Purdue University Graduate School
Mariam Jacob_MS_Thesis_May2024.pdf (6.19 MB)


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posted on 2024-06-03, 18:34 authored by Mariam JacobMariam Jacob

The demand for sustainable and renewable energy sources has prompted significant research and development efforts in the field of biomass gasification. Biomass gasification technology holds significant promise for sustainable energy production, offering a renewable alternative to fossil fuels while mitigating environmental impact. This thesis presents a detailed study on the design, development, and implementation of a Plug-Flow Reactor Biomass Gasifier integrated with an Automated Auger Jam Detection System and a Blower Algorithm to maintain constant reactor pressure by varying blower speed with respect to changes in reactor pressure. The system is based on indirectly- heated pyrolytic gasification technology and is developed using Simulink™.

The proposed gasification system use the principles of pyrolysis and gasification to convert biomass feedstock into syngas efficiently. An innovative plug-flow reactor configuration ensures uniform heat distribution and residence time, optimizing gasification performance and product quality. Additionally, the system incorporates an automated auger jam detection system, which utilizes sensor data to detect and mitigate auger jams in real-time, thereby enhancing operational reliability and efficiency. By monitoring these parameters, the system detects deviations from normal operating conditions indicative of auger jams and initiates corrective actions automatically. The detection algorithm is trained using test cases and validated through detailed testing to ensure accurate and reliable performance.

The MATLAB™-based implementation offers flexibility, scalability, and ease of integration with existing gasifier control systems. The graphical user interface (GUI) provides operators with real-time monitoring and visualization of system status, auger performance, and detected jam events. Additionally, the system generates alerts and notifications to inform operators of detected jams, enabling timely intervention and preventive maintenance.

To maintain consistent gasification conditions, a blower algorithm is developed to regulate airflow and maintain constant reactor pressure within the gasifier. The blower algorithm dynamically adjusts blower speed based on feedback from differential pressure sensors, ensuring optimal gasification performance under varying operating conditions. The integration of the blower algorithm into the gasification system contributes to stable syngas production and improved process control. The development of the Plug-Flow Reactor Biomass Gasifier, Automated Auger Jam Detection System, and Blower Algorithm is accompanied by rigorous simulation studies and experimental validation.

Overall, this thesis contributes to the advancement of biomass gasification technology by presenting a detailed study on a plug flow reactor biomass gasifier with indirectly- heated pyrolytic gasification technology with an Automated Auger Jam Detection System and Blower Algorithm. The findings offer valuable insights for researchers, engineers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders supporting the transition towards cleaner and more renewable energy systems.




Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Peter J Schubert

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Brian S King

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Lingxi Li

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