Title of the project: Co-gasification of poultry litter with wood-chips for a combined heat and power generation 

The Institute of Energy Futures (IEF), Brunel University London is the home of one of six centres funded by RCUK to address end use energy demand reduction in the UK. The institute has extensive research activities focusing on decarbonizing energy sector. I am working as a postdoctoral research fellow in IEF. My research focused on to exploit the fundamental thermodynamic principles of waste heat recovery, with emphasis in thermochemical conversion processes (combustion, gasification and pyrolysis) of animal feedstock and energy integration in order to explore further their potential for application to combined heat and power technologies.  

In ECN, I worked on a bubbling fluidized bed reactor (WOB setup, up to 1 kg/h capacity). I investigated the effect of temperature and equivalence ratio on the gas compositions and yield while gasifiying and co-gasifying poultry litter and wood. Experiments were carried out at temperatures of 700-725-750°C and different equivalence ratios (0.20-.025-0.30). The flow rate of air, and N2 was adjusted to ensure that the bed was properly fluidized. At higher ER, the N2 flow rate was decreased while increasing the air flow rate to keep constant the fluidization velocity. Considering the fact that my research group doesn’t have the experimental facility (gasifier) in-place, a visit to ECN via TA grant has provided significant data which will be helpful in developing a comprehensive model. The possibility of getting and analysing tar samples was also a valuable aspect for consideration.  

The application process to undertake a BRISK2 project was very simple and informative. I approached Dr. Guadalupe Aranda and Dr. Lydia Fryda to use the experimental facility of Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) through the BRISK2 transnational access (TA) grant. Prior to submitting my application to BRISK2 user selection panel (USP) for review, I have had a detailed discussion with my hosts about the plan of the experimental campaign and with Johan Kuipers (ECN) about executing the task. Once we finalized the plan, I have prepared the proposal and submitted to the BRISK2 for an approval. I have submitted my proposal at the end of October and received an approval for my project on 20 December 2017.  

I visited ECN from 26 February to 5 March 2018. The intended initial experimental plan had to be modified during the visit due to the bed agglomeration issues observed at higher gasifier temperature. To encounter the bed agglomeration issue, we modified the original plan to compare both gasification and co-gasification of poultry litter with wood and executed that successfully.  Now, I am back to the Brunel University London with experimental data that I am currently processing and we are aiming to publish our research finding in high impact factor journal (s) in near foreseeable future. 

As a young researcher it was an exciting experience to work with the experienced researcher in the gasification area and learned the limitations of gasifying feedstock with high ash content. Although, we were able to perform most of the tests we planned nevertheless, it would have provided greater insight if TA visit could have covered NH3, HCl, and agglomerate analyses. Furthermore, tests with other types of bed materials like ilmenite or olivine or bauxite might be an interesting follow-up work. 

Overall, BRISK2 is an excellent initiative towards fostering intra-European research cooperation and transfer of knowledge among the researcher working in the area of biological and thermal biomass conversion processes. In addition, my visit to ECN has catalysed a scientific and personal network that probably will help us in strengthening our bilateral projects and mobility in the near future. 



The financial support for this project provided by the EU project Biomass Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge (BRISK2) is gratefully acknowledged. I would like to thank the host team formed by Guadalupe Aranda, Lydia Fryda  and Johan Kuipers for their consistent support, a very special thanks to the coordinator of the BRISK2 Transnational Access project (KTH in Sweden), and USP members. I would also like to thank my mentor Prof. Savvas Tassou, Brunel University London; my colleague Ioannis Katsaros and Alen Horvat from the University of Limerick, Ireland for joining me during this experimental campaign and helping in tar sampling and analysis as well as acted as a discussion partner.