Japanese Power Plant Delivers 2 MW from Biomass Gasification

A Japanese power plant is using biomass updraft gasification technology to deliver 2 megawatts (MW) of CHP capacity. Located 400 kilometers north of Tokyo, the plant uses technology licensed from Denmark-based Babcock & Wilcox Volund A/S, a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, to turn 60 tonnes of wood chips a day into wood gas.

The output from the plant is delivered to residents of the nearby town of Murayama, in Yamagata Prefecture. JFE Environmental Solutions Corp., the plant’s designer, licensed the technology from B&W Vølund in 2003. In the updraft gasification process, moist biomass fuel is fed into the top and descends though hot gases rising through the reactor. The fuel is dried in the gasifier’s upper zone while pyrolysis occurs below.

The biomass material then passes through a reduction zone (gasification), and in the zone above the grate an oxidation process is carried out (combustion). To supply air for the combustion process and steam for the gasification process, moist hot air is supplied at the bottom of the reactor. Updraft technology allows for a wide fuel mix and range of moisture content and is also scalable for units up to 20 MW fuel input.

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