For environmental and financial reasons the appeal of gasification plants is ever increasing. Therefore an EU project with the support of the Danish Energy Authority has been started to demonstrate the efficiency and profitability of gasification plants through the erection of a full scale plant at Gjøl in North Jutland. The EU project is a cooperation between partners from France, Greece and Denmark.
Gasification plants still only play a minor role in Danish and European energy supplies. Despite improved techniques, which have increased the environmental and financial appeal of gasification, the technology has not made a decisive breakthrough.
Gasification with potential
However, this situation may change once a new major gasification plant sees the light of day at Gjøl in North Jutland. Initially the plant will be used for the gasification of wood chips, but the prospects and opportunities offered by gasification of other types of biomass are bright.
“Support for gasification technology is increasing, and now the EU and the Danish Energy Authority are supporting this project, which has been named LIFT-OFF and which involves the installation of a gasifier at Gjøl Private Heat and Power Plant. At the moment, the heat and power plant located in the Northern part of Jutland has a natural gas plant, but in future it will be fuelled with wood gas from the gasifier, which will considerably reduce the costs of operation. The purpose of the European LIFT-OFF project is to demonstrate the efficiency and profitability of the gasification technology in a full scale plant,” says Mads Brix Nielsen from FORCE Technology.
Optimisation through simulation
FORCE Technology is closely involved in the work of installing the gasification plant at Gjøl private heating and power station, which is dimensioned to supply approximately 900 kW heat and approximately 500 kW electricity, and is advising the developer on the comprehensive piping installations, the dimensioning of the ventilation plant and other matters. But FORCE Technology has been deeply involved with the core area itself, gasification technology.
“Our many years of experience with biofuels and gasification technology stand us in good stead in this project, in which we have among other things worked on optimising the design of the gasification reactor through simulation of fluid dynamics and combustion reactions in it. FORCE Technology has also been involved in identifying the right gas cleaning system and integration with the existing district heating system,” says Mads Brix Nielsen.
Ready for operation
The gasification plant at Gjøl is expected to be ready for operation in the early summer of 2006 and there is much optimism about the operational results. In the words of Chairman of the Board Arne Nielsen from Gjøl Private Heating and Power Station:
“Initially we hope to see an improvement in our operating results. In addition, we also expect to have a plant which is as functional and automated as possible, so as to hold operating costs down. In future we will be able to guarantee our users an even more reliable supply, as we will be able to produce heat from two independent fuel sources, i.e. natural gas and biomass. We are confident of the future success of the new plant.”
A highly professional partnership
The Chairman of the Board is happy for the knowledge and expertise FORCE Technology has brought to the Gjøl project. Collaboration has been excellent and marked by a high degree of professionalism.
“All studies and proposed solutions have been excellent and carefully considered, and I believe exactly the right solutions to our needs were found,” says Arne Nielsen.
But FORCE Technology’s work does not finish when the plant is commissioned. A lot of measurement and documentation work will still have to be done to complete the LIFT-OFF project.
“The LIFT-OFF project will show us the way forward and will be an important reference point for gasification technology, and for this reason it is extremely important to fully document the entire start-up and operation process at Gjøl. It is extremely important that the plant complies with specifications and that performance and efficiency are fully documented. FORCE Technology will also be part of this,” Mads Brix Nielsen explains.