Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 947–965 | Cite as

Numerical Modelling of Wood Gasification in Thermal Plasma Reactor

Original Paper


Biomass gasification for synthesis gas production represents a promising source of energy based on plasma treatment of renewable fuel resources. Gasification/pyrolysis of crushed wood as a model substance of biomass has been experimentally carried out in the plasma-chemical reactor equipped with gas–water stabilized torch which offer advantage of low plasma mass-flow, high enthalpy and temperature making it possible to attain an optimal conversion ratio with respect to synthesis gas production in comparison with other types of plasma torches. To investigate this process of gasification in detail with possible impact on performance, a numerical model has been created using ANSYS FLUENT program package. The aim of the work presented is to create a parametric study of biomass gasification based on various diameters of wooden particles. Results for molar fractions of CO for three different particles diameters obtained by the modeling (0.55, 0.52 and 0.48) at the exit are relatively good approximation to the corresponding experimental value (0.60). The numerical results reveal that the efficiency of gasification and syngas production slightly decreases with increasing diameter of the particles. Computed temperature inhomogeneities in the volume of the reactor are strongest for the largest particle diameter and decrease with decreasing size of the particles.


Plasma modelling CFD Thermal plasma reactor Biomass Gasification Syngas 


  1. 1.
    Review of technologies for gasification of biomass and wastes, NNFCC project 09/008, E4Tech, June (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tang L, Huang H, Hao H, Zhao K (2013) Development of plasma pyrolysis/gasification systems for energy efficient and environmentally sound waste disposal. J Electrost 71:839–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hlína M, Hrabovský M, Kavka T, Konrád M (2014) Production of high quality syngas from argon/water plasma gasification of biomass and waste. Waste Manag 34:63–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hrabovský M, Konrád M, Kopecký V, Hlína M (2006) Pyrolysis of wood in arc plasma for syngas production. High Temp Mater Process 10:557–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hlína M, Hrabovský M, Kopecký V, Konrád M, Kavka T, Skoblja S (2006) Plasma gasification of wood and production of gas with low content of tar. Czechoslovak J Phys Suppl B 56:B1179–B1184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kawai Y, Ikegami H, Sato N et al (eds) Industrial plasma techmology: applications from environmental to energy technologies, Chap. 6. Wiley, Weinheim (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hrabovský M (2002) Generation of thermal plasmas in liquid stabilized and hybrid dc-arc torches. Pure Appl Chem 74:429–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    di Blasi C (2008) Modeling chemical and physical processes of wood and biomass pyrolysis. Prog Energy Combust Sci 34:47–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de Sousa-Santos ML (2010) Solid fuels. Combustion and gasification, vol 2. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gómez-Barea A, Leckner B (2010) Modeling of biomass gasification in fluidized bed. Prog Energy Combust Sci 36:444–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ahmed TY, Ahmad MM, Yusup S, Inayat A, Khan Z (2012) Mathematical and computational approaches for design of biomass gasification for hydrogen production: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 16:2304–2315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Singh RI, Brink A, Huppa M (2013) CFD modeling to study fluidized bed combustion and gasification. Appl Therm Eng 52:585–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Xue Q, Fox RO (2014) Multifluid CFD modeling of biomass gasification in polydisperse fluidized bed gasifiers. Powder Technol 254:187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Martinéz-Lera S, Ranz JP (2016) On the development of a wood gasification modelling approach with special emphasis on primary devolatilization and tar formation and destruction phenomena. Energy 113:643–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mashayak SY (2009) CFD modeling of plasma thermal reactor for waste treatment. Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, M.ScGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Janssens S (2007) Modeling of heat and mass transfer in a reactor for plasma gasification using a hybrid gas-water torch. Thesis, Ghent University, Belgium, M.ScGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    ANSYS FLUENT (2010) release 14.5Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirka I, Hrabovský M (2010) Three-dimensional modelling of mixing of steam plasma jet with nitrogen in thermal plasma reactor. High Temp Mater Proc 14:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Křenek P (2008) Thermophysical properties of H\(_2\)O-Ar plasmas at temperatures 400–50,000 K and pressure 0.1 MPa. Plasma Chem Plasma Process 28:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cho J, Davis JW, Huber GW (2010) The intrinsic kinetics and heats of reactions for cellulose pyrolysis and char formation. Chem Sus Chem 3:1162–1165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Miller RS, Bellan J (1997) A generalized biomass pyrolysis model based on superimposed cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin kinetics. Combust Sci Technol 126:97–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    ANSYS FLUENT (2010) release 14.5 User’s GuideGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Smith WR, Missen RW (1982) Chemical reaction equilibrium analysis. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    BF Magnussen, BH Hjertager (1976) On mathematical models of turbulent combustion with special emphasis on soot formation and combustion In: 16\(^{\rm th}\) Symposium (International) on Combustion. The Combustion Institute , pp. 719–729Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    ANSYS FLUENT (2010) release 14.5, Theory Guide, ANSYS IncGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Launder BE, Spalding DB (1972) Lectures in mathematical models of turbulence. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Coufal O, Živný O (2011) Composition and thermodynamic properties of thermal plasma with condensed phases. Eur Phys J D 61:131–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Coufal O, Sezemský P, Živný O (2005) Database system of thermodynamic properties of individual substances at high temperatures. J Phys D Appl Phys 38:1265–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Hirka
    • 1
  • Oldřich Živný
    • 1
  • Milan Hrabovský
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plasma Physics of the CAS, v.v.i.Prague 8Czech Republic

Personalised recommendations