentration of tar in fluidized bed biomass steam gasifiers. Ash-coated olivine is commonly applied as bed material, owing to its relatively high catalytic activity towards tar species. However, the mechanisms and conversion pathways influenced by the ash-coated olivine when applied as an in-bed catalyst are still not well understood. The present work aims at proving that the ash-layered olivine prevents the formation of biomass-derived tar at an early stage of their formation. Tests with olivine at different stages of activation and at different temperatures are carried out in the Chalmers 2-4MWth DFB gasifier. Detailed characterization of the tar and light hydrocarbon fractions are presented and discussed in relation to the sources of aromatic species. It is concluded that the ash-coated olivine prevents the formation of aromatic tar species by promoting the steam reforming of early tar precursors. Gas-phase interactions of the early tar precursors and bed material contribute to the tar reduction observed. The results indicate that olivine interferes the cyclization routes involving C2H2 and C3 hydrocarbons.