Roast hardwood at relatively low temperatures and then gasify it. Dutch chemical engineer Mark Prins has shown that this is an efficient means of producing sustainable energy. The gas produced can be used for the production of electricity, fuels and/or chemicals.
Prins followed a thermodynamic approach to investigate how biomass could be gasified as efficiently as possible. He developed a concept which combines two techniques: torrefaction (roasting at a temperature of 250 to 300°C) and gasification. Roasting increases the calorific value of the biomass and decreases its humidity content. This considerably improves the properties of the biomass for gasification. At practical gasification temperatures between 900 and 1200°C, roasted biomass becomes less over-oxidised than untreated biomass, which is favourable for the efficiency of the process. Efficient processes of this type need to be further developed if sustainable energy is to become a feasible option.
Experimental research into the torrefaction of biomass was carried out in cooperation with the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN) and Shell Global Solutions, with the support of the Sustainable Energy Foundation (SDE). The process is more suitable for hardwood (e.g. beech and willow) and straw, than for softwood (e.g. larch), due to the composition of the hemi-cellulose fraction in the wood. During his research, Prins developed a model to describe the weight loss of the wood and he also analysed the products formed.
Mark Prins MSc | EurekAlert!
Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
01.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz
Tailor-Made Membranes for the Environment
30.11.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy