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An evaluation of an alternative glycerol gasification, combustion and power generation system

Zuks, Lincoln (2014) An evaluation of an alternative glycerol gasification, combustion and power generation system. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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While great inroads have been made into finding alternate uses for the biodiesel waste glycerol, the projected growth in biodiesel production is likely to make it difficult for some producers to offload. This thesis report set out to evaluate the viability of a system which could go some way to solving this problem, while at the same time offsetting the cost of the primary production process. Aspen Plus was used to evaluate the thermodynamic feasibility of the proposed system. This modelling found, that after a couple of modifications, the system was viable from a thermodynamic standpoint. But, after systematically evaluating gasification, pyrolysis and steam reformation as possible means for converting glycerol into syngas, it was found that none of these systems, in their current form, would be suitable for making the system a reality. While it is true that these technologies are proven methods at a bench scale, an in depth literature review found a number of complicating factors which makes the conversion of glycerol into syngas an incredibly difficult task, one which is much more difficult than this investigation first anticipated. These findings cast doubt on such an idea becoming a reality in its current form. Fortunately, during the literature review process, a handful of recent studies where uncovered which looked at the co-gasification of crude glycerol with biomass. From the limited information available on the subject, it would seem that the co-gasification of glycerol and biomass has a promising future. The prospect of a simple system based on a proven technology which is able to deal with wastes from multiple sources along the biodiesel production process is an exciting prospect.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Bahri, Parisa and De Boer, Karne
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