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Carbon-Arc Gasification of Biomass Solutions

David Wallman
Year: 1999
Keywords: carbon-arc, gasification, biomass, gas, hydrogen, oxide, helium, electrical, energy. voltage, current

A Biomass Gasification Process converts organic feedstock solutions into a unique, hydrogen-based gas. The Process used forced, rapid oxidation of means of a low voltage, high current DC carbon-arc immersed in an aqueous biomass solution.

Use of direct current forces oxidation of the anode, while carbon from the biomass solution is electroplated onto the cathode. This produces a gas which is an oxide of carbon, in combination with hydrogen. With proper electrical input and control of the carbon-arc, the mass of the carbon electrodes will be maintained through electroplating of the carbon.

Gas chromatography indicates the gas is COH2, resembling water gas or synthesis gas. However, the gas (Carbo-hydrogen TM) possesses unique properties. Analytical testing indicates the gas is stable and may be a compound. Comparative calorimetry shows an energy content of the gas to be 550 BTU/ft3. Ignition of the gas produces water vapor and carbin dioxide. Gas chromatography has also indicated helium in the gas as high as 60 ppm in some samples.

Conversion efficiency measurements for the gas produced show an increase in system enthalpy of at least 27% to 44%, compared to the electrical input energy to the Process. Properties of the gas allow its use as a fuel and a chemical raw material. This Process provides an extraordinary opportunity for use of renewable biomass materials worldwide.