Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction

Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction, 2nd Edition

Practical Design and Theory

Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction, 2nd Edition,Prabir Basu,ISBN9780123964885


Academic Press




234 X 155

The only reference on the market to cover biomass processing in its gas, liquid, and solid states

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Key Features

  • Contains new and updated step-by-step process flow diagrams, design data and conversion charts, and numerical examples with solutions
  • Includes chapters dedicated to evolving torrefaction technologies, practicing option of biomass cofiring, and biomass conversion economics
  • Expanded coverage of syngas and other Fischer-Tropsch alternatives
  • Spotlights advanced processes such as supercritical water gasification and torrefaction of biomass.
  • Provides available research results in an easy-to-use design methodology


Biomass is the most widely used non-fossil fuel in the world. Biomass resources show a considerable potential in the long-term given the increasing proliferation of dedicated energy crops for biofuels. The second edition of Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis is enhanced with new topics, such as torrefaction and cofiring, making it a versatile resource that not only explains the basic principles of energy conversion systems, but also provides valuable insight into the design of biomass conversion systems. This book will allow professionals, such as engineers, scientists, and operating personnel of biomass gasification, pyrolysis or torrefaction plants, to gain a better comprehension of the basics of biomass conversion. The author provides many worked out design problems, step-by-step design procedures and real data on commercially operating systems. With a dedicated focus on the design, analysis, and operational aspects of biomass gasification, pyrolysis, and torrefaction, Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and TorrefactionSecond Edition offers comprehensive coverage of biomass in its gas, liquid, and solid states in a single easy-to-access source.


Biomass professionals and engineers; mechanical engineers, renewable energy engineers, chemical engineers, chemists and material scientists, agricultural and food scientists

Prabir Basu

Dr. Prabir Basu, founding President of Greenfield Research Incorporated, a private research and development company in Canada that specializes in gasification and torrefaction, is an active researcher and designer of biomass energy conversion systems. Dr. Basu holds a position of Professor in Mechanical Engineering Department and is Head of Circulating Fluidized Bed Laboratory at Dalhousie University, Halifax His current research interests include frontier areas, chemical looping gasification, torrefaction, biomass cofiring amongst others. Professor Basu also founded of the prestigious triennial International Conference series on Circulating Fluidized Beds, and a private R&D company, Fluidized Bed Systems Limited that specializes on design, training and investigative services on fluidized bed boilers. Professor Basu has been working in the field of energy conversion and the environment for more than 30 years. Prior to joining the engineering faculty at Dalhousie University (formerly known as the Technical University of Nova Scotia), he worked with both a government research laboratory and a boiler manufacturing company. Dr. Basu’s passion for the transformation of research results into industrial practice is well known, as is his ongoing commitment to spreading advanced knowledge around the world. He has authored more than 200 research papers and seven monographs in emerging areas of energy and environment, some of which have been translated into Chinese and Korean. He is well known internationally for providing expert advices on circulating fluidized bed boilers and conducting training courses to industries and universities across the globe.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

View additional works by Prabir Basu

Biomass Gasification, Pyrolysis and Torrefaction, 2nd Edition




About the Author

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Biomass and its Products

1.2 Biomass Conversion

1.3 Motivation for Biomass Conversion

1.4 Historical Background

1.5 Commercial Attraction of Gasification

1.6 Brief Description of Some Biomass Conversion Processes

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 2. Economic Issues of Biomass Energy Conversion

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Biomass Availability and Products

2.3 Biomass Conversion Process Plant Equipment and Cost

2.4 Financial Analysis

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 3. Biomass Characteristics

3.1 Introduction

3.2 What is Biomass?

3.3 Structure of Biomass

3.4 General Classification of Fuels

3.5 Properties of Biomass

3.6 Composition of Biomass

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 4. Torrefaction

4.1 Introduction

4.2 What is Torrefaction?

4.3 Carbonization

4.4 Torrefaction Process

4.5 Degree of Torrefaction

4.6 Physical Properties of Torrefied Biomass

4.7 Torrefaction Technologies

4.8 Design Methods

Appendix Mass and Energy Balance of Torrefier

Mass Balance

Energy Balance

Chapter 5. Pyrolysis

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Pyrolysis

5.3 Pyrolysis Product Yield

5.4 Pyrolysis Kinetics

5.5 Heat Transfer in a Pyrolyzer

5.6 Pyrolyzer Types

5.7 Pyrolyzer Design Considerations

5.8 Biochar

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 6. Tar Production and Destruction

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Tar

6.3 Tar Reduction

Chapter 7. Gasification Theory

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Gasification Reactions and Steps

7.3 The Gasification Process

7.4 Kinetics of Gasification

7.5 Gasification Models

7.6 Kinetic Model Applications

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 8. Design of Biomass Gasifiers

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Fixed-Bed/Moving-Bed Gasifiers

8.3 Fluidized-Bed Gasifiers

8.4 Entrained-Flow Gasifiers

8.5 Plasma Gasification

8.6 Process Design

8.7 Product Gas Prediction

8.8 Gasifier Sizing

8.9 Entrained-Flow Gasifier Design

8.10 Auxiliary Items

8.11 Design Optimization

8.12 Performance and Operating Issues

Symbols and nomenclature

Chapter 9. Hydrothermal Gasification of Biomass

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Supercritical Water

9.3 Biomass Conversion in SCW

9.4 Effect of Operating Parameters on SCW Gasification

9.5 Application of Biomass Conversion in SCWG

9.6 Reaction Kinetics

9.7 Reactor Design

9.8 Corrosion

9.9 Energy Conversion Efficiency

9.10 Major Challenges

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 10. Biomass Cofiring and Torrefaction

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Benefits and Shortcomings of Biomass Cofiring

10.3 Emission Reduction Through Biomass Cofiring

10.4 Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) versus Biomass Firing

10.5 Cofiring Options

10.6 Operating Problems of Biomass Cofiring

10.7 Cofiring with Torrefied Wood

Chapter 11. Production of Synthetic Fuels and Chemicals from Biomass

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Syngas

11.3 Bio-Oil production

11.4 Conversion of Syngas into Chemicals

11.5 Transport Fuels from Biomass

Chapter 12. Biomass Handling

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Design of a Biomass Energy System

12.3 Biomass-Handling System

12.4 Biomass Feeders

12.5 Cost of Biomass-Handling System

Symbols and Nomenclature

Chapter 13. Analytical Techniques

13.1 Composition of Biomass

13.2 Heating Value

13.3 Differential Scanning Calorimetry

13.4 Reactivity Measurements

13.5 Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

Appendix A. Definition of Biomass

Appendix B. Physical Constants and Unit Conversions

B1 Physical Constants

B2 Summary of Common Conversion Units

Appendix C. Selected Design Data Tables




Quotes and reviews

"In a world that relies on biomass for its energy needs more and more with each year,… this book fills a definite need for both policy planners and renewable energy specialists…This is a second edition with new material including torrefaction techniques, spotlighting advanced processes and with an expanded reference section on research results, a glossary and many useful, detailed diagrams and flow-charts."--ProtoView.com, February 2014

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