TwoStage gasification of biomass results in almost tar free producer gas suitable for multiple end-use purposes. In the present study, it is investigated to what extent the partial oxidation process of the pyrolysis gas from the first stage is involved in direct and in-direct tar destruction and conversion. The study identifies the following major impact factors regarding tar content in the producer gas: oxidation temperature, excess air ratio and biomass moisture content. In a experimental setup, wood pellets were pyrolyzed and the resulting pyrolysis gas was transferred in a heated partial oxidation reactor and oxidized between 800 and 1050°C with excess air rations between 0 and 0.7 and fuel moisture content between 8% and 30%. The gas composition was analyzed before and after oxidation by means of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The tar compounds were sampled by solid phase adsorption and determined by stable isotope dilution analysis. The results have shown that partial oxidation reduces and converts primary tars into low molecular weight, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), primarily naphthalene. At temperatures above 950°C practically all phenol is converted. The resulting PAH tar compounds are readily converted in the subsequent char-bed of the TwoStage gasification process and the partial oxidation process thus contributes directly as well as in-directly to the overall tar destruction. A high temperature and excess air ratios contribute positively to the direct tar destruction and a high moisture content of the biomass enhances the decomposition of phenol and inhibits the formation of naphthalene. This enhances tar conversion and gasification in the char-bed, and thus contributes in-directly to the tar destruction.
Ahrenfeldt, J., Egsgaard, H., Stelte, W., Thomsen, T., & Henriksen, U. B. (2013). The influence of partial oxidation mechanisms on tar destruction in TwoStage biomass gasification. Fuel, 112, 662-680. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2012.09.048