Novel Pyro-Gasification Technology for Hydrogen Production from Solid Waste

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


Background: Decarbonisation of the energy market is one of the biggest challenges of the 21stcentury. It is then crucial to find new energy sources that would both be sustainable and able to meet the power demand of the modern world. Hydrogen has been proposed as a suitable choice for achieving this goal. Currently, hydrogen production is primarily realized with the use of the fossil fuels, through gasification of coal or from steam reforming of natural gas. If hydrogen is going to become a part of fossil fuel-free economy, it is necessary to develop newcleanmethodsof obtaining this element. Research suggests that gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW) could be employed for this purpose. Gasification is a process of converting of organic matter into mixture of gases (such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, water vapour and others) through partial oxidisation at high temperatures. MSW isa major source of organic compoundsand its utilisation, in the context of syngas production, presents a great potential in the energy industry. Currently,waste is grossly underused in syngasproductionand there is a need for the development of technologies that could exploit its potential. Aim:To develop a model of the thermochemical mechanisms of the gasification and pyrolysis processes. To investigate the effect of the changing parameters onthe model of gasification/pyrolysis reactor model.To find operating parameters that maximisehydrogen production from municipal solid waste. Motivation: A study that investigates in detail the production of high-hydrogen-content syngas from MSW is needed for several reasons. Firstly, it would lead to creating an accurate model of the pyrolysis/gasification plant with defined boundary constraints and operating conditions. Such model can be then utilised in optimising the hydrogen production process, maximising the energy density of the fuel. Furthermore, it would contribute to the development of large scale models of gasification reactors that then are used in industry and are attractive for the commercial and political sectors. Ultimately, utilising hydrogen as a fuel on a larger scale will reduce the harmful effects of the energy industry on the environment. Methodology: Experimental data describing already existing gasification/pyrolysis reactors is going to be accessed from online sources. A computational model of the gasification/pyrolysis reactor is going to be created from in relevant software and verified against real-life case. Non-linear, thermochemical kinetic models are going to be used to replicate real-life conditions. Equations describing those mechanisms are going to be produced and solve. CAD model of the reactor is going to be produced and its operation is going to be simulated in a computational fluid dynamics software.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513222/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2440539 Studentship EP/R513222/1 30/09/2020 31/03/2024 Agata Stepniak