As a part of my study at Frederick University in Cyprus for the Master’s programme in Sustainable Energy Systems, one of the main directions is biofuels. Visiting ECN in order to perform gasification tests of Cyprus olive residue was a great opportunity to investigate the potential use of the available biomass in Cyprus.  

The Transnational Access within BRISK2 is a great opportunity for students like myself to get the experience with working with equipment, which they do not have access to and to get the taste of cooperation with well – experienced professionals from other countries. It was a pleasure to collaborate with the ECN facility members, especially Guadalupe Aranda and Johan Kuipers, whose experience and skills were essential for the performance of the experiments. 

Cyprus, being in the Mediterranean area, produces high quantities of agricultural residues, two main types of which are olive and grape pomace from wine and oil industries, for which the island is famous for. Therefore, Cyprus has the potential to implement such conversion technologies as biomass gasification to promote the use of renewable energy sources and increase their effect in the total energy mix of the country. For the purpose of my visit at ECN, olive residue was gasified in the WOB lab-scale fluidized bed reactor, testing the effect of different temperatures (700-8850oC), equivalence ratios (ER ~ 0.25 – 0.35), addition of steam (air/steam gasification), and type of bed material (silica sand, olivine) on the quality of the product gas. The results were indicative and, after the post processing of the data, the appropriate gasifying conditions were defined to achieve high quality product gas and avoid operational problems, such as agglomeration. 

The tests performed at ECN and the results of the post processing process of the data will also be included in my Master’s thesis, the overall aim of which is to determine the potential ways of utilization of agricultural residues using gasification technologies available. I hope that this can lead to the construction of the gasifying facilities in Cyprus, provided it is proven viable and appropriate method of treatment of the olive residue.  

Last, but not least, the results of my visit at ECN, together with my Master’s thesis, are targeted to be presented on the next EUBCE conference – at least as a poster presentation.