In the Dutch energy research strategy EOS long-term biomass gasification program a specific target on SNG production is listed. SNG is specifically for the Netherlands a sensible option to sustain part of both the heat and power production as well as of the transportation fuels because of the existing infrastructure and harbours. The Proof-of-Principle phase has successfully finished and a pilot plant of 800 kWth is developed. The engineering for this pilot is finished, and construction will start mid 2007.
The production of SNG from biomass is expected to become much more efficient compared to options that might be realised on short term with “available” technologies. For high-efficient SNG-systems to become available, R&D should focus on pressurised indirect gasification, self-gasification, high-temperature tar reduction, OLGA, dry sulphur and chlorine removal, and SNG synthesis. The main activities with regards to this SNG related R&D comprise:
- Develop MILENA indirect gasification technology (i.e. perform tests with lab-scale MILENA to determine “window of operation”, supporting tests with cold-flow facility, construct and test 800 kWth pilot-scale MILENA indirect gasifier with connections with existing gas cooler and cleaning units, and perform study on the effects of increasing pressure of MILENA indirect gasification technology.
- Prepare 10 MWth MILENA demonstration plant together with industry and ultimately realise large-scale pressurised plants with MILENA gasifier for high-efficient SNG production.
- Develop filter/OLGA for operation in pressurised system with indirect gasifier for future biomass-to-SNG systems.
- Develop SNG catalytic reactor concepts including material selection, operating conditions, etc. fully integrated with indirect gasifier and (dry) gas cleaning.
- Develop pressurised self-gasification technology for high-efficient biomass-to-SNG systems.
- Develop high-temperature tar reduction (catalytic, partial oxidation, corona) for future biomass-to-SNG systems, avoiding tar-related cooler problems.