Oxygen transport by ionic membranes: Correlation of permeation data and prediction of char burning in a membrane-assisted biomass gasification process

Tania Antonini, Katia Gallucci, Valentina Anzoletti, Stefano Stendardo, Pier Ugo Foscolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the important issue of feeding oxygen to a fluidized bed gasifier in an efficient way, in cases of small to medium scale units (a few MWth), to obtain a syngas free of nitrogen and with relatively high calorific value, without the need to utilize a complex dual fluidized bed system. To this scope, the application to biomass conversion systems of ion transport membrane (ITM) technology for oxygen separation from air is studied by coupling an oxygen transfer model to a gasification model that considers thermodynamic and kinetic constraints. Numerical evaluations are performed of char partial combustion with oxygen permeated through the membrane, in the gasifier region close to the tubular ITM surface, as a means to provide the necessary input of heat to biomass gasification, a globally endothermic process. The results show that the membrane surface needed to provide the required oxygen flow to the gasifier is small enough to be arranged inside the fluidized bed volume, assuring feasibility of an autothermal process. The model is also helpful to optimize the location of the membrane module and evaluate different options. Experimental investigations are needed to check the resistance and durability of ITM materials in the gasifier environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39 - 52
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this