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Design and Development of a Catalytic Fixed-Bed Reactor for Gasification of Banana Biomass in Hydrogen Production


Hydrogen produced from biomass is an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. In this study, hydrogen production by gasification of the banana plant is proposed. A fixed-bed catalytic reactor was designed considering fluidization conditions and a height/diameter ratio of 3/1. Experimentation was carried out under the following conditions: 368 ◦C, atmospheric pressure, 11.75 g of residual mass of the banana (pseudo-stem), an average particle diameter of 1.84 mm, and superheated water vapor as a gasifying agent. Gasification reactions were performed using a catalyzed and uncatalyzed medium to compare the effectiveness of each case. The catalyst was Ni/Al2O3 , synthesized by coprecipitation. The gas mixture produced from the reaction was continuously condensed to form a two-phase liquid–gas system. The synthesis gas was passed through a silica gel filter and analyzed online by gas chromatography. To conclude, the results of this study show production of 178 mg of synthesis gas for every 1 g of biomass and the selectivity of hydrogen to be 51.8 mol% when a Ni 2.5% w/w catalyst was used. The amount of CO2 was halved, and CO was reduced from 3.87% to 0% in molar percentage. Lastly, a simulation of the distribution of temperatures inside the furnace was developed; the modeled behavior is in agreement with experimental observations.

Funding source: This research was funded by DIUC—Universidad de Cuenca in the Project “Producción de hidrógeno a partir de la biomasa procedente de los residuos de la planta de banano mediante gasificación catalítica en agua en condiciones subcrítica”.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Ecuador

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