Thermal use of biomass in high-temperature processes

In the framework of the funding program “Renewable Raw Materials” of the BMELV, a work group was created at the Institute for Energy Systems for “Thermal use of biomass in high-temperature processes”.


The ultimate goal is to investigate, overcome with new methods and, ultimately, to solve problems and limitations that arise in the thermal use of biomass in conventional facilities. In order to make this possible, the foundations of the project must be determined, and process development of the various processes must be set into motion. Significant questions that must be answered in this project are the reduction of emissions and unburned materials, trace elements like sulfur and  chlorine compounds, alkalis and particles during the combustion of selected biomass, the formation of tar during gasification, the influence of biomass treatment on sulfur, chlorine and alkalis, as well as the question of the sustainability of the processes. Biomass that has been put to little use thus far, and that does not compete with the agricultural cultivation of food, should be used as preferred fuel. Therefore, residual agricultural waste, straw, energy crops, and biomass formed from torrefaction and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), such as grass cuttings and landscaping materials, will be used. These fuels present partially significant problems during combustion and gasification in traditional system concepts.

Project Objectives:

  • Completion of foundational investigations on the development of concepts for thermal utilization and decentralized power generation using biogenic waste.
  • Investigation and development of  procedural concepts.
  • Consideration of the availability and durability of the biomass being used.

Work Packages:

  • High-temperature combustion: Investigation of the combustion process at the institute’s entrained-flow reactor.
  • High-temperature gasification: Development, planning, and installation of an auto-thermal-laboratorial entrained-flow reactor (100 KW) for the investigation of the gasification of biomass.
  • Biomass treatment: Development and installation of an HTC-laboratory facility, and investigation of HTC and torrefied biomass, as well as ash composition.
  • Decentralized power generation: Planning and establishment of a laboratorial high-temperature heat exchanger for the investigation of corrosion and pollution: cycle simulation for the analysis of directly and indirectly fired turbine processes.