Gasification is a process used to convert any carbonaceous species through heterogeneous reaction to obtain the desired gaseous products of H2 and CO which are used to make chemicals, liquid transportation fuels, and power. Both pyrolysis and heterogeneous gasification occur in commercial entrained-flow gasifiers at pressures from 4 to 65 atm with local gas temperatures as high as 2000 °C. Many gasification studies have been performed at moderate temperatures, heating rates, and pressures. In this work, both pyrolysis and char gasification experiments were performed on coal, petroleum coke, and biomass at conditions pertinent to commercial entrained-flow gasifiers. Rapid biomass pyrolysis experiments were performed at atmospheric pressure in an entrained-flow reactor for sawdust, switchgrass, corn stover, and straw mostly using a peak gas temperature of 1163 K at particle residence times ranging from 34 to 113 ms. Biomass pyrolysis was modeled using the Chemical Percolation Devolatilization model assuming that biomass pyrolysis occurs as a weighted average of its individual components (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin). Thermal cracking of biomass tar into light gas was included using a first-order model with kinetic parameters regressed in the current study. Char gasification rates were measured for biomass, petroleum coke, and coal in a pressurized entrained-flow reactor at high heating-rate conditions at total pressures between 10 and 15 atm. Peak centerline gas temperatures were between 1611 and 1879 K. The range of particle residence times used in the gasification experiments was 42 to 275 ms. The CO2 gasification rates of biomass and petroleum coke chars were measured at conditions where the reaction environment consisted of approximately 40 and 90 mol% CO2. Steam gasification rates of coal char were measured at conditions where the maximum H2O concentration was 8.6 mol%. Measured data was used to regress apparent kinetic parameters for a first-order model that describes char conversion. The measured char gasification rates were far from the film-diffusion limit, and are pertinent for pulverized particles where no internal particle temperature gradients are important. The modeling and measured data of char gasification rates in this research will aid in the design and efficient operation of commercial entrained-flow gasifiers, as well as provide validation for both existing and future models at a wide range of temperatures and pressures at high heating-rate conditions.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





biomass, sawdust, corn stover, switchgrass, petroleum coke, coal, pyrolysis, gasification, thermal conversion, pressure, heating rate, tar, CPD model, tar cracking, Aaron Lewis