The research of the Bioenergy & Biofuels LAB is performed by means of lab- and pilot-scale reactors and through analytical equipments.
Lab- and pilot-scale reactors
On the one hand, the LAB is equipped with:
- an open-top gasifier (Betel), for gasification tests at the pilot scale (4 kW),
- a Hydrothermal Carbonization reactor,
- a reforming reactor for syngas upgrading & Fischer-Tropsch synthesis,
- a char bed reactor for testing char filtering and catalytic effects.
In addition, a small-scale fixed-bed downdraft gasifier (nominal size 40 kg/h) is in the process of being installed.
On the other hand, the LAB is equipped with instruments for the complete characterization of solid and liquid biofuels, such as:
- cutting mill for sample preparation,
- elemental analyzer (CHNS-O with Cl module),
- bomb calorimeter,
- GC-FID for the analysis of liquid samples,
- several apparatus covering a wide spectrum of thermal analysis methodologies (TGA, also coupled with FTIR analysis of the evolved gases, STA, DSC, LFA),
- physisorption analyzer for the measurement of macro and micro-pore size distribution and specific surface area (BET) of solid samples.
The characterization of products and by-products of thermochemical conversion processes is complemented by three gas analyzers (microGC Agilent) and two tar sampling systems according to UNI CEN/TS 15439:2008. These portables apparatus can be used both in the lab and for on-site monitoring campaigns. For this purpose, a power analyzer, an ultrasonic flow meter, a pitot tube and a datalogger equipped with PT100 thermocouples are available, allowing the measuring of all the mass and energy flows within an energy conversion system.
The reactor can be used in double stage configuration where primary air flows from the top and secondary air is coming by a nozzle located in the middle of the reactor.