Mega Class Mk2 update - June July 2004

When we speak of gasification little attention is drawn to the complete system. While small systems are quite manageable in their need for fuel feeding, gas cleaning and cooling and waste clean outs, larger systems take on a dynamic that in itself is hard to initiate for the systems developer.

During June/July 2004 I spent four weeks in Winnipeg, Canada supervising the building of the prototype cleaning/cooling system for the Mark II Mega Class Gasifier Project, we also added a temporary fuel lock so that continuous operation of the gasifier could be maintained for the initial test programme. The fuel feeding alone became a little frantic during the operation of the gasifier as the consumption rate exceeded the expected 2T/hr to 2.5T/hr, producing some 5,400m3/hr of gas. So the first tests were limited to a slightly shorter duration than expected until we built up a larger fuel stockpile.

Connecting the gas from the cooling system to the flare stack/oxidation chamber had to be at a high level across the yard, and was achieved by using 10"inch galvanised ducting salvaged from a scrap yard. The joints of the sections were sealed with duct tape and the whole system was set up in a very short time.

As can be imagined, cooling large quantities of gas down to ambient temperature from an input of 300°C requires a large heat exchanger and this project has provided the opportunity to design a component specifically for the needs of producer gas. The heat exchanger is supplied with hot gas from the first stage of the gas cleaning system from a pair of cluster cyclones with four cyclones to each cluster. This design has been in continuous evolvement since Fluidyne introduced the principle back in 1983 for the early model Pacific Class.

Because all the components of the cooling/cleaning system are prototypes, some used materials have been used in the construction to keep the development cost at an acceptable level. Once these designs have been fully tested during the Winter test programme, new modules will be built to incorporate the finer details not required in the prototype.

No actual emission tests or gas analyses have been done in this current test programme, nor has the condensate flow of one gallon per minute been tested. We expect the condensate to contain soot and dissolved ash from the first stage cooler because it looks like black water - similar to condensate previously tested. Condensate from the second stage is crystal clear water, so we don't expect to find much by way of contamination. There is no visible condensing tar at our tractor test engine and no visible contamination of the paper filter before the engine. All in all a very productive cleaning/cooling system test was achieved.

I am returning to Winnipeg on 14 September 2004 to set the Winter test programme, and evaluate the performance of a second cooling tower which has now been added to the assembly. It is expected that now the gas has been proven to be clean, we should be able to fire up the V8 engines and finalise the completion of the power generation module.

A further update on this project will be submitted to this forum later in the year.

Doug Williams
Fluidyne Gasification

F1000022.jpg Gasifier test installation with oxidation chamber / test flare standing across the yard. Test flare fills chamber from 4' up from the bottom to top.
F1000015.jpg Fluidyne cyclone cluster connecting gas to first stage cooler / condenser
F1000005.jpg Fuel lock from coal fired boiler salvaged from the scrap yard for $500. Original cost $30,000
This "Blow Hog" machine is 70 years old and was rescued from a sawmill swamp. It made very nice fuel particles, perfect for gasification and true to its name blew the fuel piece 40' across the yard!
IMG_0453.jpg "Blow Hog" with elevator sending fuel chip into a moving floor box trailer. This was before we blew the chip into the trailer.
A better view of the six V8 engines driving the alternator seen at the rear, but not connected.
F1000014.jpg This is the size of the 1.2 MWe alternator compared to one of the team
F1000019.jpg The end result of flaring 5,400 M³/hr gas. Only a heat shimmer with no visible emissions.