Fluidyne Gasification Archive

 Californian Mk5 Andes Class Gasifier

In the previous report on the Andes Class development programme, we were able to show you the rapid progress behind the development of supporting equipment to the gas making process.  In this update, you can see the Mk5 model now set up for all the final testing to establish gas flows, and of course the all important emission testing during two weeks August 2009.
 
The Mk5 has recycled some of the previous components like heat exchangers, and incorporated new hot gas filters, back pulsed with cold clean producer gas. We consider it to be more appropriate for this type of low energy gas, rather than adding nitrogen or CO2 dilution. In combining the major components into a single assembly, reducing the footprint continues to play an important role for the final design, where multiple installations can be installed.
 
For the emission testing, we have fitted a catalytic converter to the V8 Onan engine generator, and built an electrical load-bank to check emissions across the generation load range.  A ceramic gas combustion chamber designed in Chile to fit the large Fluidyne Cyclomix burner has been added, instead of the high gas flare shown in previous releases, and now show for the first time, the gas burning with complete combustion. It is very satisfying to see this historic form of gas making reaching the standards required for modern commercial applications. Combustion flare photos could only be taken at night, as they are invisible during the day.
 
Waste cleanouts from the gasifier show that between 1+2%  of the fuel is extracted as char, and a quantity of aqueous condensate drains out of the gas, which at this stage still has to be measured and tested for any toxic contamination. Wood chips used for this Summer test programme were set at 9% moisture content, and as dry gas cleaning is the only need for this system, no special disposal is foreseen to accommodate waste disposal.
 
Based on the information gained in previous testing, gas cooling hot air is now available from a central outlet for ducting to appropriate applications. With a temperature of 120C, it will be very useful in those climates that have need and place value on heat. Heating flows are also available from the engine exhaust, and radiator cooling, but these are considered ancillary flows that will be site specific in their recovery and applications.
 
As the automation gradually takes over the role of manual intervention, the ability to feed the gas making process to match the gas making, resulted in remarkable stability over increased gas flows. At double all previous gas flows recorded, the CO2 content only increased slightly from 7-9%, suggesting that we should see CO and H2 around 20% when we get the gas analysis equipment installed hopefully in September 2009. Maximum gas outputs will be established during September testing. and are expected to make gas to the equivalent of 200kWe.
 
A number of invited visitors were present to witness some of the testing procedures being established by Rob Williams, U.C. Davis, and Dave Sharpe of BOILER & STEAM SYSTEMS, who joins the technical team for the final development programme.
 
 In the year since this project began, there has been considerable progress towards reduction of manufacturing costs, and we can see the future of implementation improving as our testing results set new standards that need to be achieved. If credibility in gasification technology can ever be attained, we hope that in showing this development programme as it evolves, will prove gasification can fulfil it's promise as a sustainable renewable energy option for multiple applications.
 
August 2009.
 

With new design of ash box in place, and new hot gas filter mounted directly onto gasifier, this Mk 5 Andes Class is ready to conduct gas flow rate testing to   establish the operating output.
In order to combust the large amount of gas and conduct emission testing, this ceramic combustion chamber designed in Chile, provided our site visitors a chance to roast weenies for lunch over the invisible 1,000C flame heat.
The combusting gas could only be photographed at night, so a few 11pm-1am tests had to be completed by the team.
Standing on a tall ladder to look into the combusting gas, the patterning is lost to the camera. We hope to show this on video shortly.
An interesting view of the oxidation can be seen using an indigo quartz lens, which cuts out the red and highlights the incandescence of the char.
The final test of my visit saw this view of the computer screen indicating twice the expected gas flows from this system. It was clearly capable of further increase, and the continuing test programme will resume mid- September.
This view of the aqueous condensate attempted to show the clarity of the liquid that drains from the cold gas. It remains at pH6.9 and has a slight medicinal taste. Laboratory testing will be confirm if further treatment is required before disposal.
As this project is located in a forest tree seedling nursery, waste char and soot cleanouts, are being investigated as potting medium for growing the trees. Shown here is the second year of seedling trials, along side trees grown in conventional potting mediums.
The evidence is clear to see. The two in the centre containing carbon, sit between two grown in conventional potting mix, and all of even root development and growth. Carbon is still being evaluated for soil enhancement, and all the other attributes that contribute to soil and plant health, and we will endeavour to show more of this work in the coming year 2009-2010.