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Study of biomass powders in the context of thermal recovery processes

Abstract : Some power generation processes require the biomass to be finely ground, such as biomass gasification in entrained flow reactors. However, fine biomass powders are cohesive and present flow issues. This thesis aims to study the biomass powder flowability in the context of the entrained flow gasification process. Biomass powders are characterized both at laboratory scale and pilot scale. Characterization at lab scale consisted of rotating drum measurements, shear tests and density measurements. First, a correlation is found between the cohesion (derived from shear tests), the powder density and the avalanche angle (derived from the rotating drum measurements). Thus, parameters difficult to get such as the cohesion can be obtained with easy to perform measurements. Then, the influence of moisture content on wood powder flowability has been assessed. No significant effect of the water content is found below 15 wt% (wet basis). Below 15%, as water is adsorbed in the biomass structure, the particles swell without being linked by liquid bridges. A wet granulation method is proposed. Biomass waste binders are added to the powder to form granules around 1 mm. The spherical shape lowers the interlocking phenomenon. The low size dispersity of the grains decreases the number of contact points between particles. An improvement of the flowability at lab scale is observed. An energetic study of the granulation process is proposed, showing the energy consumption can be as low as 12% of the biomass Lowest Heating Value. Thus, the process is potentially economically profitable. Finally, characterization at pilot scale is performed with a device mimicking the injection in an entrained flow reactor. The results show the essential roles in the injection step of both the spherical shape and the narrow size distribution of the particles. The positive effect of torrefaction and granulation on the flowability is highlighted.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02416658, version 1

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Clément Vanneste-Ibarcq. Study of biomass powders in the context of thermal recovery processes. Chemical and Process Engineering. Ecole des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018EMAC0019⟩. ⟨tel-02416658⟩

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