A fluidized bed methanation system has been developed that can convert biomass into natural gas. Research collaboration with the University of California has advanced the production technology through novel reactor design, process integration, and cost reductions to enable wood chips to be converted to natural gas.
The FICFB gasifier is a dual fluidized bed gasification system using a synthetic bed material to transfer heat from the combustion zone to the gasification zone. Biomass is fed into the gasification zone via a screw auger where it is thermochemically converted to producer gas through contact with the hot fluidized bed material and steam. The bed material and the remaining char are transported to the combustion side by gravity where air is injected and the char is combusted to heat the bed material. The hot bed material is lifted up the riser with the combustion flue gases into a cyclone where the bed material and flue gases are separated. The re-heated bed material is reintroduced into the fluidized bed gasification chamber while the flue gases continue through the flue gas treatment system. The producer gas, extracted on the gasification side, is conditioned to remove impurities before becoming available to an engine or catalyst system.
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