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Biomass gasification under high solar heat flux

Abstract : Concentrated solar energy is as an alternative energy source to power the thermochemical conversion of biomass into energy or materials with high added value. Production of syngas from lignocellulosic biomass is an example, as well as the production of carbonaceous residues with controlled properties. This work focuses on the study of the behaviour of a thermally thick beech wood sample under high solar heat flux (higher than 1000 kW/m²). Two approaches have been undertaken at the same time: an experimental study and the development of a numerical model. Experiments have highlighted a specific behaviour of beech wood under high solar heat flux. Indeed, a char crater, symmetrical to the incident heat flux distribution, forms in the sample. This study has also shown that biomass initial moisture content has a strong impact on its behaviour. The dry sample can achieve an energetic conversion efficiency of 90 %, capturing up to 72 % of the incident solar power in chemical form. While, high initial moisture content samples produce more hydrogen, at the price of an energetic conversion efficiency around 59 %. Furthermore, tar thermal cracking and steam reforming are enabled by the temperatures reached (higher than 1200 °C) and the presence of water. Finally, wood fiber orientation has been shown to have only a minor impact on its behaviour. At the same time, a modelling of the coupled reactions, heat and mass transfers at stake during solar gasification was undertaken. The development of this model has highlighted the necessity to implement innovative strategies to take into account radiation penetration into the medium as well as its deformation by gasification. Numerical model predictions are in good agreement with experimental observations. Based on the model predicted behaviour, further understanding of biomass behaviour under high solar heat flux was derived. In addition, sensitivity analyses revealed that Arrhenius type models are not fitted for precise intra-particular water behaviour description and that the choice of the pyrolysis scheme is key to properly model biomass behaviour under high solar heat flux.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01255290, version 1

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Victor Pozzobon. Biomass gasification under high solar heat flux. Thermics [physics.class-ph]. Ecole des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015EMAC0004⟩. ⟨tel-01255290⟩

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