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Stratean announces successful gasification system trial

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Stratean, Inc. (Stratean) has completed its preliminary development and begun the pilot scale testing of a gasifier for processing various waste materials/carbonaceous feedstocks into a clean synthesis gas. Using various catalysts, the clean synthesis gas (‘syn-gas’) may then be converted into high grade synthetic liquid transportation fuels such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel or other useful chemicals and may also be used as fuel to create electricity.

Petersen, Inc. of Ogden, UT manufactured the Stratean gasifier, have been assisting throughout the testing of the gasifier and have verified the mechanical operation of the gasifier.

The current project is separated into individual tasks to demonstrate and evaluate the Stratean gasifier using coal and wood pellets as a feedstock. The results of the project will also provide direction and insights as to whether additional testing of the gasifier is required prior to commercial deployment. Combustion Resources Inc. and Utah State University are in the process of performing the tests, analysing the data and test results, and will generate a final independent project report.

On 24 November 2015 and again on 1 December 2015, personnel from Stratean, Combustion Resources, Utah State University and Endigit, Inc. performed preliminary test runs and analysis of the 30 tpd stratified downdraft gasifier. These tests were performed at the USU Carbon Energy Innovation Centre in Helper, Utah.

The objectives and tasks of the independent testing were:

  • Verify functional operation of the gasifier, control programs and associated equipment and auxiliary components.
  • Verify and measure reactions and operational performance against engineering assumptions and design.
  • Verify, measure and document production gas quantities, composition and qualities.
  • Verify and measure feedstock input and waste product volume ratios.

The initial findings of the testing were varied. Functional operation was successful at both cold and reaction temperatures.

The reaction commenced at approximately 700 °C (1300 °F), escalating to 1650 °C (3002 °F) in less than seven minutes, positively exceeding the anticipated exothermic reaction temperature assumptions. The reactor continued operating under the high temperature conditions. For approximately three hours following shutdown, the reactor core maintained a temperature exceeding 800 °C (1372 °F), further demonstrating the properties of our patented ceramic refractory lining.

The production gases and other products were collected, analysed and flared. Ignition and combustion of the production gas was visually verified at the flare. The flared gas produced a clear flame during optimal reaction temperatures. 

The gases identified and measured are as follows:

  • Carbon dioxide - = 300 ppm
  • Methane – none
  • Hydrogen – hydrogen production was in excess of measuring equipment capability.
  • Sulphur dioxide -< none
  • Carbon monoxide = 5000 ppm
  • Tars – none

Feedstock used for the tests consisted of high grade steam coal sourced locally from the Skyline mine. Approximately 400 lbs. of coal was processed and consumed in the reactor, which produced a dry fly ash of approximately 10 lbs. During the 1 December 2015 test, wood pellets were used to establish baselines for that particular feedstock.

Next, a tear-down was performed, and there was an inspection and analysis of the physical components of the system and replace/repair/upgrade components as needed. Then the system operation and calibrations were verified, intermediate run testing was performed and an intermediate testing report was drafted.

The Stratean gasifier performance and quality of gasses produced exceeded expectations and engineering assumptions. Although we experienced some minor issues with the feed conveyor and two thermocouples, the performance of the reactor was remarkable. Clean quality gasses were produced without any feedstock/sorbent blends. The overall the reaction process and reactor capability exceeded expectations.

"We were guardedly optimistic for this initial run, having worked extensively with our engineering team. To say that the results, operation and cleanliness were a success would be a massive understatement," said Michael Barrett, Stratean's Chief Operations Officer. "Based on the preliminary results, post-process 'gas-cleanup' appears to be totally unnecessary, exactly as we'd anticipated," concluded Barrett.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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