For the realization of small-scale biomass-to-liquid (BTL) processes, low-cost syngas cleaning remains a major obstacle, and for this reason a simplified gas ultracleaning process is being developed. In this study, a low- to medium-temperature final gas cleaning process based on adsorption and organic solvent-free scrubbing methods was coupled to a pilot-scale staged fixed-bed gasification facility including hot filtration and catalytic reforming steps for extended duration gas cleaning tests for the generation of ultraclean syngas. The final gas cleaning process purified syngas from woody and agricultural biomass origin to a degree suitable for catalytic synthesis. The gas contained up to 3000 ppm of ammonia, 1300 ppm of benzene, 200 ppm of hydrogen sulfide, 10 ppm of carbonyl sulfide, and 5 ppm of hydrogen cyanide. Post-run characterization displayed that the accumulation of impurities on the Cu-based deoxygenation catalyst (TOS 105 h) did not occur, demonstrating that effective main impurity removal was achieved in the first two steps: acidic water scrubbing (AWC) and adsorption by activated carbons (AR). In the final test campaign, a comprehensive multipoint gas analysis confirmed that ammonia was fully removed by the scrubbing step, and benzene and H2S were fully removed by the subsequent activated carbon beds. The activated carbons achieved > 90% removal of up to 100 ppm of COS and 5 ppm of HCN in the syngas. These results provide insights into the adsorption affinity of activated carbons in a complex impurity matrix, which would be arduous to replicate in laboratory conditions.
- Syngas purification
- Biomass to liquids