Why Gasification?

Gasification is a process that converts carbonaceous materials, such as coal or biomass, into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the raw material at high temperatures with a controlled (about one-third the oxygen needed for efficient combustion) amount of oxygen [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasification].

The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis gas or syngas and is itself a fuel. Combustion is a function of the mixture of oxygen with the hydrocarbon fuel. Gaseous fuels mix with oxygen more easily than liquid fuels, which in turn mix more easily than solid fuels. Syngas therefore inherently burns more efficiently and cleanly than the solid biomass from which it was made. Gasification is generally recognized to be a very efficient method for extracting energy from many different types of organic materials.

Additionally the high-temperature combustion refines out corrosive and problematic ash elements such as silica, chloride and potassium, allowing clean combustion from otherwise problematic fuels [www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/gasification.html], specifically straw. If these salts are not removed, they will very seriously shorten the life of any heat exchanger. The BEST patented ASilica Trap@ effectively deals with these salts.

Syngas has been used by others to run internal combustion engines, but at BEST, we burn it in the secondary chamber to extract all possible heat energy out of the biomass.

Energy Source Chart: (prices will vary with time and region)

Energy SourceMega joulesBTUUnitEfficiencyCost/UnitCost per 1 million Btu
Oil 38.2 36,300 Litre 75% $ 0.70 $25.80
Electric 3.6 3,413 Kwh 95% $ 0.057 $17.60
Natural gas 37.5 35,301 M3 75% $ 0.355 $13.33
Propane 25.3 24,200 Litre 95% $ 0.41 $18.01
Hardwood 30,600 26,444,444 Cord 55% $150.0 $10.83
Softwood 18,700 16,160,494 Cord 55% $100.00 $ 9.39
Wood pellets 19,800 17,111,111 Tonne 65% $200.00 $17.21
Estevan coal 16,200 14,000,000 Tonne 65% $45.00 $ 4.86
Alberta coal 24,300 17,000,000 Tonne 80% $65.00 $ 4.98
Wheat straw 8,100 7,000,000 500 kg bale 85% $ 15.00 $ 2.09
Flax straw 9,985 8,629,012 500 kg bale 85% $ 5.00 $ 1.87
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