INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARLY AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH & INNOVATION, cilt.7, ss.690-694, 2013 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)
Recently, a growing interest has emerged on the development of new and efficient energy sources, due to the inevitable extinction of the nonrenewable energy reserves. One of these alternative sources which have a great potential and sustainability to meet up the energy demand is biomass energy. This significant energy source can be utilized with various energy conversion technologies, one of which is biomass gasification in supercritical water. Water, being the most important solvent in nature, has very important characteristics as a reaction solvent under supercritical circumstances. At temperatures above its critical point (374.8oC and 22.1MPa), water becomes more acidic and its diffusivity increases. Working with water at high temperatures increases the thermal reaction rate, which in consequence leads to a better dissolving of the organic matters and a fast reaction with oxygen. Hence, supercritical water offers a control mechanism depending on solubility, excellent transport properties based on its high diffusion ability and new reaction possibilities for hydrolysis or oxidation. In this study the gasification of a real biomass, namely olive mill wastewater (OMW), in supercritical water conditions is investigated with the use of Ru/Al2O3 catalyst. OMW is a by-product obtained during olive oil production, which has a complex nature characterized by a high content of organic compounds and polyphenols. These properties impose OMW a significant pollution potential, but at the same time, the high content of organics makes OMW a desirable biomass candidate for energy production. The catalytic gasification experiments were made with five different reaction temperatures (400, 450, 500, 550 and 600°C) and five reaction times (30, 60, 90, 120 and 150s), under a constant pressure of 25MPa. Through these experiments, the effects of reaction temperature and time on the gasification yield, gaseous product composition and OMW treatment efficiency were investigated.