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System Overview and


 Process Control

 ¦uel Conditioning ‡Gas Cleaning

 Gasification ‡Power Generation
 Gas Cooling

± Drying Bins
± Horizontal Auger
± Sorting Screen
± ¦uel ¦eeder
± Gasifier
± Heat Exchanger
± ¦ilter
± Control System
± Engine/Generator

Pr im a ry A ir B io m a ss  à zones
± ¦resh ¦eed
Fr e sh Fe ed

Fi n a l D r y in g
± ¦inal Drying
F la m in g Py ro l y sis
± ¦laming Pyrolysis
± Char Oxidation
S e c o n da ry C h a r O x i da tio n
A ir  CO2 + Heat
± Char Reduction
C h a r R e d uc ti o n
 CO + H

Pr o d uc e r G a s
C h ar


 Char Air Subsystem
± Secondary air injection into the
gasifier to control the
temperature of the gasifier
± à levels of air injection
 à control valves
 1 air blower
 30 air injection fingers
 Temperature ?easurement
± 12 thermocouple measurements
in the gasifier
± Redundant thermocouples in the
char air zone
 Dp (Differential Pressure)
± Gasifier and Grate dp

 Grate Subsystem
± Located near the bottom of the
± Pushes ash and charcoal through the
screen at the bottom of the gasifier
 Responsible for maintaining a low
gasifier and grate resistance and to
help mitigate a high flame front
 Vibrator Subsystem
± Located under the feed gate at the
top of the gasifier
 Breaks up ³rat holes´ and prevents
fuel bridging problems
 Automatic Ignition
± Cal rod ± resistive heater
± Located near the bottom of the
gasifier near the grate subsystem

 Gaskets and Seals  Insulation and Shell

± 2 gaskets on the gasifier ± Gasifier is covered in 6´ of
ceramic insulation
 1 thermiculite gasket at
the flange ± Insulation is covered by a
metal shell
 1 silicone gasket on the
cleanout port to the HEX.  ?aintenance Port
± Located on the opposite side
 ?ain gasifier flange of the heat exchanger
± 12 bolts ± Insulation cover must be
± Hydraulic lifting removed to expose the
mechanism flange

 Shell and Tube
± Producer Gas travels through the
± 24 tubes ± move independently
of each other
± Cooling air is circulated around
the shell
± Reduce producer gas
temperature from ~ 700°C to ~
110°C (1,292°¦ to 230°¦).
± Gas Cooling Blower
 àhp motor
 On/Off and speed controlled with
a motor controller
± Clean-out port located on the

 Self Cleaning Bag ¦ilter
± 4 cell filter
± Weights tied to the top of each bag
± Automatic char and ash removal system
± Safety filter downstream
± Rupture disks for each filter and the char
± Only 3 filters active at any one time ± One
filter is always in cleaning mode ± ¦ilter is
shutoff with a inline valve
± O2 measurement
 Detects air leaks
± Producer gas flow meter
 Venturi meter
± ¦ilter Enclosure
 Cooling ¦an ± on/off controlled with a
thermostat located in the filter junction box
± Preheat
 Strip Heaters
± Responsible for heating the filter
enclosure above producer gas
condensation point before gasifier ignition

 Programmable Automation
Controller (PAC)
± Compact ¦ield Point
± 1 control module and a
variety of I/O modules
± Can be connected to the
internet or a LAN
± All incoming data is recorded
and stored
± Automatic control and
monitoring system
 Automated alarms,
responses, and shutdowns

± Thermocouples
± Pressure Transducers
± Air Leak O2 Sensor

± Venturi ¦low ?eter
± Gasifier ¦eed Level Sensor
± ¦eed Gate Open and Closed
limit switch
 „  ?otor Controllers
  ± Used to vary the speed of
various motors throughout
the system

 Commercial Gillette
Engine/Generator Set
± G? V-6, 3.1 Liter, Vortec
± WEG 3àkW Generator
 Roots Blower
± In-line producer gas blower
± Provides gas flow to the flare
while the engine in not
operating or provides flow to
the flare when the engine is
not operating at full load

 ?odified Engine
± In-line gas blower
± Automatic Engine Starting
± Control system controls the
A/¦ ratio with the use of an
O2 sensor
± Can run in stand alone or
utility parallel configuration
± 2àkW ?ax continuous power

 Used to burn excess

producer gas
± Located on the top of the
± Hot surface igniter
± Thermocouple
 ¦lare ¦ailure
± Dangerous CO gases
± Clear to Blue flame


 Embedded Control Code
 60 seconds boot-up cycle
 Wait for LED B on the
control module to begin
± Pre-run checklist
± Start and Pre-heat
± Normal Operation
± Alarms
± Shutdowns
 Operational Tasks
± Turn on 120VAC inverter to
power the control system.
± Respond to alarms



 Navigate through the different control screens by ³clicking´ on the

tabs at the top of the control screen.
 Before Starting a run ± Pre-run Checklist ± Select the ³Pre-Run
Checklist´ tab
± Each item on the checklist must be completed and checked off
before a new run can start



 Starting the System ± Select the
³Inputs´ tab
± ³Start´ button lockout
 If Pre-run checklist is not
± If the ³Start´ button is pressed
the systems enters pre-heat
 ¦eed gate latch is active, Gas
Cooling blower, ¦ilter pre-
heaters, and Heat Exchanger
pre-heaters are turned on
 Run until ³¦ilter Out´
temperature > producer gas
condensation point (40°C)
 ~ 1à to 20 minutes


 Normal Operation
± ³Outputs´ tabs
 Displays the current status all
motors, valves, and other
electrical devices
 Automatic/?anual Control
± Automatic Ignition after pre-heat
is complete
± ¦resh fuel feeding after gasifier
temperatures > 800°C
± ³Outputs Vars´ tabs
 Can only be accessed with
 Contains all set-points and
control parameters
± Changing values on the
³Output Vars´ tabs can cause
the system to become unstable


&'  ( 
 Indicator Lights
Computer display lights
± Green light
 Solid = Run in process ± no alarm conditions present
 Blinking = Run in process ± Operator alert Condition
± Yellow light
 Solid = Controlled Shutdown Started
 Blinking = Run in process ± Yellow Alarm Condition
± Red light
 Solid = Emergency Shutdown
 Blinking = Run in process ± Red Alarm Condition


- Green Button
 Start new run
 Can only be initiated from Emergency Shutdown State
± Yellow Button
 Start Controlled Shutdown
 Can only be initiated from Normal Operating State
± Red Button
 Start Emergency Shutdown
 Can be initiated at any time
± Blue Button
 Start System Purge
 Can only be initiated from Emergency Shutdown State
 Gasifier must be < 200°C
± Purple Button
 System ?aintenance



 Connect a computer to
the control system
± ¦TP Protocol ± Internet
± d:/ni-rt/Labview Data/Run
± Spreadsheet program
± 97% full




± Empty Char Bin of char
 About once a week(40
as need depending on

± Required for safe and efficient operation
± Every time the system is shutdown because of a
controlled or emergency shutdown a maintenance
task must be completed.
± Dangers associated with maintenance tasks
 Heat/burn hazards
 CO hazards
 Particulate hazards


 Before opening any part of the Bio?ax 2à system for

any reason the system must be PURGED!!!!
± Purging the system will:
 Eliminate dangerous CO gases
 Prevent explosion hazards
± Can not purge the system until:
 System has been at rest for 12 hours
 Gasifier temperatures are all < 140°C
 Stop the purge cycle immediately if Gasifier temperatures start to


 Reasons to Service the
± Excessively High Pressure
± Cal Rod ¦ailure
± Grate ¦ailure
± Clogged Air Holes
± Air Leak
 Remove Insulation Cover
 Remove flange bolts
  „ „ ½ „

 Lift gasifier with hydraulic lift



 Remove char and ash

 Remove the grate to
clean the mesh material
 Inspect the gasket
 Inspect char air injection



 Reasons to service the Heat
± Excessively High Pressure Drop
± Poor gas cooling performance
 Remove gasifier side clean out
port cover
 Remove heat exchanger out
± Use a vacuum and cleaning rods
 When re-assembling the heat
exchanger flanges ± inspect the
integrity of each gasket.


 Reason to service the ¦ilter or
safety filter
± Excessively High Pressure Drop
 Remove each upper filter drum
 Detach weights from bags
 „ „  Remove hose clamps that secure
bags in place
 Install new bags
± Slick side of bag goes in first
± Reinstall weights
 Check each safety filter
± Replace filter bag if a safety filter
is fowled
 „ „


± Open thermocouple
± ¦alse Junction
 Pressure Ports
± Clean ports with a drill bit
± Check pressure tube


 ¦ollow instructions in
Engine ?anual
 Change engine oil every
1à0 hours
 Check the engine

± High Temperature Hazards
± Particulates
± Electrical
± CO
± Explosion Hazards
± ¦lame and Smoke
± ?oving Parts

 High Temperature Hazards
± Burn hazards include:
 Heat Exchanger
 Hot water hose
± Avoid hot surfaces while
 The longer you run the
hotter it gets
± Protective Clothing
 Particulate Hazards
± Char and Ash particulates:
± Only way to prevent particulate inhalation:
 Wear a particulate rated face mask while performing
 Use HEPA rated vacuum
± Do not use HEPA rated vacuum for any other cleaning
± Char and Ash Particulates are located:
 In the Gasifier
 Heat Exchanger
 ¦ilter and ¦ilter Char Bin
 Electrical Hazards ± DC Voltage
± 3 phase 480VAC, 1 phase  Turn off DC Box breaker in
120vac Breaker box to kill 24vdc power
 (480vac, 120vac) Breaker Box
located next to ?ain Control Box  12vdc battery in engine
 DC Control Box enclosure
 All 3 phase AC voltage delivered ± Acid
by the generator ± Turn off main Eye Protection
generator breaker to kill 3 phase  Protective Clothing
power ± Explosive gases
 120vac power delivered from  Good Ventilation
12vdc battery and an inverter
± 120vac is available even if the
engine is not running!
 Use Safe electrical practices
around the Bio?ax system
± Always use a meter to verify
voltage is not present before
working on a circuit
 CO Hazards  What to do if you suspect CO
 Colorless poisoning
 Odorless ± Vacate the area
 Poisonous ± Ensure proper ventilation around the
 Combustible system
± How to detect CO?  Engine Exhaust
 CO ?onitor
± Hand Held
 Preventing CO Poisoning around the
± Wall monitors Bio?ax 2à
± Symptoms of CO Poisoning ± Purge the system before any
 Headache maintenance or opening any vessel
 ¦atigue ± Ensure proper ventilation
 Shortness of breath
± Keep the feed gate closed until a new
 Nausea run is started or the system has been
 Dizziness purged
± Large quantities of CO can KILL
 Effects of CO poisoning can be
 Explosion Hazards ± ¦eed Gate (cont.)
± CO and Particulates  If ¦eed gate does not close on
± O2 leak into the Bio?ax 2à ± Smoke out the top of the
system could cause and gasifier is combustible
explosive mixture ± Do not try and fix feed gate
 O2 sensor in system to detect an ± Ventilation system is designed
explosive mixture to keep the levels of smoke
escaping the gasifier below
 Over 6% Oxygen is explosive explosive levels.
 Hot charcoal can supply an ± Rupture disks to prevent
ignition source catastrophic failure:
 No spark is needed if gas is  Locations
extremely hot
± 1 for each filter
± ¦lash Point
± ¦eed Gate If a rupture disk fails
 Gravity powered feed gate ± Cover the opening
 Emergency Shutdown will release the  Use a CO monitor
feed gate
± Begin an emergency shutdown
 ¦lame and Smoke Hazards  Tripping/¦alling
± Top of Gasifier ± Keep the area clean
± Smoke can burst into flames
 ?oving Parts
± Gasifier ¦eeder
 Chain drive
± ¦eed Gate
± ¦ilter augers
± ¦ans
 ¦ilter enclosure
 Engine radiator
 Engine enclosure