Assessment of the Behaviour of a Commercial Gasification Plant During Load Modulation and Feedstock Moisture Variation

  • Daniele AntoliniEmail author
  • Clemens Hollenstein
  • Stefan Martini
  • Francesco Patuzzi
  • Christopher Zemann
  • Wolfgang Felsberger
  • Marco Baratieri
  • Markus Gölles
Original Paper


Fixed-bed biomass gasification coupled with internal combustion engines allows an efficient exploitation of biomass for the combined production of heat and power (CHP) at small scale with increased economic viability with respect to combustion-based CHP systems. The main barrier on the way towards a wider market distribution is represented by the fact that a robust practical operation of state-of-the-art fixed-bed biomass gasification systems is limited to very specific fuel properties and steady-state operation. The aim of this work is twofold. On the one hand, it presents the results of a series of test runs performed in a monitored commercial plant under different process conditions, in order to assess its behaviour during load modulation and fuel property variations. On the other hand, an in-house developed thermodynamic equilibrium model was applied to predict the behaviour of the gasification reactor. This gasification model could be used for the development of a model-based control strategy in order to increase the performance of the small-scale gasification system. To assess the general operational behaviour of the whole gasification system an experimental one-week-long test run has been performed by BIOENERGY 2020+ and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano as round robin test. The plant has been tested under different operating conditions, in particular, varying the load of the engine and the moisture content of the feedstock. The outcomes shown in the present work provide a unique indication about the behaviour of a small-scale fix-bed gasifier working in conditions different from the nominal ones.


Biomass gasification Thermodynamic equilibrium model Electric power modulation Fuel flexibility 



The authors want to thank the Austrian Research Promotion Agency for the financial support to the research project “Increased fuel flexibility and modulation capability of fixed-bed biomass gasifiers by means of model-based control” (FlexiFuelGasControl). The project is coordinated by BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH (BE2020+) and involves Graz University of Technology, Institute for Automation and Control (TUG), the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (UNIBZ) and the URBAS Maschinenfabrik GmbH (URBAS) as project partners.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University of Bozen-BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  2. 2.BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbHGrazAustria
  3. 3.Institute for Automation and ControlGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  4. 4.URBAS Maschinenfabrik Ges.m.b.HVölkermarktAustria

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