Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.65, No.6, 1942-1954, 2010
Performance analysis of integrated biomass gasification fuel cell (BGFC) and biomass gasification combined cycle (BGCC) systems
Biomass gasification processes are more commonly integrated to gas turbine based combined heat and power (CHP) generation systems. However, efficiency can be greatly enhanced by the use of more advanced power generation technology such as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The key objective of this work is to develop systematic site-wide process integration strategies, based on detailed process simulation in Aspen Plus, in view to improve heat recovery including waste heat, energy efficiency and cleaner operation, of biomass gasification fuel cell (BGFC) systems. The BGFC system considers integration of the exhaust gas as a source of steam and unreacted fuel from the SOFC to the steam gasifier, utilising biomass volatilised gases and tars, which is separately carried out from the combustion of the remaining char of the biomass in the presence of depleted air from the SOFC. The high grade process heat is utilised into direct heating of the process streams, e.g. heating of the syngas feed to the SOFC after cooling, condensation and ultra-cleaning with the Rectisol (R) process, using the hot product gas from the steam gasifier and heating of air to the SOFC using exhaust gas from the char combustor. The medium to low grade process heat is extracted into excess steam and hot water generation from the BGFC site. This study presents a comprehensive comparison of energetic and emission performances between BGFC and biomass gasification combined cycle (BGCC) systems, based on a 4th generation biomass waste resource, straws. The former integrated system provides as much as twice the power, than the latter. Furthermore, the performance of the integrated BGFC system is thoroughly analysed for a range of power generations, similar to 100-997 kW. Increasing power generation from a BGFC system decreases its power generation efficiency (69-63%), while increasing CHP generation efficiency (80-85%). (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.