Method for Hot Real-Time Sampling of Gasification Products

Research output: NRELPresentation


The Thermochemical Process Development Unit (TCPDU) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a highly instrumented half-ton/day pilot scale plant capable of demonstrating industrially relevant thermochemical technologies from lignocellulosic biomass conversion, including gasification. Gasification creates primarily Syngas (a mixture of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide) that can be utilized with synthesis catalysts to form transportation fuels and other valuable chemicals. Biomass derived gasification products are a very complex mixture of chemical components that typically contain Sulfur and Nitrogen species that can act as catalysis poisons for tar reforming and synthesis catalysts. Real-time hot online sampling techniques, such as Molecular Beam Mass Spectrometry (MBMS), and Gas Chromatographs with Sulfur and Nitrogen specific detectors can provide real-time analysis providing operational indicators for performance. Sampling typically requires coated sampling lines to minimize trace sulfur interactions with steel surfaces. Other materials used inline have also shown conversion of sulfur species into new components and must be minimized. Sample line Residence time within the sampling lines must also be kept to a minimum to reduce further reaction chemistries. Solids from ash and char contribute to plugging and must be filtered at temperature. Experience at NREL has shown several key factors to consider when designing and installing an analytical sampling system for biomass gasification products. They include minimizing sampling distance, effective filtering as close to source as possible, proper line sizing, proper line materials or coatings, even heating of all components, minimizing pressure drops, and additional filtering or traps after pressure drops.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePresented at BIT's 3rd Annual World Conference of Smart Materials, 16-18 March 2017, Bangkok, Thailand

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-70211


  • biomass
  • gasification
  • hot sampling
  • MBMS
  • syngas
  • tars
  • TCUF
  • thermochemical
  • trace sulfur


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