Gasification is a process through which solid and liquid carbonaceous materials are converted to a combustible product gas consisting of a mixture of CO, CO2, H2, and CH4 (and N2 if air is used as a source of oxygen). The product gas can be combusted to provide energy or can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Gasification is a potentially cleaner and more efficient means of energy production than combustion of solid fuels. While gasification has been extensively researched, specifically coal gasification and to a lesser extent biomass gasification, a niche application of gasifying byproducts from the cattle rendering and meatpacking industries is gaining interest. Because of recent outbreaks of mad cow disease in Canada and the United States, regulations on the use of specified risk material (SRM), meat and bone meal, and entire carcasses are becoming more stringent in Canada and in the future are expected to become more stringent in the United States as well. One possible disposal option for these materials is gasification. In this study, four byproduct materials from the cattle rendering and meatpacking industries were gasified in a bench-scale gasification unit at Penn State's Energy Institute. The feed materials included meat and bone meal, cow carcasses, and two types of SRMs. The feed samples were gasified at 1000 °C with nitrogen and steam carrier gasses. The composition of the product gas produced during the gasification reaction was analyzed using gas chromatography. A material balance of the reaction was conducted to assess reliability of the results. Gas production, hydrogen yields, other combustible gas yields, and energy densities show that gasification can potentially serve as a means of carcass and SRM disposal and energy production in the cattle rendering and meatpacking industries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology