The Beltran biomass cogeneration system

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Courtesy of Beltran Technologies, Inc.

An effective, economical solution for harvesting safe, renewable domestic energy, mitigating wastes and achieving environmental goals.

Background

The Beltran Biomass Cogeneration System (BBCS) is an integrated, three-stage process that uses proprietary gasification technology to convert biomass and other organic wastes into versatile, cleanburning synthesis gas. The purified gas can then be burned to generate energy as combined heat and power (CHP), or to produce valuable hydrogen, liquid biofuels, synthetic polymers and marketable industrial chemicals.

After years of intensive research, Beltran Technologies and associates have adapted and combined legacy technologies with the latest science and engineering, materials and designs, configured into three main components:

  • A high-efficiency gasification reactor that converts biomass and other carbonaceous materials into quality synthesis gas (syngas).
  • A specially engineered wet electrostatic precipitator that cleans and conditions the syngas for downstream uses.
  • An internal combustion engine that co-generates heat and power (CHP); the syngas can also be adapted to other emerging technologies.

These main subsystems are close-coupled, using advanced electronic monitoring and operating controls to optimize performance. The technology is extremely flexible and scalable: It can process a variety of source feedstocks, generate multiple forms of energy and useful byproducts and deliver efficient power generating performance (35% or more efficiency) in a range of applications and industries.

Currently, Beltran technology is being successfully used in a 24-hour, commercial-scale demonstration plant processing 48 tons per day of municipal solid waste (MSW), and yielding 2 MW electric and 3 MW thermal energy.

Turning Waste into Clean, Efficient Energy

Biomass gasification offers decisive advantages over the direct combustion of nonrenewable fossil fuels, and even of conventional biomass resources such as pelletized wood. It can extract more pure energy per ton of fuel, at a lower total cost, with fewer emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. It can process a variety of readily available, low-value feedstocks, and it can yield an even larger variety of energy sources and commercially valuable chemicals, fuels and other products. Unlike other alternative energy platforms—such as solar, wind and geothermal—biomass energy is a continuously available resource.

The Beltran Biomass Cogeneration System capitalizes on these advantages while addressing several converging technological challenges:

  • The rising demand for and costs of all forms of energy by both developing and advanced societies around the world.
  • The complex logistics and rising costs of managing and disposing industrial, agricultural and municipal wastes, including toxic pollutants.
  • The compelling need to develop environmentally sustainable energy sources, to cut emissions of carbon-based greenhouse gases, and to reduce dependence on costly, unpredictable supplies of imported fossil fuels.
  • Achieving compliance with increasingly stringent pollution control regulations issued by governments at every level, while remaining economically viable.

Biomass Gasification

Thermochemical process, converts biomass from plant or animal wastes; municipal wastes; other carbonaceous sources into synthesis gas (syngas), mainly carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). It may also contain amounts of inorganic fly ash, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, acid gases, methane, ammonia, etc., depending on fuel source.

High-pressure, high-temperature (1500° – 1800° F.) reactor vessel, accepts up to 5 ton/hour biomass and other feedstocks. Fuel fed from the top. Steam/hot air mixed draft from the bottom.

Process: Fixed-bed, counter-flow process, with restricted oxygen supply, converts fuel into syngas.

Three zones: drying (top), pyrolysis (middle), gasification (bottom).

Residual char collected at bottom for reuse. At high temperatures, may be vitrified into non-leaching chemically inactive spheroids, with industrial uses. Cyclone separator collects large-particle fly ash.

Advantages

  • Very few moving parts.
  • Extremely low levels of common pollutants, CO2 greenhouse gas.
  • More energy per ton than combustion of waste or other fuels.
  • When using plant-based fuel, can achieve carbon-neutrality.

Syngas Cleaning And Conditioning

Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP) cleans and conditions syngas to submicron particulate level as needed by the engine-generator.

Utilizes proprietary, multistage ionizing rods with star-shaped discharge points in a square or hexagonal configuration. This unique geometry generates a corona field 4-5 times greater than standard wet or dry ESPs. The corona induces negative charge in submicron-size gas-stream particulates, propelling them toward the grounded collection surface, where they adhere. Collection plates cleansed by water sprays. Cleaned gas is passed through.

Advantages

  • Operates at up to 99.99% emission-control efficiency on submicron particulates, acid mists, organic pollutants.
  • Superior to dry ESPs, scrubbers.
  • Wet operation minimizes re-entrainment.
  • Minimal pressure drop versus scrubbers, baghouses.

Power Generation From Thermal And Electric Energy

Sparking Internal Combustion (ICE) Engine burns syngas fuel to drive electric generator.

Surplus heat may be used directly for district heating, or channeled to downstream secondary steamturbine electric generator to achieve CHP cogeneration.

Other Syngas Uses:

  • May be used to extract hydrogen for high-efficiency fuel cells.
  • May be converted via Fischer-Tropsch process into synthetic liquid transportation fuels, including syn-diesel and jet fuel.

OTHER CHEMICALS OF COMMERCIAL VALUE MAY BE EXTRACTED:

  • Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG)
  • Ethanol
  • Dimethyl ether (DME)
  • Methanol via catalytic reforming.
  • Renewable polymer olefins.
  • Intermediates for petroleum refining.

Customer comments

  1. By zea jeon on

    Can I ask what device did you use in testing the gas emissions?