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15th Global Summit and Expo on Biomass and Bioenergy

Rome, Italy

Ferruccio Pittaluga

Ferruccio Pittaluga

University of Genoa, & president, Tecnoforest Ltd. Italy

Title: A Novel Woodchip-Gasification Process for Clean Syngas Feeding of Dual-Fuel Diesel Gensets


Biography: Ferruccio Pittaluga


Starting from 2011, the innovative SME Tecnoforest Ltd. (formerly an academic spin-off of the University of Genoa) has addressed its activity towards the testing of existing, and the development of new, small-scale woodchip gasification technologies aimed at assuring electric and thermal self sufficiency to rural enterprises of the forestry and farming sectors ( On the other hand, the high pollutants content of their products (syngas and biochar), common to both downdraft and updraft gasifiers, has become apparent as the main obstacle preventing, in absence of hardly affordable abatement provisions, a widespread penetration in both the agricultural and renewable-energy sectors.

Thanks to the novel ‘batch’ gasification process recently developed at Tecnoforest Ltd., a tar-free syngas is released from gasifier’s top nozzle, whilst a solid residue made up of a highly clean biochar is produced at the bottom, at all suitable, as attested by official certification, for both agronomic and other, quite diversified, applications. The said process takes place, in batch modality, within a reactor provided by tilting capability so to allow discharging the hot biochar at the end of the process, after which a new ‘gasification cycle’ can immediately re-start. Details are given in refs. [6,7]. The name of the biochar-producing gasifier is SynChar: it is available for online purchase at website [8].The same basic process, which in SynChar relies on natural convection, can be converted to forced-air continuous operation by providing the reactor with a bottom air-blower as well as a side-mounted woodchip feeder, i.e. a hopper-auger motorized unit. In this case, the tar-free syngas can be fed to a water-heater burner or conveyed to an air unit-heater. Most suited applications would be for greenhouse heating, maybe even with the distinct advantage of allowing to induce carbonic fertilization of the ambient-air, to be, of course, limited to sunshine hours. If the woodchips’ dimensions are kept in the range of 1 to 3 cm and their humidity content does not exceed 25%, the gasification process turns out quite efficient, as attested by a remarkably low solid residue, just made up of clean ash. The name of the syngas-generator for thermal applications is SynBurner: its main characteristics with detailed performance data are presented in refs. It too is available for online purchase at website.