Title of the project: Pyrolysis and gasification of poultry litter 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 PhD researcher in IEF. My research focuses on thermochemical conversion processes (combustion, gasification and pyrolysis) of animal feedstock and energy integration in order to further explore their potential in combined heat and power applications.
At VTT, I conducted both pyrolysis and gasification experiments of poultry litter at two different bubbling fluidized bed reactors (max. 1 kg/h and 5 kg/h capacities of fuel feeding, respectively). As regards the pyrolysis process, experiments were conducted at two different temperatures, 460 °C and 530 °C, in order to achieve fast pyrolysis conditions. Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) was used as bed material. The results showed that due to the high ash content of the feedstock, char was found with high yields, 31% and 32 % during the two tests, while the liquid yield (bio-oil) acquired lower values, 23% and 28% respectively. During gasification experiments, tests were carried out at two temperature levels, 700 °C and 750 °C at a fixed value of 0.3 regarding the air equivalent ratio. The flow rate of air and steam (20%) was adjusted to ensure that the bed was properly fluidized, while the bed material was chosen to be dolomite.
Considering the fact that my research group doesn’t have the experimental facility in-place, a visit to VTT via TA grant has provided significant data which will be helpful in developing a comprehensive model.
The application process to undertake a BRISK2 project was very simple and informative. I approached research scientists Tuomi Sanna and Lindfors Christian to use the experimental facilities of Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) 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. 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 VTT from 5 March to 16 of March 2018. The original plan of conducting both pyrolysis and gasification experiments of poultry litter was executed 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 findings in high impact factor journal (s) in near foreseeable future.
As a young researcher it was an exciting experience to work with experienced researchers in the pyrolysis and gasification area and learned the advantages and limitations of the specific feedstock with high ash content. 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 VTT createdhas 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 Tuomi Sanna and Lindfors Christian 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 Professor Savvas Tassou, and my colleague Daya Pandey for joining me during this experimental campaign.