Solar gasification of carbonaceous waste feedstocks in a packed-bed reactor—Dynamic modeling and experimental validation

Authors

  • Nicolas Piatkowski,

    1. ETH Zurich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Aldo Steinfeld

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Solar Technology Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
    • Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Abstract

Thermochemical gasification of carbonaceous waste feedstocks (specifically: scrap tire powder, industrial sludge, and sewage sludge) for high-quality syngas production is numerically modeled and experimentally validated using concentrated solar process heat. The solar reactor consists of two cavities separated by a radiant emitter, with the upper one serving as the solar radiative absorber and the lower one containing the reacting packed bed. The reactor is modeled by considering combined heat transfer coupled to the reaction kinetics, driven by the applied solar flux at the reactor's aperture. Model validation is accomplished in terms of converted mass, reactor temperatures, efficiency, and solar upgrade based on experiments with an 8-kW reactor subjected to solar fluxes up to 2560 suns and packed bed temperatures up to 1490 K. The transient operation of a 200-kW pilot-scale reactor for gasifying industrial sludge is simulated for a solar day, yielding a maximum solar-to-fuel energy conversion efficiency of 89%. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011

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