The design and engineering of a reactor test facility for thermal processing of biomass

  • Henry T. Wilson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis describes the design and engineering of a pressurised biomass gasification test facility. A detailed examination of the major elements within the plant has been undertaken in relation to specification of equipment, evaluation of options and final construction. The retrospective project assessment was developed from consideration of relevant literature and theoretical principles. The literature review includes a discussion on legislation and applicable design codes. From this analysis, each of the necessary equipment units was reviewed and important design decisions and procedures highlighted and explored. Particular emphasis was placed on examination of the stringent demands of the ASME VIII design codes. The inter-relationship of functional units was investigated and areas of deficiency, such as biomass feeders and gas cleaning, have been commented upon. Finally, plant costing was summarized in relation to the plant design and proposed experimental programme. The main conclusion drawn from the study is that pressurised gasification of biomass is far more difficult and expensive to support than atmospheric gasification. A number of recommendations have been made regarding future work in this area.
Date of Award1987
Original languageEnglish


  • design and engineering
  • reactor test facility
  • thermal processing of biomass

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