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Ammar Saber, PhD in Fluid Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Ted Karlsson.

Less soot gives cleaner energy

Published: 16 October 2015

Biomass gasification is a promising technology to produce environmentally friendly energy. In a new dissertation by Ammar Saber at Luleå University of Technology, new methods are presented that will make gasification and combustion plants more efficient and less harmful for the environment.

To reduce the risk of global warming the production of greenhouse gases needs to be reduced in favor of renewable energy production. One such solution is the gasification of biomass.

Particle concentration affects efficiency

– Pulverized fuel burners play an important role in the performance of gasification and combustion plants. A more efficient reactor would minimize pollutant emissions. It would also reduce the consumption of biofuels and thus reduce costs, says Ammar Saber, PhD in Fluid Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology.

– A problem with gasification of biomass has been how to control the concentration of biomass particles in the reactor. The effect of this type of particles of the turbulent flow field is not entirely clear, which can affect the heat transfer inside the reactor.

Better dispersion with synthetic jet

Ammar Saber’s research has focused on increasing the understanding of multiphase turbulent flow in combustion and gasification of biomass and to develop a method for controlling the spread of the biomass particles so that the reactor's efficiency increases.

– The numerical models (CFD) for simulating combustion and gasification of biomass use particles that are spherical, with some modifications. I show that the irregular particles of biomass affect the turbulent flow in a different way than spherical particles do. By using a synthetic jet, we could control the dispersion of the particles, and thereby reduce the amount of soot generated in the gasification process.

Ammar Sabers work has been of experimental nature and has been conducted at the John Field Laboratory and at the Laboratory for energy conversion processes at Luleå University of Technology.