Auto-gasification of a biofuel

M. P. Järvinen*, R. Zevenhoven, E. K. Vakkilainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


A novel mechanism for gasifying a char is described. For thermally large particles (i.e., Bi > 0.1) the temperature distribution is non-uniform. Because different temperature regimes exist in the particle, the stages of drying, devolatilization (or pyrolysis), and reaction of the char may overlap. At some point the particle's surface is fully devolatilized, while the particle's interior is still undergoing drying and devolatilization. As H2O and CO2 flow out from the particle they pass through the hot surface layers of char. If the temperature is high enough, the char may be gasified. Black liquor was used here as a sample fuel. It has desirable properties for such auto-gasification; thermally large particles, a high initial water-content and a very porous and highly reactive char. Detailed numerical simulations suggest that 30 to 40% of the char may be converted simultaneously with devolatilization by auto-gasification. The larger the particle and the higher the temperature, the larger is the fraction of char gasified. For coal and peat, a typical particle size is too small for this mechanism to play any role when fired in pulverized fuel or fluidized bed furnaces. For burning wooden logs, the particle size is large and the pyrolysis time is ≈10 min., so then auto-gasification might be important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-370
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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