Skip to main content


Log in

Developing an adsorption-based gas cleaning system for a dual fluidized bed gasification process

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Biomass has the potential to make a major contribution to a renewable future economy. If biomass is gasified, a wide variety of products (e.g., bulk chemicals, hydrogen, methane, alcohols, diesel) can be produced. In each of these processes, gas cleaning is crucial. Impurities in the gas can cause catalyst poisoning, pipe plugging, unstable or poisoned end products, or harm the environment. Aromatic compounds (e.g., benzene, naphthalene, pyrene), in particular, have a huge impact on stable operation of syngas processes. The removal of these compounds can be accomplished by wet, dry, or hot gas cleaning methods. Wet gas cleaning methods tend to produce huge amounts of wastewater, which needs to be treated separately. Hot gas cleaning methods provide a clean gas but are often cost intensive due to the high operating temperatures and catalysts used in the system. Another approach is dry or semi-dry gas cleaning methods, including absorption and adsorption on solid matter. In this work, special focus was laid on adsorption-based gas cleaning for syngas applications. Adsorption and desorption test runs were carried out under laboratory conditions using a model gas with aromatic impurities. Adsorption isotherms, as well as dynamics, were measured with a multi-compound model gas. Based on these results, a temperature swing adsorption process was designed and tested under laboratory conditions, showing the possibility of replacing conventional wet gas cleaning with a semi-dry gas cleaning approach.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

Not applicable



Activated carbon


Brunnauer-Emmet-Teller method


Barrett, Joyner, and Halenda procedure


Benzene, toluene, and xylene


Dry base


Dual fluidized bed


Faujasite zeolite


Flame ionization detector


Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry


Gothenburg biogas plant


Polyaromatic hydrocarbons


Rapeseed methyl ester/biodiesel


Sulfur chemiluminescence detector


Scanning electron microscopy


Standard temperature and pressure (273.15 K, 105 Pa)


Thermogravimetric analysis


Temperature swing adsorption


Langmuir coefficient

∆H ads :

Adsorption enthalpy

m AC :

Mass AC

m AC, in :

Mass AC at beginning of adsorption experiment

m AC, out :

Mass AC after adsorption experiment

p i :

Partial pressure

R :

Gas constant

t BT :

Breakthrough time

X ads :

Adsorption capacity

X BT :

Adsorption capacity at the tar breakthrough point

X mon :

Monomolecular loading

Y(t)ads :

Adsorbed amount of tar in dependency to the time

Y in :

Tar inlet concentration

Y(t)out :

Tar outlet concentration in dependency to the time


  1. Li C, Suzuki K (2008) Renew Sust Energ Rev 13:594–604

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Nguyen H, Seemann M, Thunman H (2018) Fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during tertiary tar formation in steam gasification of biomass. Energy Fuel 32:3499–3509

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Devi JL, Ptasinksik J, Janssen FJJG (2003) A review of the primary measures for tar elimination in biomass gasification processes. Biomass Bioenergy 24:125–140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Larsson A, Seemann M, Neves D, Thunman H (2013) Fuel Energy 11:6665–6680

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Evans RJ, Milne TA (1997) Chemistry of tar formation and maturation in the thermochemical conversion of Biomass. Springer, Dodrecht, pp 803–816

    Google Scholar 

  6. Evans RJ, Milne TA (1998) Fuel and energy abstracts 39

  7. Morf P, Hasler P, Nussbaumer T (2002) Mechanisms and kinetics of homogeneous secondary reactions of tar from continuous pyrolysis of wood chips. Fuel 81:843–853

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Cypress R (1987) Aromatic hydrocarbons formation during coal pyrolysis. Fuel Process Technol 15:1–15

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Nelson PF, Hüttinger KJ (1986) The effect of hydrogen pressure and aromatic structure on methane yields from the hydropyrolysis of aromatics. Fuel 65:354–361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Wanzl W (1988) Chemical reaction in thermal decomposition of coal. Fuel Process Technol 20:317–336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Wolfesberger U, Aigner I, Hofbauer H (2009) Tar content and composition in producer gas of fluidized bed gasification of wood-Influence of temperature and pressure. Environ Prog Sustain Energy 28:372–379

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Milne TA, Evans RJ, Abatzoglou N (1998) Biomass gasifier “tars”: their nature, formation, and conversion. Technical Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  13. Jeevanandam P, Klabunde KJ, Tetzler SH (2005) Adsorption of thiophenes out of hydrocarbons using metal impregnated nanocrystalline aluminum oxide. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 79:101–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Yu C, Qiu JS, Sun YF, Li XH, Chen G, Zhao ZB (2008) Adsorption removal of thiophene and dibenzothiophene from oils with activated carbon as adsorbent: effect of surface chemistry. J Porous Mater 15:151–157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Edinger P, Grimekis D, Panopoulos K, Karellas S, Ludwig C (2017) Adsorption of thiophene by activated carbon: a global sensitivity analysis. J Environ Chem Eng 5:4173–4184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Phuphuakrat T, Namioka T, Yoshikawa K (2010) Tar removal from biomass pyrolysis gas in two-step function of decomposition and adsorption. Appl Energy 87:2203–2211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hu X, Hanaoka T, Sakanishi K, Shinagawa T, Matsui S, Tada M, Iwasaki T (2007) Removal of tar model compounds produced from biomass gasification using activated carbons. J Jpn Inst Energy 86:707–711

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Mastral AM, Garcia T, Callen MS, Navarro MV, Galban J (2001) Assessement of phenanthrene removal from hot gas by porous carbons. Energy Fuel 15:1–7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Thunman H, Seemann M, Berdugo Vilches T, Maric J, Pallares D, Ström H, Berndes G, Knutsson P, Larsson A, Breitholtz C, Santos O (2018) Advanced biofuel production via gasification - lessons learned from 200 man-years of research activity with Chalmers’ research gasifier and the GoBiGas demonstration plant. Energy Sci Eng 6:6–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Thunman H, Gustavsson C, Larsson A, Gunnarsson I, Tengberg F (2018) Energy Sci Eng 7:217–229

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Bardolf R (2017) Optimierung eines Produktgaswäschers bei der Biomassedampfvergasung im Zweibettwirbelschichtverfahren. Dissertation, TU Wien

  22. Bolhàr-Nordenkampf M, Rauch R, Bosch K, Aichernig C, Hofbauer H (2002) 2nd Regional Conference on Energy Technology Towards a Clean Environment, Phuket

  23. Loipersböck J, Lenzi M, Rauch R, Hofbauer H (2017) Hydrogen production from biomass: the behavior of impurities over a CO shift unit and a biodiesel scrubber used as a gas treatment stage. Korean J Chem Eng 34:2198–2203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Sauciuc A, Abusteif Z, Weber G, Potetz A, Rauch R, Hofbauer H, Schaub G, Dumitrescu L (2012) Influence of operating conditions on the performance of biomass-based Fischer–Tropsch synthesis. Biomass Conv Bioref 2:253–263

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Chianese S, Loipersböck J, Malits M, Rauch R, Hofbauer H, Molino A, Musmarra D (2015) Hydrogen from the high temperature water gas shift reaction with an industrial Fe/Cr catalyst using biomass gasification tar rich synthesis gas. Fuel Process Technol 132:39–48

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Pröll T, Siefert I, Friedl A, Hofbauer H (2005) Removal of NH3 from biomass gasification producer gas by water condensing in an organic solvent scrubber. Ind Eng Chem Res 44:1576–1584

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Loipersböck J, Luisser M, Müller S, Hofbauer H, Rauch R (2018) Experimental demonstration and validation of hydrogen production based on gasification of lignocellulosic feedstock. Chemengineering 2:61

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Baker EG, Brown MD, Elliot DC, Mudge LK (1988) AIChe Summer National Meeting

  29. Elliot DS (1988) ACS symposium series 376

  30. Gil J, Corella J, Aznar MP, Caballero MA (2008) Biomass Bioenergy 17:389–403

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Ponzio A, Kalisz S, Blasiak W (2006) Effect of operating conditions on tar and gas composition in high temperature air/steam gasification (HTAG) of plastic containing waste. Fuel Process Technol 87:223–233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kübel M (2007) Teerbildung und Teerkonversion bei der Biomassevergasung – Anwendung der nasschemischen Teerbestimmung nach CENStandard, Cuvillier Verlag

  33. Neeft JPA, Knoef HAM, Onaji P (1999) Behaviour of tar in biomass gasification system. Tar related problems and their solutions, EWAB Program Report

  34. Dayton D (2002) A review of the literature on catalytic biomass tar destruction. National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  35. Bathen D (1998) Untersuchungen zur Desorption durch Mikrowellenenergie, VDI-Fortschritt-Bericht Reihe, 3 VDI Verlag Düsseldorf

  36. Ruthven DM (1984) Principles of adsorption and adsorption processes. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  37. Gemmingen UV, Mersmann A, Schweighart P (1996) Kap. Adsorptionsapparate, in Weiß (ed) Thermisches Trennen, Deutscher Verlag für Grundstoffindustrie, Stuttgart

  38. Dang S, Zhao L, Yang Q, Zheng M, Zhang J, Gao J, Xu C (2017) Competitive adsorption mechanism of thiophene with benzene in FAU zeolite: The role of displacement. Chem Eng J 328:172–185

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. ECN.TNO (2020) Classification System. Thersites, the ECN.TNO tar dew point site, Accessed 11 February 2020

Download references


The research leading to these results received funding from the COMET program managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency under grant number 869341. The program was co-financed by the Republic of Austria and the Federal Provinces of Lower Austria, Styria and Vienna. Co-funding from the industry partners is highly acknowledged.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. Loipersböck.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Code availability

Not applicable

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Loipersböck, J., Weber, G., Rauch, R. et al. Developing an adsorption-based gas cleaning system for a dual fluidized bed gasification process. Biomass Conv. Bioref. 11, 85–94 (2021).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: