Bioenergy from feathers gasification - Efficiency and performance analysis

Kwiatkowski, K., Krzysztoforski, J., Bajer, K., Dudyński, M.

Biomass and Bioenergy

59, 2013, 402-411, 10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.07.013

Energy production from fixed-bed gasification of poultry feathers was analysed using process data from a real industry-scale plant located in Olsztyn, Poland. Feathers undergo the two-stage process of gasification in a fixed-bed updraft gasifier with 3.2 MW thermal input capacity followed by burning of the produced gas in a separate combustion chamber. The resulting flue gases generate steam in a boiler. The process is viable in terms of technical parameters, emission standards and profitability.

The process was analysed in detail for a one-week period (1–7 March 2011) and for the whole year 2011 on the monthly basis. During the selected week 1.3 Mg h−1 of feathers were gasified and 3.0 Mg h−1 of steam was produced continuously, without any interruptions. The efficiency of energy transformation was 96% for the gasifier, 97% for the combustor and 72% for the boiler. The total efficiency of energy conversion for this period was 68% and exergetic efficiency was 25%. The main energy loss occurs in the boiler outlet mainly due to high water content in the flue gases.

Biological residues are a major energy source for the nearby slaughterhouse. Bioenergy contribution varies from around 60% in winter up to 90% in summer. This new source successfully replaces the formerly used coal burner. Thanks to this replacement, annual emission of net carbon dioxide was reduced by 4200 tonnes.