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Biomass gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil based carbonaceous materials to carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, traces of carbohydrates and nitrogen. Besides the above compounds in the gas product, various contaminants also appear, the principal being particles of tar, ash, ammonia, acids and complex carbohydrates. Gasification rests on the complete conversion of the primary solid material to gas by heating (> 700 ° C), without combustion, and in the presence of an oxidizer, such as air, oxygen or steam, in controlled quantities. The resulting gas mixture is called syngas, synthesis gas or synthetic gas. This gas may be utilized as a fuel with a thermogenic, heat generating, capacity that equals almost half the capacity of natural gas. Gasification is used around the world in small installations and comprises of a series of thermochemical phenomena which take place in three stages: (a) dehydration, (b) pyrolysis and (c) final gasification – partial oxidation.

Biomass gasification is one of the most efficient and environmentally acceptable technologies for electricity generation and thermal energy. Its main advantage lies with the fact that the combustion of the syngas is far more productive than the combustion of the original fuel (unprocessed biomass). Some of its other advantages indicatively include:

  • It is not based on combustion/incineration, but on gasification and pyrolysis.
  • It is economical, even at low operating capacity.
  • It allows us to dispose of biomass and waste, agrarian and industrial, in a viable and ecological manner.
  • It achieves energy generation levels from renewable sources which are many times higher than those from conventional combustion technologies.
  • It does not leave biodegradable fraction residues.
  • There are no emissions of hazardous gases.
  • It poses minimum space requirements for its installation and the unit is adjustable to the current needs