This study aimed to compare gasification of torrefied wood with conventional gasification of wood to evaluate the effectiveness of this pretreatment for improving the performances of fixed bed gasification. The main issues are whether wood may be gasified more efficiently, e.g. lowering the tar content in syngas and increasing the energy conversion efficiency. For this purpose, a set of experiments were performed in a pilot plant for biomass updraft gasification. The feedstocks were eucalyptus wood chips and the torrefied correspondent material obtained at 270 degrees for 50 C min.; both were analyzed for their chemical an physical properties. The comparative gasification tests were carried out by feeding the gasifier with raw and torrefied eucalyptus wood by using a steam/air mix and a O-2/steam mix as a gasification medium. During the tests, all the main operating parameters, such as process flow rates, temperature profile through the reactor, temperature and pressure control throughout the downstream piping, were continuously acquired and processed by a DCS network integrated into a PC unit.
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