Kinetic model for supercritical water gasification of algae

Qingqing Guan, Chaohai Wei, Phillip E. Savage

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102 Scopus citations


The article reports the first quantitative kinetics model for supercritical water gasification (SCWG) of real biomass (algae) that describes the formation of the individual gaseous products. The phenomenological model is based on a set of reaction pathways that includes two types of compounds being intermediate between the algal biomass and the final gaseous products. To best correlate the experimental gas yields obtained at 450, 500 and 550°C, the model allowed one type of intermediate to react to gases more quickly than the other type of intermediate. The model parameters indicate that gas yields increase with temperature because higher temperatures favor production of the more easily gasified intermediate and the production of gas at the expense of char. The model can accurately predict the qualitative influence of the biomass loading and water density on the gas yields. Sensitivity analysis and reaction rate analysis indicate that steam reforming of intermediates is an important source of H 2, whereas direct decomposition of the intermediate species is the main source of CO, CO 2 and CH 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3140-3147
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 28 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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