Gasification of torrefied oil palm biomass in a fixed-bed reactor: effects of gasifying agents on product characteristics

Jiuan Jing Chew, Megan Soh, Jaka Sunarso, Siek Ting Yong, Veena Doshi, Sankar Bhattacharya

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Gasification represents an attractive pathway to generate fuel gas (i.e., syngas (H2 and CO) and hydrocarbons) from oil palm biomass in Malaysia. Torrefaction is introduced here to enhance the oil palm biomass properties prior to gasification. In this work, the effect of torrefaction on the gasification of three oil palm biomass, i.e., empty fruit bunches (EFB), mesocarp fibres (MF), and palm kernel shells (PKS) are evaluated. Two gasifying agents were used, i.e., CO2 and steam. The syngas lower heating values (LHVsyngas) for CO2 gasification and steam gasification were in the range of 0.35–1.67 MJ m−3 and 1.61–2.22 MJ m−3, respectively. Compared with EFB and MF, PKS is more effective for fuel gas production as indicated by the more dominant emission of light hydrocarbons (CH4, C2H4, and C2H6) in PKS case. Gasification efficiency was examined using carbon conversion efficiency (CCE) and cold gas efficiency (CGE). CCE ranges between 4% and 55.1% for CO2 gasification while CGE varies between 4.8% and 46.2% and 27.6% and 62.9% for CO2 gasification and steam gasification, respectively. Our results showed that higher concentration of gasifying agent promotes higher carbon conversion and that steam gasification provides higher thermal efficiency (CGE) compared to CO2 gasification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Fixed-bed reactor
  • Gasification
  • Oil palm biomass
  • Torrefaction

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