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TECHNICAL PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Coal, Biomass, and Alternative Fuels

Should Biomass be Used for Power Generation or Hydrogen Production?

[+] Author and Article Information
Alessandro Corradetti

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy

Umberto Desideri

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italyumberto.desideri@unipg.it

Actually in the quoted reference (10), the syngas cold efficiency is defined as the ratio between the energy of the produced gas and all the energy inputs. However, in this case, the difference is negligible since the gasifier steam and power consumption is much lower than the biomass input thermal equivalent.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 129(3), 629-636 (Oct 31, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2718226 History: Received July 06, 2005; Revised October 31, 2006

In the last several years, gasification has become an interesting option for biomass utilization because the produced gas can be used as a gaseous fuel in different applications or burned in a gas turbine for power generation with a high thermodynamic efficiency. In this paper, a technoeconomic analysis was carried out in order to evaluate performance and cost of biomass gasification systems integrated with two different types of plant, respectively, for hydrogen production and for power generation. An indirectly heated fluidized bed gasifier has been chosen for gas generation in both cases, and experimental data have been used to simulate the behavior of the gasifier. The hydrogen plant is characterized by the installation of a steam methane reformer and a shift reactor after the gas production and cleanup section; hydrogen is then purified in a pressure swing adsorption system. All these components have been modeled following typical operating conditions found in hydrogen plants. Simulations have been performed to optimize thermal interactions between the biomass gasification section and the gas processing. The power plant consists of a gas-steam combined cycle, with a three-pressure-levels bottoming cycle. A sensitivity analysis allowed to evaluate the economic convenience of the two plants as a function of the costs of the hydrogen and electrical energy.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 2

ASPEN PLUS ® flow sheet of gasification plant

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Figure 3

ASPEN PLUS flow sheet of hydrogen plant

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Figure 1

SILVAGAS ™ process (2)

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Figure 4

Influence of biomass cost on H2 and electricity cost (years=20)

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Figure 5

Payback period of the investments over products selling price (IR=15%)

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Figure 6

Equivalence between the selling price of H2 and electricity (NPV basis; IR=15%; 20years; biomass cost=20$∕t).

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