FlexSNG News: Pilot tests campaign May 2023 

Successful validation campaign: 

During the first pilot test campaign in May 2023, VTT’s newly constructed pressurized CFB gasification pilot plant “UCG2021” was successfully operated in connection with DTU’s proof-of-concept oxygen transport membrane (OTM) module. Different biomass sources including wood pellets, forest residue pellets, and, for a brief period, straw pellets were used. 

Based on the preliminary gasification experiments carried out in WP4 “UCG2021”, was considered the most appropriate pilot facility for the validation test campaigns and selected as the test platform. One reason being that the overpressure supplied by the UCG2021 gasification is needed for the optimal operation of the connected OTM module. 

The aim of the first pilot test campaign, UCG 23/19, was to validate the key enabling technologies (ie. the pressurized gasifier, filter, reformer, OTM and the final gas cleaning / syngas)  at the fluidised-bed gasification pilot plant. The test campaign was realised between May 8th and 12th, 2023, and included around 58 hours of continuous operation under gasification conditions, and include four set points.

Successful set points were carried out with wood pellets and forest residue pellets followed by a short preliminary period with straw pellets.  

While the evaluation of the campaign is still ongoing, preliminary results show that during set points carried out with woody biomasses, the UCG2021 gasifier operated in line with expectations and the individual process steps, the gasifier, the filter and the reformer, could be operated successfully.  

Also, the connected OTM module showed stable performance in terms of oxygen production during the complete campaign, and tars present in the raw gas could be removed to a large extent. 

This test campaign provides a good basis for the upcoming test campaigns scheduled in November 2023 and early 2024. 

Reference: Deliverable D5.2 – Preliminary test report for the first test run (Confidential). Authors; Minna Kurkela, Esa Kurkela,  Ilkka Hiltunen, Sanna Tuomi, VTT.  

Figure 1: Pressurised Fluidised-Bed Gasification Pilot Plant 

Figure 2: DTU personal operating the integrated OTM module.

Figure 3: OTMs in front of the used feedstock. The bottles contain sampled tars before the OTM module (brownish bottle on the left) and after the OTM module (transparent bottle on the right).

Figure 4: Bottles with tars collected before the OTM module (brownish bottle on the right) and after the OTM module (transparent bottle on the left), illustrating the effective tar decomposition.  

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