Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction

Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction

Practical Design and Theory

2nd Edition - July 18, 2013

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  • Author: Prabir Basu
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123964885
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123965431

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Biomass is the most widely used non-fossil fuel in the world. Biomass resources show a considerable potential in the long-term given the increasing proliferation of dedicated energy crops for biofuels. The second edition of Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis is enhanced with new topics, such as torrefaction and cofiring, making it a versatile resource that not only explains the basic principles of energy conversion systems, but also provides valuable insight into the design of biomass conversion systems. This book will allow professionals, such as engineers, scientists, and operating personnel of biomass gasification, pyrolysis or torrefaction plants, to gain a better comprehension of the basics of biomass conversion. The author provides many worked out design problems, step-by-step design procedures and real data on commercially operating systems. With a dedicated focus on the design, analysis, and operational aspects of biomass gasification, pyrolysis, and torrefaction, Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction, Second Edition offers comprehensive coverage of biomass in its gas, liquid, and solid states in a single easy-to-access source.

Key Features

  • Contains new and updated step-by-step process flow diagrams, design data and conversion charts, and numerical examples with solutions
  • Includes chapters dedicated to evolving torrefaction technologies, practicing option of biomass cofiring, and biomass conversion economics
  • Expanded coverage of syngas and other Fischer-Tropsch alternatives
  • Spotlights advanced processes such as supercritical water gasification and torrefaction of biomass
  • Provides available research results in an easy-to-use design methodology


Biomass professionals and engineers; mechanical engineers, renewable energy engineers, chemical engineers, chemists and material scientists, agricultural and food scientists

Table of Contents

  • Dedication



    About the Author

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    1.1 Biomass and its Products

    1.2 Biomass Conversion

    1.3 Motivation for Biomass Conversion

    1.4 Historical Background

    1.5 Commercial Attraction of Gasification

    1.6 Brief Description of Some Biomass Conversion Processes

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 2. Economic Issues of Biomass Energy Conversion

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Biomass Availability and Products

    2.3 Biomass Conversion Process Plant Equipment and Cost

    2.4 Financial Analysis

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 3. Biomass Characteristics

    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 What is Biomass?

    3.3 Structure of Biomass

    3.4 General Classification of Fuels

    3.5 Properties of Biomass

    3.6 Composition of Biomass

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 4. Torrefaction

    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 What is Torrefaction?

    4.3 Carbonization

    4.4 Torrefaction Process

    4.5 Degree of Torrefaction

    4.6 Physical Properties of Torrefied Biomass

    4.7 Torrefaction Technologies

    4.8 Design Methods

    Appendix Mass and Energy Balance of Torrefier

    Mass Balance

    Energy Balance

    Chapter 5. Pyrolysis

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Pyrolysis

    5.3 Pyrolysis Product Yield

    5.4 Pyrolysis Kinetics

    5.5 Heat Transfer in a Pyrolyzer

    5.6 Pyrolyzer Types

    5.7 Pyrolyzer Design Considerations

    5.8 Biochar

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 6. Tar Production and Destruction

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Tar

    6.3 Tar Reduction

    Chapter 7. Gasification Theory

    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Gasification Reactions and Steps

    7.3 The Gasification Process

    7.4 Kinetics of Gasification

    7.5 Gasification Models

    7.6 Kinetic Model Applications

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 8. Design of Biomass Gasifiers

    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Fixed-Bed/Moving-Bed Gasifiers

    8.3 Fluidized-Bed Gasifiers

    8.4 Entrained-Flow Gasifiers

    8.5 Plasma Gasification

    8.6 Process Design

    8.7 Product Gas Prediction

    8.8 Gasifier Sizing

    8.9 Entrained-Flow Gasifier Design

    8.10 Auxiliary Items

    8.11 Design Optimization

    8.12 Performance and Operating Issues

    Symbols and nomenclature

    Chapter 9. Hydrothermal Gasification of Biomass

    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 Supercritical Water

    9.3 Biomass Conversion in SCW

    9.4 Effect of Operating Parameters on SCW Gasification

    9.5 Application of Biomass Conversion in SCWG

    9.6 Reaction Kinetics

    9.7 Reactor Design

    9.8 Corrosion

    9.9 Energy Conversion Efficiency

    9.10 Major Challenges

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 10. Biomass Cofiring and Torrefaction

    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 Benefits and Shortcomings of Biomass Cofiring

    10.3 Emission Reduction Through Biomass Cofiring

    10.4 Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) versus Biomass Firing

    10.5 Cofiring Options

    10.6 Operating Problems of Biomass Cofiring

    10.7 Cofiring with Torrefied Wood

    Chapter 11. Production of Synthetic Fuels and Chemicals from Biomass

    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 Syngas

    11.3 Bio-Oil production

    11.4 Conversion of Syngas into Chemicals

    11.5 Transport Fuels from Biomass

    Chapter 12. Biomass Handling

    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Design of a Biomass Energy System

    12.3 Biomass-Handling System

    12.4 Biomass Feeders

    12.5 Cost of Biomass-Handling System

    Symbols and Nomenclature

    Chapter 13. Analytical Techniques

    13.1 Composition of Biomass

    13.2 Heating Value

    13.3 Differential Scanning Calorimetry

    13.4 Reactivity Measurements

    13.5 Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

    Appendix A. Definition of Biomass

    Appendix B. Physical Constants and Unit Conversions

    B1 Physical Constants

    B2 Summary of Common Conversion Units

    Appendix C. Selected Design Data Tables




Product details

  • No. of pages: 548
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: July 18, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123964885
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123965431

About the Author

Prabir Basu

Dr. Prabir Basu, founding President of Greenfield Research Incorporated, a private research and development company in Canada that specializes in gasification and torrefaction, is an active researcher and designer of biomass energy conversion systems. Dr. Basu holds a position of Professor in Mechanical Engineering Department and is Head of Circulating Fluidized Bed Laboratory at Dalhousie University, Halifax His current research interests include frontier areas, chemical looping gasification, torrefaction, biomass cofiring amongst others.

Professor Basu also founded of the prestigious triennial International Conference series on Circulating Fluidized Beds, and a private R&D company, Fluidized Bed Systems Limited that specializes on design, training and investigative services on fluidized bed boilers.

Professor Basu has been working in the field of energy conversion and the environment for more than 30 years. Prior to joining the engineering faculty at Dalhousie University (formerly known as the Technical University of Nova Scotia), he worked with both a government research laboratory and a boiler manufacturing company.

Dr. Basu’s passion for the transformation of research results into industrial practice is well known, as is his ongoing commitment to spreading advanced knowledge around the world. He has authored more than 200 research papers and seven monographs in emerging areas of energy and environment, some of which have been translated into Chinese and Korean. He is well known internationally for providing expert advices on circulating fluidized bed boilers and conducting training courses to industries and universities across the globe.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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