Scholarly article on topic 'Modeling Syngas Composition in an Integrated System of Biomass Gasification, Electrolysis and Methanation'

Modeling Syngas Composition in an Integrated System of Biomass Gasification, Electrolysis and Methanation Academic research paper on "Materials engineering"

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{Gasification / Hydrogen / Methanation / "Reaction rate" / "Sabatier reaction" / Syngas}

Abstract of research paper on Materials engineering, author of scientific article — Elina Dace, Dagnija Blumberga, Ivars Veidenbergs

Abstract Composition of biogenous syngas can be improved by integration of electrolysis powered by irregular energy sources, and methanation. A mathematical model has been developed that helps analyzing the mixing and methanation processes of syngas with excess hydrogen. The paper presents the algorithm of the developed model. Results show that the reactions are highly dependent on the catalyst weight introduced in the methanation reactor, and the stoichiometric ratio of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Academic research paper on topic "Modeling Syngas Composition in an Integrated System of Biomass Gasification, Electrolysis and Methanation"

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Energy Procedia 75 (2015) 801 - 806

The 7th International Conference on Applied Energy - ICAE2015

Modeling syngas composition in an integrated system of biomass gasification, electrolysis and methanation

Elina Dacea*, Dagnija Blumbergaa, Ivars Veidenbergsa

_aInstitute of Energy Systems and Environment, Riga Technical University, Azenes 12/1, Riga, LV-1048, Latvia_

Abstract

Composition of biogenous syngas can be improved by integration of electrolysis powered by irregular energy sources, and methanation. A mathematical model has been developed that helps analyzing the mixing and methanation processes of syngas with excess hydrogen. The paper presents the algorithm of the developed model. Results show that the reactions are highly dependent on the catalyst weight introduced in the methanation reactor, and the stoichiometric ratio of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-reviewunderresponsibilityofApplied Energy Innovation Institute

Keywords: Gasification; Hydrogen; Methanation; Reaction rate; Sabatier reaction; Syngas

1. Introduction

Gasification has a high potential for generating energy from biomass [1]. Biomass gasification allows using local renewable resources, thus minimizing the environmental impact through avoided greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation [1] and fuel transporting [2]. Commercialization of biomass gasification technologies is still not implemented on a full scale [2], though developments are existent worldwide [1].

The generated biogenous syngas is mostly used in boilers. A more progressive technology for syngas use is for power production in internal combustion engines, gas turbines or fuel cells, as well as for production of synthetic fuel. For such a complicated end-user technology, high-purity syngas with increased heat value is required.

The content and composition of syngas depend on the type of gasification reactor, the retention time and the temperature in the reactor [3]. Table 1 shows the wide variation of syngas composition.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +371-26-196-240; fax: +371-67-089-908. E-mail address: elina.dace@rtu.lv.

1876-6102 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Applied Energy Innovation Institute

doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.133

Table 1. Variation of volumetric composition of biogenous syngas generated in air blown gasifiers, %

Component Source Lettner et.al., 2007 [3] Hasler and Nussbaumer, 1999 [4] Hasler and Nussbaumer, 1999 [4] Kienberger et.al., 2013 [5]

CO 15-25 10-22 15-20 8.4

CO2 12-25 11-12 8-10 10.6

H2 6-20 15-21 10-14 22.6

CH4 1-5 1-5 2-3 3.9

N2 Rest Rest Rest 13.7

H2O 2-6 d.m. d.m. 40.21

CnHm n.s. 0.5-2 n.s. 0.59

Type of gasifier n.s. Fixed bed concurrent Fixed bed Fluidized bed

contercurrent allothermal

n.s. - not specified

d.m. - dry mass

It can be seen from the Table 1, that depending on the gasification technology used, content of H2 can vary in a wide range. Also, content of CO and CO2 vary widely, whereas content of CH4 generally remains low - up to 5%. Though, the CO and CO2 content can be reduced and the CH4 content -increased by using physical-chemical process, where CO and CO2 react with H2 in the presence of a catalyst. This process is generally known as methanation and Sabatier reactions. Both reactions are exothermic, and such metals as Ni, Ru, Rh, Pt, Fe, Cu and Co supported on various solids as Al2O3, SiO2, ZrO2, MgO, CeO2 or TiO2 are necessary to catalyze them [6].

The main industrial application of methanation and Sabatier reactions has been the removal of traces of CO from H2-rich feed gases in ammonia plants [7]. Yet, in recent years, study and industrial application of methanation is gaining popularity as a method for treating syngas. Syngas consists of a gas mixture, but is H2-deficient to achieve complete conversion of the CO and CO2 into CH4 [8]. A methanation unit can be integrated into gasification plants for increase of CH4 content in syngas by adding H2 to it. H2 can be obtained from industries with excess H2 production or by water electrolysis [9]. In order to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, power for hydrogen production must be generated by renewable energy sources, primarily biomass, solar, and wind [10].

The aim of this paper is to present a mathematical model developed for forecasting the composition of a gas mixture after syngas has reacted with H2 in a methanation reactor in an integrated renewable energy system.

2. Methodology

2.1. The modeled system

The modeled system considers a syngas produced from biomass. It is assumed that the required amount of H2 is produced in an electrolysis process and is added to the syngas in a gas mixing chamber. In addition, it is assumed that the electricity necessary for the electrolysis process is generated with irregular renewable energy sources - wind and solar (see Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Schematic representation of the integrated system of irregular renewable energy sources, gasification and methanation

After the syngas has been mixed with H2 the gas mixture enters a methanation reactor. There, according to Xu and Froment (1989) [11], 11 probable reactions take place. It is believed that among them three play a substantial role, i.e. methanation reaction (R1), water-gas shift reaction (R2) and Sabatier reaction (R3).

AHr = -206.28 kJ/mol (R1)

AHr = 41.15 kJ/mol (R2)

AHr = -165.12 kJ/mol (R3)

Reactions R1 and R3 are exothermic, and temperature in the reactor increases. Thereof, a gas cooling system is required prior to gas storage and use.

2.2. Mathematical model

A mathematical model is developed that helps analyzing the syngas conversion process via methanation and Sabatier reactions. The model is developed for the gas mixing and methanation processes (see the highlighted part in Fig. 1). The model is based on reaction rate and mass balance equations. Algorithm of the model is shown in Figure 2.

The syngas with its specific composition is entered in the model, where system and process parameters are set and defined depending on the selected process' temperature. For stoichiometric conditions amount of additional H2 necessary for CO and CO2 conversion is estimated depending on the existing H2 content in syngas:

mn2 = Mn2 (nco ■ sco + noa2 ■ sca2) " m°n2, (1)

where mH2 - mass of additional H2 required for CO and CO2 conversion (kg), MH2 - molar weight of H2 (kg/kmol), nCO - number of CO moles in syngas (kmol), sCO - stoichiometric ratio of H2 and CO in the methanation reaction, nCO2 - number of CO2 moles in syngas (kmol), sCO2 - stoichiometric ratio of H2 and CO2 in the Sabatier reaction, mH2 - mass of H2 in syngas (kg).

CO + 3H2 * CO + H2O < CO2 + 4H2

CH4 + H2O > CO2 + H2 * CH4 + 2H2O

Syngas composition

CO, C02, H2, CH4, CnHm, H20, N2

Estimation of H2 amount

System and process parameters

Vg, ph Mh ph sk i - gas component, k - reaction

Syngas conversion process rk, reactions: CO+3H2 сн4+н2о C02+H2 ^ C0+H20 C02+4H2 ^ CH4+2H20

Conversion rate CO, co2, H2

Gas mix composition

CO, C02, H2, CH4, CnHm, H20, N2

^Process temperature

Fig. 2. Algorithm of the mathematical model

The gas mixture enters the reaction calculation block that estimates the conversion of CO, CO2 and H2 based on rates of the reactions R1, R2 and R3 reported by Xu and Froment (1989) [11]. The conversion rates of gas components are estimated by using Eq. (2).

where Xi - conversion rate of gas component i (%), F i - number of moles of gas component i before methanation reactor (kmol), F - number of moles of gas component i after methanation reactor (kmol). Composition of the gas mixture after the methanation reaction is estimated according to Eqs. 3 - 8.

FCO = Ko - w(ri - r2) fco2 = fo - w(r2 + r3) fh2 = F*2 - w(3ri + r2 + 4Гз) fcha = f°ha + w(ri + r3) fh 2o = flo + w(ri + r2 + 3r3)

F = F0,

where w - catalyst weight in the methanation reactor (kg), rk - rate of reaction (kmol/kgcatalyst), where к -reactions Ri, R2 and R3, j - inert gas components as N2 and CnHm.

The model is constructed for stoichiometric conditions, i.e. so that the H2:CO and H2:CO2 ratios sCO and sCO2 are 3 and 4, respectively. However, in real systems, the stioichiometric ratio is rearly achieved.

Therefore, in the model for experimental purposes, the ratios can be changed by changing the amount of excess H2 in the gas mixture:

sco ~ sco 'a (9)

SCO2 = SCO2 (10)

where s*k - H2 and COx ratio, a - coefficient of excess H2 in reaction with CO, ft - coefficient of excess H2 in reaction with CO2. a = 1, when s„ai = .Wh.; « < 1, when s„ai < s^h, « > 1, when smai > ssM.. The same applies for p.

In addition, variations in catalyst weight and inlet and outlet temperatures of reactor can be simulated with the model. All the decision blocks are shown in the model algorithm (see Fig.2).

3. Results

In the simulation experiment, syngas with the composition reported by Kienberger et.al., 2013 [5] was used (see Table 1). The volume of syngas generated in the gasifier was assumed to be Vs = 1000 m3. Coefficient of excess H2, a, was changed from 0.25 to 4, whereas, ft remained equal to 1. In the methanation reactor, the inlet and outlet temperatures of the gas mixture were Tm1 = 573K and Tm2 = 773K, respectively. The simulation was conducted for catalyst weights w1 = 1000 kg and w2 = 1500 kg with an assumtion that the catalyst is 100% active. The simulation results are shown in Fig. 3.

'Js S & f

50 40 30 20 10

■ CO2

■ H2

■ CH4

Fig. 3. Simulation results with (a) catalyst weight w1; (b) catalyst weight w2

The results clearly show that the reactions highly depend on the catalyst weight w. When w is larger, higher conversion rates are achieved. Moreover, in case of w2, complete conversion of CO2 is achieved. When a is increased and sCO becomes larger than 3, the content of CO increases substantially. This is explained by the processes happening in the reaction R2, where CO2 and H2 is converted to CO. Generally, conversion rates of CO, CO2 and H2 are driven by the reaction rates. As r1 >> r3, higher CO conversion rate is achieved.

4. Conclusions

A mathematical model has been developed for a renewable energy system, where quality of syngas is increased by methanation reaction. Basing on reaction rate and mass balance equations, the model helps

predicting the composition of gas at the methanation reactor's outlet. Simulation results show that for higher conversion rates of CO and CO2, the stoichiometric ratio sCO should be held equal to or lower than 3. In addition, amount of catalyst in the reactor should be increased for higher reaction rates.

Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by the European Social Fund project "Involvement of Human Resources for Development of Integrated Renewable Energy Resources Energy Production System" (project No. 2013/0014/1DP/1.1.1.2.0/13/APIA/VIAA/026).

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Biography

Elina Dace is a researcher and assistant professor in the Riga Technical University (Latvia). Her research interests are related to waste management systems and technologies and alternative energy sources. E. Dace is a co-author of 30 scientific publications and 3 books.