A modelling based study on the integration of 10 MW<sub>th</sub> indirect torrefied biomass gasification, methanol and power production

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This work is focused on the process system modelling of an indirectly heated gasifier (10 MWth) using torrefied wood as feedstock and its integration with methanol and power production using Aspen Plus®. The modelling of the gasification process along with the obtained reaction kinetics were validated with experimental data found in literature. Different processing steps such as gasification, gas cleaning and upgrading, methanol synthesis and energy conversion, were modelled and their performance was optimized through a series of sensitivity studies. The results obtained were then used to investigate the effect of different technologies and the variation of operational parameters on the overall process performance. Three cases were examined: “syngas production” (case 1), “methanol production” (case 2), and “power production” (IGCC) (case 3). Case 1 and case 2 were simulated using sand and dolomite as bed materials respectively, in order to study the incorporation of Absorption Enhanced Reforming (AER) on the syngas and methanol production efficiency. For case 3 the simulation was performed for two different configurations: a conventional Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and an innovative Inverted Brayton Cycle (IBC) turbine system. Dolomite was used as the bed material for both configurations. For case 1, an increase of 5% in hydrogen yield in the product gas when AER is applied was observed. For case 2, higer values of Cold Gas Efficiency and Net Efficiency (34% and 60% instead of 33% and 55%, respectively) and a slightly lower value of Carbon Conversion (96% instead of 100%) were obtained when AER was employed. Gasification temperature was lowered by 110 °C in this scenario. For case 3, a lower value of Net Efficiency was obtained when IBC was considered (43% instead of 47%), while a value of 60% was obtained for methanol production with AE. Moreover, the results of case 3, showed that the latent heat in the hot syngas is best utilised when IBC is considered. The developed model accurately predicted the composition of the produced gas and the operational conditions of all the identified blocks within the methanol synthesis and power production processes. This way the use of this model as a generic tool to compare the utilization of different technologies on the performance of the overall process was validated.