Supercritical Water Gasification is an efficient technology in converting wet biomass into H2 and CH4 in comparison to other conventional thermochemical processes. Coke deposition, however, remains as a major challenge in this technology. Coke formation is the result of polymerization reactions that take place at sub-critical conditions. Directly injecting the relatively unheated wet biomass feed into supercritical water increases the heating rate and reduces the residence time of the feed in the sub-critical condition. This leads to a minimized coke formation in the process. However, a non-isothermal mixing takes place during this direct injection that is less energy-efficient. In addition, the biomass feedstream experiences less pre-heating that means less heat recovery from the product gas. These two aspects might reduce the overall process performance. Parametric studies of key operating parameters, such as operating temperature, dry matter content, bypass water ratio and heat exchanger effectiveness, are carried out to investigate the influence of direct injection to the thermal efficiency of the system. Subsequently, optimization using pinch analysis is conducted to the system with direct injection. Finally, an operating window for optimum performance of the optimized direct injection gasification system is proposed.
- Supercritical water gasification
- System model
- Sewage sludge
- Coke formation
- Pinch analysis