Steam-Air Blown Bubbling Fluidized Bed Biomass Gasification (BFBBG): Multi-Scale Models and Experimental Validation

Whitney Jablonski, Daniel Carpenter, Richard Bates, Ahmed Ghoniem, Christos Altantzis, Aaron Garg, John Barton, Ran Chen, Randall Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus Citations


During fluidized bed biomass gasification, complex gas-solid mixing patterns and numerous chemical and physical phenomena make identification of optimal operating conditions challenging. In this work, a parametric experimental campaign was carried out alongside the development of a coupled reactor network model which successfully integrates the individually validated sub-models to predict steady-state reactor performance metrics and outputs. The experiments utilized an integrated gasification system consisting of an externally-heated, bench-scale, 4-in., 5 kWth, fluidized bed steam/air blown gasifier fed with woody biomass equipped with a molecular beam mass spectrometer to directly measure tar species. The operating temperature (750–850°C) and air/fuel equivalence ratio (ER = 0–0.157) were independently varied to isolate their effects. Elevating temperature is shown to improve the char gasification rate and reduce tar concentrations. Air strongly impacts the composition of tar, accelerating the conversion of lighter polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons into soot precursors, while also improving the overall carbon conversion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1543-1565
Number of pages23
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-68690


  • coal (gasification
  • combustion (biofuels and fuel mixes)
  • desulfurization)
  • fluidization
  • multi-scale modeling


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