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Advanced Technology of Biomass Pyrolysis and Gasification Polygeneration

 Aiming at the major technical needs of the country in developing clean energy, energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental pollution control, as well as solving the bottleneck problem of green, high-value and efficient utilization of agricultural and forestry biomass, the R&D(research and development)team of Nanjing Forestry University in 2002 took the lead in putting forward the innovative development concept of "co-production of carbon, heat and fertilizer from agricultural and forestry biomass gasification power generation" (i.e. multi-production and utilization technology of biomass gasification). This technology is to convert agricultural and forestry biomass into three phase products, combustible gas, bio-char and bio-crude at the same time without additional inputs of energy, chemicals or additives. A large amount of residual heat is also generated. Combustible gas can be used for power generation or boiler heating. Based on different raw materials, bio-char can be used to produce various products, such as activated carbon, industrial carbon, barbecue carbon, carbon-based fertilizer, etc., while liquid fertilizer or disinfectant can be made from the bio-crude.

After nearly 20 years of joint research with industries, the project team has established the basic theoretical system of biomass pyrolysis and gasification, overcome the technical difficulties of scaling-up production, and renovated the key technologies including related new equipment and products. The prominent and common problems in the field of biomass pyrolysis and gasification, such as single products, waste water and residue pollution, small scale and poor stability and low economic benefits, have been well solved by our novel technology. A practical, reproducible, and extendable approach to green, circular and sustainable utilization of biomass has been explored. Thus, this project significantly promoted the R&D progress and industrial development of biomass utilizations, such as biomass energy (power generation, heat production), biochar (activated carbon, industrial carbon, molding charcoal), biomass fertilizer (carbon-based powder fertilizer, liquid fertilizer). In 2016, Gaoli Zhang, the former Vice Prime Minister of the State Council, gave positive comments on this project technology. Since 2017, more than 10 state ministries including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Energy Bureau and the Forestry Bureau have issued official documents to encourage the promotion of the biomass multi-generation technology originally developed by Nanjing Forestry University.

Until 2019, more than 50 commercial projects have been established and have been in steady operation for many years. These projects have achieved sound economic benefits in recent three years, 5.5 billion yuan of output value and 1.18 billion yuan of new profit. Compared with the traditional biomass energy and carbon material production methods, our technology also has significant social benefits: (1) Promoting the restructuring of the energy industry, and realizing the efficient and high-value utilization of agricultural and forestry wastes; (2) Featuring outstanding environmental performances, particularly with respect to energy saving and emission reduction; (3) Integrating biomass energy, carbon materials and other industrial technologies to lead the development of related industrial technologies (such as gasification) and industrial products(such as activated carbon and carbon-based fertilizer); (4) Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, improving and repairing the soil, improving food safety, and thus promoting sustainable development of agriculture.

Based on the technology, Professor Jianbin Zhou's research team in Nanjing forestry university has succeeded in establishing state-level and provincial-level platforms, such as “National Forestry and Grassland Bureau Biomass Poly-generation Engineering Technology Research Center”, “Jiangsu Biomass Gasification Poly-generation Engineering Research Center”, “Biomass Gasification Poly-generation National Innovation Alliance”, and so on; and is awarded the national talent team of scientific and technological innovation in forestry and grassland. Moreover, the team has successively won the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress, the first prize of National Forestry and Grassland Bureau, the first prize of Science and Technology of Jiangsu Province, the first prize of Science and Technology of Zhejiang Province, and the first prize of Liangxi Forestry Science and Technology.