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DESIGN AND TESTING OF A STRATIFIED WATER HYACINTH GASIFIER

By: Aggrey Ogola

A Research proposal submitted to Graduate School in partial fulfillment for the


requirement Masters of Science in Engineering Systems and Management of
Egerton University.

Department of Industrial and Energy Engineering

EGERTON UNIVERSITY

2008
Declaration

I hereby declare that this my original work and has not been presented or
published before.

Recommendation

I declare that this work has been presented to me


i. Prof. S. F. O Owido.

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Abstract

Biomass constitutes the biggest source of energy in rural areas in Africa. However, its

utilization in the domestic sector is mostly inefficient and polluting, resulting in resource

wastage, indoor and environmental air pollution. Use of energy sources such as electricity

and liquefiable petroleum gas (LPG) to eliminate air pollution and increase cooking

efficiency has failed due to sharp increase their prices, which is not affordable to many

families in rural areas. This project aims at designing and determining the performance

characteristics of a stratified gasifier that will use water hyacinth that is an environmental

problem as its source of fuel. The fabrication of the gasifier will be carried out in Eldoret

Polytechnic Engineering workshop. Determination of energy conversion efficiency to be

done using Water-boiling test (WBT). The data obtained from WBT will be recorded in a

standard data and calculation form from which burning rate, thermal efficiency, specific

fuel consumption, firepower and turn down ratio will be determined. The overall results

obtained thereafter will then be presented in a seminar.

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Table of content

DECLARATION......................................................................................................II

RECOMMENDATION.............................................................................................II

ABSTRACT...........................................................................................................III

TABLE OF CONTENT..........................................................................................IV

LIST OF TABLES.................................................................................................VI

LIST OF FIGURES...............................................................................................VII

LIST OF SYMBOLS............................................................................................VIII

CHAPTER ONE......................................................................................................1
1.0 Introduction...............................................................................................................................................1

1.1 Background of the problem.....................................................................................................................1

1.2 Problem Statement...................................................................................................................................3

1.3 Objectives of the Study.............................................................................................................................6


1.3.1 Main objective....................................................................................................................................6
1.3.2 Specific objectives..............................................................................................................................6

1.4 Research Hypothesis.................................................................................................................................6

1.5 Significance of the Study..........................................................................................................................6

1.6 Research Justification..............................................................................................................................7

1.7 Scope of the study.....................................................................................................................................7

1.8 Limitations.................................................................................................................................................8

1.9 Assumptions..............................................................................................................................................9

2.0 Literature Review...................................................................................................................................10

2.1Introduction .............................................................................................................................................10

2.2Current Biomass Situation......................................................................................................................10


2.2.1 Environmental Impact.......................................................................................................................11
2.2.2 Biomass processing...........................................................................................................................11
2.2.3 Global Biomass Energy....................................................................................................................11

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2.2.4 Direct Combustion of biomass..........................................................................................................12

2.3 Performance of Compressed Hyacinth of Up Draft and Down Draft Furnaces...............................13

2.4 Stratified water hyacinth gasifier..........................................................................................................13

Methodology .................................................................................................................................................15

Experimental location..................................................................................................................................15

Research Materials and Equipment............................................................................................................15

Functional parts of the gasifier....................................................................................................................15

Construction Materials................................................................................................................................16

Fabrication procedure..................................................................................................................................17

Experimental Procedure..............................................................................................................................18
3.1.1 Water Boiling Test (WBT)...............................................................................................................19
Water Boiling Test procedure:..................................................................................................................19
3.1.2 Controlled Cooking Test. (CCT).....................................................................................................21

Specific objective two: Determination of emission characteristics..........................................................23


3.1.3 Test parameters.................................................................................................................................23
3.1.4 Data collection .................................................................................................................................25

Expected Results...........................................................................................................................................26

Specific objective two: Determination of energy conversion efficiency...................................................26

CHAPTER FOUR.................................................................................................27
WORK PLAN...............................................................................................................................................27

BUDGET.......................................................................................................................................................28

REFERENCES......................................................................................................29

APPENDICES ......................................................................................................36

APPENDIX 1. PARTS OF THE GASIFIER..........................................................36

APPENDIX 2. SAMPLE TEST DATA SHEET ....................................................39

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List of tables

TABLE 1 LIST OF MATERIALS NEEDED FABRICATING SIX UNITS OF


WATER HYACINTH GASIFIER...........................................................................16

TABLE 2: OPERATING TEST RESULTS OF THE STRATIFIED WATER


HYACINTH GASIFIER.........................................................................................25

TABLE 3 OPERATING PERFORMANCE OF THE STRATIFIED GASIFIER....26

TABLE 4 DESIGN DETAILS OF THE GASIFIER...............................................39

TABLE 5 DESIGN DETAILS OF THE GASIFIER...............................................39

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List of figures

FIGURE 1: PROPOSED STRATIFIED GASIFIER.............................................14

FIGURE 2: PART OF THE GASIFIER REACTOR NOT DRAWN TO SCALE.


ALL DIMENSIONS IN MM....................................................................................36

FIGURE 3: DETAIL OF THE CHAR CHAMBER NOT DRAWN TO SCALE (ALL


DIMENSIONS ARE IN MM)..................................................................................39

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List of symbols

η - Gasification efficiency (η)


List of Abbreviations/Definitions
SGR - Specific Gasification Rate
FCR - Fuel Consumption Rate
ER - Equivalence Ratio
TDR - Turn-Down ratio
WBT - Water Boiling Test
CCT - Controlled Cooking Test
LPG – Liquefiable Petroleum Gas
KPT - Kitchen Performance Test
HHV - Gross calorific value (dry hyacinth)
LHV - Net calorific value (dry hyacinth)
m – Hyacinth moisture content (% - wet basis)
Ceff - Effective calorific value
P - Dry weight of empty Pot (grams)
k - Weight of empty container for char
Tb - Local boiling point of water
Rcd – Burning rate

Fcd – Dry hyacinth consumed

t ci – Time at start of test (min)

t cf
– Time at end of test (min)
SCc - Specific fuel consumption
f act – Equivalent dry hyacinth consumed

Pcf – Weight of pot with water after test (g)


P – Weight of pot (g)
FPc - Firepower
PHU - Percent Heat Utilized
Mw - Mass of dry fuel in kg

Cw -calorific value of dry fuel KJ/kg

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Mc -Net weight of charcoal remaining in kg

Cc -Calorific value of charcoal in KJ/kg


Wi - Mass of water used in kg at start
Wf Mass of water in kg at finish
-

Ti - Temperature of water in 0C at start


Tf - Temperature of water in 0C at finish
H 2 S - Hydrogen sulphite

CH 4 - Methane
HiTAG – high temperature agent gasification

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the problem


More than 50% of the world’s populations rely on dung, wood, crop waste or charcoal to
meet their most basic energy needs. Cooking and heating with such solid fuels on open
fires or stoves without chimneys leads to indoor air pollution. (WHO 2005) The use of
polluting fuels thus poses a major burden on the health of poor families in developing
countries. (UNDP, 2005).
It is currently estimated that around two-thirds of all households in the developing
countries still rely primarily on unprocessed biomass fuels (wood, dung, charcoal, crop
residues) for their daily cooking and heating needs (World Resources Institute, 2005). In
many of these households, fuel, is burnt indoors on open fires or poorly functioning stoves,
often with no means of ventilation or smoke extraction. Consequently, very large numbers
of women and young children are exposed to high levels of air pollution, every day of the
year. Indeed, it has recently been argued that the greatest global burden of air pollution
exposure occurs not outdoors in the cities of the developed world, but indoors in poor rural
communities (WHO 1997). The survey carried out in Western Kenya, Nyanza and Kajiado
revealed that women and children suffer from illnesses resulting from indoor air pollution
and this has lead subsequent death. (WHO 2005)
Access to electricity in Kenya is only up to 15% of the households in urban areas and 4%
in rural areas, and less than 1% uses it for cooking. The remaining households rely on
traditional fuels for cooking and heating. (Pisces 2008)
More than 80% of Kenya rural populations depend on biomass (dung, wood, crop residues
or charcoal) to meet their most basic domestic energy needs. (WHO, 2005) Cooking and
heating with such solid fuels on open fires or stoves without chimneys leads to indoor air
pollution. This indoor smoke contains a range of health-damaging pollutants including
small soot or dust particles that are able to penetrate deep into the lungs. In poorly
ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can exceed acceptable levels for small particles in
outdoor air. (WHO/UNDP, 2004) Exposure is particularly high among women and
children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth. Every year, indoor air

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pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people i.e. one death every 20 seconds.
(WHO, 2005)
Rural Kenya has been the site of various applied research projects to determine the
intensity of emissions that commonly occur from use of biomass fuels, particularly wood,
charcoal, dung, and crop residue. Smoke is the result of the incomplete combustion of solid
fuel which women and children are exposed to up to seven hours each day in closed
environments. (Kammen, 2003)
There is now consistent evidence that indoor air pollution (IAP) increases the risk of
childhood acute respiratory infections, the most important cause of death of children below
five years in Kenya and there is association with birth weight, infant and prenatal
mortality, pulmonary tuberculosis and some forms of cancer. Although the risks are poorly
quantified, indoor air pollution may be responsible for nearly two million excess deaths in
Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and around 4% of the global burden of disease
(Bruce, Perez-Padilla, Albalak, 2000).
In Kenya, the reliance on biomass fuels appears to be growing because of population
growth and the unavailability of or increases in the price of alternatives such as kerosene
and liquid petroleum gas. Despite the magnitude of this growing problem, the health
impacts of exposure to indoor air pollution have yet to become a central focus of research
development aid and policy-making. (WHO, 2005) This research focuses on the
elimination of biomass fuel that causes indoor air pollution with a cleaner technology using
the process of gasification. Biomass gasification is a process that converts carbonaceous
materials, such as coal, petroleum, or biomass, into carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2)
and traces of methane(CH4) by reacting the raw material at high temperatures with a
controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis
gas (syngas) or producer gas and is itself a fuel. Gasification is a very efficient method for
extracting energy from many different types of organic materials, and has applications as a
clean waste disposal technique. (Bhattacharya et al. 2003)
This research aims at designing and testing a water hyacinth gasifier, compares its energy
conversion efficiency and emission characteristics with those of the traditional woodstove
(three-stone fire), charcoal stove (jiko) and paraffin stove.

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1.2 Problem Statement
An overview of the energy sector in Kenya shows that wood fuel is the largest form of
energy consumed in Kenya accounting for about 68% followed by Petroleum and then
electricity accounting for 22% and 9% respectively. Other sources of energy including
solar, wind, biogas, bagasse and micro-hydropower together accounting for the remaining
1 %.( Mbuthi, 2005) Kenya’s pre-dominant energy source is biomass, providing more than
90 per cent of rural household energy needs, about one-third in the form of charcoal and
the rest from firewood. (UNDP, 2005)
Because many Kenyan women in the rural areas utilize a three-stone fire, one kilogram of
burning wood produces tiny particles of soot, which can clog and irritate the bronchial
pathways. The smoke also contains various poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide
(CO), nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides and benzene. This has led to indoor air pollution
(IAP). Indoor air pollution is the presence of one or more contaminants indoors that carry a
certain degree of human health risk.
Various studies show that people spend 65 to 90 percent of their time indoors; 65 percent
of that time is spent at home. Field studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that
indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and on some occasion more
than one hundred times, higher than outdoor levels. (Pisces 2008)
Exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP) from combustion of solid fuels has been implicated,
with varying degrees of evidence, as a causal agent of several diseases. (Ezzati et al, 2002).
Acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) are the leading causes of disease and death from exposure to smoke. (WHO,
2005) There is mounting evidence that the resulting indoor air pollution (IAP) increases
common serious health problems, including childhood pneumonia and chronic lung
disease. Previous attempts to reduce this have often failed due to lack of community
involvement in developing appropriate sustainable solutions which depend on biomass
(wood, dung, crop residues) for domestic energy.
The current conventional energy sources (kerosene, liquefiable petroleum gas and
electricity) are not easily accessible to many communities in the rural areas in Kenya due
to the increase in their prices while the increasing scarce wood fuel resources are

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combusted in traditional devices (stoves) that are characterized by low efficiency and
emission of pollutants. (Bhattacharya et al. 2003)

The table below shows the amount of pollutants found in one kilogram of wood per hour in
mg/m3 emitted from kitchen from a survey carried out in western Kenya using firewood
Table 1:
Pollutants Emissions (mg/m3) Allowable standards
(mg/m3)
Carbon dioxide 150 10
Particles 3.3 0.1
Benzene 0.8 0.002
Sulphur dioxide 0.002 0.0003
NOx 0.7 0.1

Source: Based on the UNDP/DESA/WEC World Energy Assessment

Records from a survey taken from Kisumu and Kajiado reflect the impact of kitchen smoke
on the health of women and their children. Table 2 below is a summary of the health
problems reported by the cooks in the questionnaires, and is intended to give an overview
of the smoke-related health problems experienced in each community. (Source)
Table 2. Health problems identified by the cooks
Problem Complication Kajiado Kisumu
No. of % with No. of % with
records Problem records Problem
Cough i) First thing in the morning 74 24.32 97 16.49
ii)During day (or at night in 65 27.69 76 21.05
wettest coldest season)
If 'yes' to i) or ii), cough 23 26.09 26 26.92
most days for up to 3
months a year
Phlegm i)From chest in the morning 73 20.55 102 20.59
during cold/wet season
ii)During day (or at night in 70 21.43 87 21.84
wettest coldest season)
If 'yes' to i) or ii), phlegm 17 5.88 44 13.64
most days for up to 3
months a year
Cough & In last three years, cough 73 13.70 98 18.37
phlegm and phlegm together lasting
3 weeks or more

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Wheezing Wheezing or whistling in 74 13.51 79 24.05
chest in last 12 months
Woken up last 12mths at 73 10.96 90 27.78
night with shortness of
breath
Chest illness During past 3 years 74 17.57 78 28.21
preventing usual activities
for as much as a week
TB Ever been told by a doctor 74 0.00 98 4.08
that suffering from
tuberculosis
Eyes Red, watering eyes 47 55.32 67 17.91
sometimes or much of time
Sore, sometimes or much of 47 27.66 66 13.64
time
Swollen, sometimes or much 47 12.77 66 10.61
of time
Affected by light, sometimes 47 61.70 64 20.31
or much of time
Vision impaired, sometimes 47 29.79 67 38.81
or much of time

Source: Reducing indoor air pollution in rural households in Kenya:

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1.3 Objectives of the Study

1.3.1 Main objective


The general objective of this research will be to design and test a stratified water hyacinth
gasifier.

1.3.2 Specific objectives


i. Compare energy conversion efficiency of the stratified water hyacinth gasifier with
those of the traditional woodstove (three-stone fire), charcoal stove (jiko) and
paraffin stove.
ii. To determine the emission characteristic of the stratified water hyacinth gasifier
and compare with those of the traditional woodstove (three-stone fire), charcoal
stove (jiko) and paraffin stove.

1.4 Research Hypothesis


HO1: The conversion efficiency of stratified water hyacinth gasifier varies
significantly compared with other stoves. (Woodstove, charcoal stove, and
paraffin stove)
H02: The emission characteristics of the stratified water hyacinth varies
significantly compared to other stoves (woodstove, charcoal stove, and
paraffin stove)

1.5 Significance of the Study


In developing countries, biomass is the predominant form of energy and accounts
for about 38 % of their primary energy consumption and in rural areas 90 % of
their total energy supplies. (Kucuk et al 1997, Sims 2003 and Pathak, 2005). The
use of biomass to generate energy for heating and cooking processes in traditional
devices (stoves) are characterized low efficiency and emission of pollutants leading
indoor air pollution that has affected the health of women and children who spend
hours cooking indoors. (Young-Zhi Ren. 2005) The use of Liquefiable Petroleum
Gas (LPG) and electricity which are clean and efficient sources of energy have

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their prices increasing by 20% and 28% respectively every year thus becoming
unaffordable to people leaving in the rural areas (Ramirez et al. 2007)
A well-designed gasifier that produces clean gas for heating and cooking processes
will solve the energy crisis and health problems of the people leaving along the lake
side where water hyacinth to be used as fuel is equally an environmental problem.
Water hyacinth has caused problems to the people leaving along the lakeside such
as hindrance to water transport, clogging of intake of irrigation, and hindrance to
fishing.

1.6 Research Justification


The domestic use of water hyacinth as source energy in Kenya would provide the
following advantages:
i. Affordable renewable source of energy would improve both domestic and
industrial growth and this translates into reduction of commodity prices. Domestic
users of water hyacinth as a fuel would be less vulnerable to price manipulations or
unexpected disruption of supplies of fossil of fuel.
ii. Production of renewable energy particularly biomass based energy, would save the
foreign exchange earnings due to high rising cost of oil. In 1980, biomass energy
provided close to 77% of Kenya’s national energy requirements, petroleum fuels
provided close to 20% and electricity 1.2% (Watubengo, 2004)
iii. The use of water hyacinth would reduce the dependency on wood fuel as a source
of renewable energy. This will reduce the wide spread and overexploitation of
deforestation and desertification that are potentially very serious in the long term.

1.7 Scope of the study


The proposed study will focus stratified gasifier to use water hyacinth as its source
of fuel. This research work aims at designing, fabricating and testing a stratified
water hyacinth gasifier. The testing will comprise of a series of experiments to
compare the energy conversion efficiency of the designed gasifier with the
traditional woodstove (three stone fire), charcoal stove (jiko) and paraffin stove
using three method namely water boiling test, controlled cooking test and kitchen
performance test. The emission characteristics of the gases produced by the gasifier

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will be analyzed and compared by those wood stove, charcoal stove and paraffin
stove.

1.8 Limitations
Reliable sampling and analysis of products from biomass gasification are essential
for the successful process development and economical operation of a gasifier. One
of the most important and difficult analytical tasks is to characterize the emission
from the gasifier. (Stahlberg et al 1998).
The equipment for carrying out the analysis of the pollutant emission from biomass
gasification is very expensive and is not available locally. Due to lack of
availability of funds, this research will carry out test on the composition of
individual gases in the producer gas by percentages and not impurities, which are
formed during gasification process.
These effluents include particles entrained from the gasifier that is low and high
molecular mass organic compounds (tars), hydrogen sulphite (H2S) and other
nitrogen containing impurities.

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1.9 Assumptions
This research project work will be carried out based on the following assumptions
1) The combustion properties of water hyacinth are the same as those of other
fuels.
2) The bio-waste gasifier will operate at the optimal operation point where just
enough oxygen is added to avoid solid carbon formation

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CHAPTER TWO
2
2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction
Bio-energy is the energy recovered from biomass that is initially stored as chemical
by plants. Before the discovery of fossil fuels, biomass supplied all the energy for
all both industrial and domestic activities. Wood is still the most significant fuel
source in developing countries accounting for 35% of their demand. Biomass fuels
include urban refuse, industrial waste, agricultural waste animal waste and sewage
sludge. In addition to the benefits of power generation, energy from waste plants
can dramatically reduce the volume of waste to be disposed off in the landfill sites.
In particular, household and industrial wastes are in many cases being deposited in
landfills at a considerable financial and environmental cost. (Hall and Overland).

2.2 Current Biomass Situation.


In the 1995 biomass, derived energy was about 930 million tones oil equivalent
virtually all from the direct combustion. This is about 14% of consumption.
Ironically, its share of the world energy market has declined since the nineteenth
century, although actual quantities consumed have increased. Its share is now on
the increase again, mainly due to population growth in the rural economies but also
because of environmental concern for fossils in the industrialized world. Current
consumption in industrialized countries is low, whereas some African countries for
example Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya and Congo rely on this type of fuel for 80-90%
of all energy needs. Biomass represents similar proportions in the poorest Indian
sub-continent for example Napal and Bangladesh (Atkins et al, 1996)

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2.2.1 Environmental Impact
Biomass energy source is now strongly linked to environmental impact. Biomass
energy is carbon dioxide neutral with the alternate reduction (fixation) and
oxidation (release) of carbon and thus the benefits from biomass is as a replacement
for fossil fuel. However, biomass conversion to liquid fuel such as gasohol and bio
diesel may be negative and create problems such effluent to side stream (Atkinson
et al, 1996)
Biogas generation has similar problems; the conversion of sludge gas is only 50%
efficient and achieves a lower degree of pasteurization than the alternative
incineration that generates a toxic ash residue. Fundamentally, biomass has two
major problems: one is the high water requirement and content, the other is the
slow growth and yield from photosynthesis (about 1% efficient). Food growth in
developing and bioconversion of habitat in industrialized countries will create
alternative demands on agricultural land. There will also be strong completion from
improved energy efficiency, clean burn and other renewable. (ENDS Report 257,
1997)

2.2.2 Biomass processing


The water content of the biomass is also a basic to the choice of fuel produced e.g.
dry homogenous biomass will be mostly efficiently converted into energy by direct
combustion or co-combustion with fossil fuel. Hydrocarbons content of biomass
can be enriched and modified to produce premium bio-fuels such as oils and gases.
This often resembles an accelerated fossilization process using hot flushing without
oxygen to avoid combustion i.e. pyrolysis. (Mulder E, 1996)

2.2.3 Global Biomass Energy


Biomass was the first fuel used for major energy by humanity and has
predominated through history as a major resource. However, the rise in the global
consumption of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution has seen a decline in the
use of biomass as primary source in the developed world. The use of biomass is

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dependent of a number of factors, which include; wealth and population of a
country living in urban and rural areas.
About 70% of domestic energy in developing countries is derived from biomass. In
sub-Sahara, this can be over 90% of the fuel available for heating and an estimated
2.4 billion people rely on non-commercial biomass for fuel. This type of biomass
depends upon availability and cultural values e.g. in China half of biomass use
comes from agricultural residue and South Asia animal dung and crop residue
accounts for half the biomass. Whereas in South America and sub-Sahara the
majority of biomass used is wood fuel or charcoal.
Because of the dominance biomass in the developing countries, it would be
appropriate to develop technologies to improve the efficiency of energy production.
This is important, as the growing population does not only need biomass energy,
but also food from agricultural land. It has been estimated that improvements in
energy efficiency of biomass energy production could save 326 million tones of
biomass fuel per year from residential and commercial activities. This would
include 152 million tone of residential wood fuel. (IEA, 2000)

2.2.4 Direct Combustion of biomass


The combustion process for biomass fuel is consisting of three main stages namely
drying, pyrolysis and oxidation. The effect of each stage on the overall efficiency
of the combustion process will depend on the fuel moisture content, calorific value
of dry matter, ash content, content of volatile matter and particle size and size
variation.

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2.3 Performance of Compressed Hyacinth of Up Draft and Down Draft Furnaces
This research is to study the production of producer gas from up-flow and down-
flow gasifier using compressed water hyacinth as fuel. Airflow rates in each
gasifier were adjusted in three levels as follow: up-flow gasifier 3.59 x, 4.31 x and
5.03 x m3/s; down-flow gasifier 2.33 x, 3.42 x and 4.66 x m3/s. The results were
compared to investigate tile optimum heat condition by using gas chromatography.
The experimental results showed that the up flow gasifier provided high heating
value 4545.9 kJ/Nm3 at the air flow rate 4.31 x m3/s and down-flow gasifier
provided high heating value 2135.76 kJ/Nm3 at the air flow rate 3.42 x m3/s. It
could be concluded that the producer gas from up-flow gasifier at airflow rate 4.31
x m3/s should be utilized as it provided highest heating value. (Klaimukh 2007)

2.4 Stratified water hyacinth gasifier


This research work aims at using stratified downdraft gasifier because of several
advantages over the others. Stratified downdraft gasifiers consist of cylindrical
vessel with a hearth at the bottom. During the operation of a stratified downdraft
gasifier, air and biomass pass uniformly through four zones hence the name
stratified. Open top ensures uniform access of air or oxygen to the flaming
pyrolysis zone and permits the fuel to be fed more easily. It also allows easy access
for instruments to measure conditions within the bed. The uppermost layer is
composed of unreacted biomass fuel through which air enters. The uniform passage
of air and fuel down the gasifier keeps local temperatures from becoming either too
high or too low while the average temperature is high. The cylindrical construction
is easy to fabricate and permits continues flow for otherwise troublesome fuels
without causing bridging or channeling. Finally, the various strata are more
accessible for measuring compositions and temperatures within the bed so that it is
possible to compare modeling results with empirical observation. (Citation)
The choice for a given design of gasifier depends on several factors such as the
type of biomass, the moisture content, and energy content of the fuel. Water
hyacinth as biomass has proved to have a considerable high heating value of

13
4545.9KJ/Nm3 at flow rate 4.31m3/s. after several prototypes were tested in both
updraft and downdraft gasifiers (Klaimukh 2007) .
Entry point
They reach this conclusion it seems after deciding that chimneys just divert
smoke so that now it pollutes the overall environment, while the other
possibility (in my opinion) is that we can design more efficient biomass
stoves so that the smoke (a combustible gas in most cases) is burned inside
the stove to extract the maximum energy from the fuel. A central problem
not addressed by WHO is that modern fuels need to be purchased (and
petroleum based ones are non-renewable), while the people using wood
stoves tend to do so because the fuel is free or available at a low cost.

P rim a ry A ir an d H yacith F u el

G as O u t

R eactor (S ta in less steel)


M ild Steel
T h erm ocou ples
In su la tion Sp ace

O u ter cylin d er (M ild


steel)

A sh lev er assem bly

G rate

A sh C ha m b er
D oo r A sh C h am ber
A ssem bly

S ta nd

Figure 1: Proposed Stratified gasifier

14
CHAPTER THREE
3.0
Methodology

Experimental location
This research will be carried in the Department of Industrial and energy
Engineering laboratory. The stratified gasifier will be used to analyze the
combustion characteristics of water hyacinth under different condition.
The analysis of the producer gas will be done at Moi University in the department
of Environmental and Natural resources. Water Boiling Test (WBT) will to be used
in determination of energy conversion efficiency and will be carried out at the
Eldoret Polytechnic in the department of Chemical Engineering. Controlled
Cooking Test (CCT) and Kitchen Performance Test (KPT) will carried out in
several homestead along the shores Lake Victoria in Kisumu.

Research Materials and Equipment


Approximately 10m3 of dried Water hyacinth will be required to carry out the
experiment. This will be harvested from shores of Lake Victoria and will be dried
in the sun until it attains a moisture content of approximately 14%, which is
recommended for the performance. The dried water hyacinth then is chopped to
approximately 10mm in size. A gas analyzer will be use to analyze the composition
of the producer gas (CO, CO2, CH4, NOX). Standard sheets for Water Boiling Test
(WBT), Controlled Cooking Test (CCT) and Kitchen Performance Test (KPT) will
be used to record date collected during the performance of the experiment.

Functional parts of the gasifier.


a) Reactor
This is the compartment in which water hyacinths is gasified. The wider the cross-
sectional area of the reactor, the stronger the power output of the stove. Uniform
gasification can be achieved when the reactor is designed in circular rather than in
square or in rectangular cross section.
b) Char chamber

15
The char chamber serves as the storage for char produced after each operation. It is
located beneath the reactor to easily catch the char that is falling from the reactor.
This chamber is provided with a door that can be opened for easy disposal of char
and it must be kept always closed when operating the gasifier. The char chamber is
tightly fitted in all sides to prevent the air given off by the fan from escaping the
chamber hence, minimizing excessive loss of draft in the system in gasifying the
fuel.
c) Burner
The burner design affects the quality of burning gas in the stove. The size and the
number of holes in the burner affect the amount of gas generated by the stove. The
holes should be closer as possible, at about 1/8 inch distance, to allow proper
burning of gas in the burner. Secondary air should also be provided for the
combustible gas to improve the combustion of the fuel. Moreover, the gap between
the pot hole and the burner should not be too narrow in order to avoid quenching of
the combustion of fuel neither should it be too wide in order to limit the heat
released from the stove

d) Support legs.
Support legs with rubber caps are provided beneath for the chamber to support the
entire gasifier.

Construction Materials
The Water hyacinth gasifier will require the following materials for its fabrication:
Table 1 List of materials needed fabricating six units of Water hyacinth gasifier

Quantity Unit Description.


3 Sheets Mild Steel gauge 13
1 Piece Stainless Steel Plate gauge 22
2 Length Mild Steel pipe ½ inch
2 Length Mild steel rod 5/16 inch
2 Pieces Mild steel rod 3/16 inch
2 Feet Stainless Steel rod ¼ inch
4 Pieces Thermocouples
2 Pieces Switches
4 Pairs Hinges
4 Pieces Lock

16
2 Liter Enamel Paint
12 Pieces Rubber shoes
6 Pieces Hooks
2 Sacks Water hyacinth

As shown, the list of materials may include materials to be fabricated such as metal
sheets and bars, and standard materials such as hinges, door lock, switches, and
rubber shoes.
Mild steel sheet will be used for the construction of the reactor and the char
chamber. For the burner assembly the outer cylinder will be made by mild steel
sheet material with the same gauge as that of the reactor. The inner cylinder, the
part of the burner, which is directly in contact with the flammable gases, requires
stainless steel because of its good resistance to heat. The pot support, the handle of
the burner assembly including the frame for the char grate and the lever will be
made of mild steel rod for better durability.

Fabrication procedure
Layout of each of the different components of the gasifier will be made on a metal
sheet. For six units of the stove, two mild steel sheets and a sheet of stainless steel
are needed.
The metal sheet will be cut according to the dimension specified in the layout using
a tin snip. For thicker materials, use of bench snip cutter will facilitate cutting of
the metal sheet.
Metal sheets will be rolled with a rolling machine in forming the inner and the
outer cylinders of the reactor, as well as the cylindrical parts of the burner
assembly. Welding will be done to all parts that need to be joined together. Oxy-
acetylene welding unit is advisable for welding thinner metal sheets, particularly in
forming the inner reactor and the burner assembly where proper sealing is required.
The outer reactor, char chamber, pot holder, support legs, char frame, and grate
lever will be welded using the arc-welding machine. After all the different parts are
properly welded and constructed to the desired form, the surface of the welded
parts will be smoothened using a portable electric grinder. The outer surface of the
gasifier will then be painted.

17
Experimental Procedure
Standard testing protocol series (2003) developed by University of California at
Berkeley will be used to determine the energy conversion efficiencies of the
stratified water hyacinth gasifier.
In this protocol, the following are identified as indicators of gasifier performance:
i. Burning rate
ii. Efficiency
iii. Specific fuel consumption
iv. Turn-Down ratio (TDR)
In this protocol, the following three stove performance tests are recommended to
evaluate the indicators of performance
i. Water Boiling Test (WBT).
This is a laboratory based test which provides four (4) of the six (6) indicators of
stove performance i.e. thermal efficiency, fuel consumption, turn down ratio and
speed of cooking. The goal in this test is to measure fuel consumption and time to
boil water under a variety of conditions. Each water-boiling test consists of three
parts: high power cold start, high power hot start, low power (simmer).
ii. Controlled Cooking Test (CCT).
The goal in this test is to measure fuel consumption and time to cook a typical
meal. It is similar to a lab-controlled test and it is used to compare stoves
performing the task of cooking the same meal. The controlled cooking test (CCT)
is designed to assess the performance of the improved stove relative to the common
or traditional stoves that the improved model is meant to replace. Stoves are
compared as they perform a standard cooking task that is closer to the actual
cooking that local people do every day. However, the tests are designed in a way
that minimizes the influence of other factors and allows the test conditions to be
reproduced.

18
iii. Kitchen Performance Test (KPT).
The Kitchen Performance Test (KPT) is the principal field–based procedure to
demonstrate the effect of stove interventions on household fuel consumption. There
are two main goals of the KPT: (1) to assess qualitative aspects of stove
performance through household surveys and (2) to compare the impact of improved
stove(s) on fuel consumption in the kitchens of real households. To meet these
aims, the KPT includes quantitative surveys of fuel consumption and qualitative
surveys of stove performance and acceptability. This type of testing, when
conducted carefully, is the best way to understand the stove’s impact on fuel use
and on general household characteristics and behaviors because it occurs in the
homes of stove users.

3.1.1 Water Boiling Test (WBT)

Water Boiling Test procedure:


1) Same pot will be used in all tests (to be carried out indoor) for all types of
stoves.
2) A constant uniform amount (same weight, species and sizes) of fuel will be
used in each type of stove.
3) The pots will be filled with a constant amount of water.
4) Water temperature T1 will then be determined and fire started in a
reproducible manner.
5) High Power Phase: Stoves will be started at room temperature and water
temperature recorded every five minutes as water is brought as rapidly as
possible to a boil without being wasteful of heat.
6) When the water boils, amount of fuel used and time to boil will be recorded.
7) Low Power Phase: The heat will then be reduced so that water remains at
boiling point and remaining fuel used until it is all used up and the time
recorded.
8) The flame is then extinguished, the pot removed from the stove and the
remaining water measured. The amount of charcoal left will then be
weighed.

19
9) A minimum of three trials will be necessary for each loading capacity.
10) In this test, the following variables are considered constant throughout each
phase.
i. HHV - Gross calorific value (dry hyacinth) (MJ/kg)
ii. LHV - Net calorific value (dry hyacinth) (MJ/kg)
iii. m – Hyacinth moisture content (14 % - wet basis)
iv. Ceff - Effective calorific value (accounting for moisture content of hyacinth)
v. P - Dry weight of empty Pot (grams)
vi. k - Weight of empty container for char (grams)
vii. Tb - Local boiling point of water (deg C)
The following indicators will then be calculated using the formulae as shown
below:
Burning rate Rcb: This is a measure of the rate of hyacinth consumption while
bringing water to a boil. It is calculated by dividing the equivalent dry hyacinth
consumed by the time of the test.
Fcd
Rcb = − − − − − − − − − 3.2
t ci − t cf

Where Rcd – burning rate (Kg/min)


Fcd – Dry hyacinth consumed (Kg)

t ci – Time at start of test (min)

t cf – Time at end of test (min)

Specific fuel consumption CS c : This is the fuel required to produce a unit output
i.e. it is a measure of the amount of hyacinth required to produce one liter (or a
kilo) of boiling water starting with cold stove
f cd
SCc = − − − − − − − − − −3.3
Pcf − P

Where f cd – Equivalent dry hyacinth consumed


Pcf – Weight of pot with water after test (g)
P – Weight of pot (g)

20
Firepower FP c : This is a ratio of the wood energy consumed by the stove per unit
time. It tells the average power output of the stove (in Watts) during the high-power
test.
f cd × LHV
FPc = − − − − − − − − − −3.4
60 × (t ci − t cf )

Percent Heat Utilized (PHU) is a measure of the energy conversion efficiency. It is the
ratio of energy into a cooking task (e.g. to boil water) to that of energy in fuel used and is
given by:
 4.186Wi(T f − Ti ) = 2260(Wi − W f ) 
PHU =   × 100% − − − − − − − − − −3.5
 M wC w − M c Cc 
M w = mass of dry fuel in kg

C w = calorific value of dry fuel KJ/kg

M c = net weight of charcoal remaining in kg

C c = calorific value of charcoal in KJ/kg

Wi = mass of water used in kg at start

Wf = mass of water in kg at finish


Ti = temperature of water in 0C at start

Tf = temperature of water in 0C at finish


4.186KJ/kg0C = specific heat capacity of water
2260KJ/kg = latent heat of vaporization of water

3.1.2 Controlled Cooking Test. (CCT)


Test procedure
i. The first step in conducting the CCT is to consult with people in the location where
the gasifier is going to be introduced in order to choose an appropriate cooking
task. This should be done well ahead of time, to ensure that sufficient food can be
obtained to conduct all of the necessary tests.
ii. After deciding on a cooking task, the procedure should be described in as much
detail as possible and recorded in a way that both stove users and testers can
understand and follow. This is important to ensure that the cooking task is
performed identically on each stove. If possible, include an objective measure of

21
when the meal is “done”. In other words, it is preferable to define the end of the
cooking task by an observable factor like “the skins come off the beans” rather than
a subjective measure like “the sauce tastes right
After sufficient ingredients and fuel have been obtained and the steps of the
cooking task are written up and well understood by all participants, the actual
testing can begin. The cooking itself should be done by a local person who is
familiar with both the meal that is being cooked and the operation of the stove to be
tested. If the stove is a new design that differs significantly from traditional
cooking practices, some training will probably be required before conducting the
actual tests. When comparing stoves with the CCT, if more than one cook is used,
each cook should test each stove the same number of times, in order to remove the
cook as a potential source of bias in the tests. In addition, to ensure that the testers
have control over the testing environment, the tests should be conducted in a
controllable setting such as a lab or workshop rather than in a private home.
iii. Record local conditions as instructed on the Data and Calculation form.
iv. Weigh the predetermined ingredients and do all of the preparations (washing,
peeling, cutting, etc). To save time, for non-perishable food, the preparation can be
done in bulk, so that food for all of the tests is prepared at once.
v. Start with a pre-weighed bundle of fuel that is roughly double the amount that local
people consider necessary to complete the cooking task. Record the weight in the
appropriate place on the Data and Calculation form.
vi. Starting with a cool stove, allow the cook(s) to light the fire in a way that reflects
local practices. Start the timer and record the time on the Data and Calculation
form.
vii. While the cook performs the cooking task, record any relevant observations and
comments that the cook makes (for example, difficulties that they encounter,
excessive heat, smoke, instability of the stove or pot, etc).
viii. When the task is finished, record the time in the Data and Calculation form (see the
comments on determining when the task is complete in step 2 above).
ix. Remove the pot(s) of food from the stove and weigh each pot with its food on the
balance. Record the weight in grams on the Data and Calculation form.

22
x. Remove the unburned wood from the fire and extinguish it. Knock the charcoal
from the ends of the unburned wood. Weigh the unburned wood from the stove
with the remaining wood from the original bundle. Place all of the charcoal in the
designated tray and weigh this too. Record both measurements on the Data and
Calculation form.
xi. The test is now complete – you may now enjoy the food that was cooked or
proceed by testing the next stove – each stove should be tested at least 3 times.

Specific objective two: Determination of emission characteristics.

3.1.3 Test parameters

The following parameters are used in evaluating the performance of the gasifier
1. Start-Up Time (T1) – This is the time required to ignite the water hyacinth and
consequently to produce combustible gas. This parameter is measured from the
time the burning pieces of paper are introduced to the fuel in the reactor until
combustible gas is produced at the burner.
2. Operating Time (T2) – This is the duration from the time the gasifier produces a
combustible gas until no more gas is obtained from the burning water hyacinth.
3. Total Operating Time (T3) – This is the duration from the time water hyacinth is
ignited, until no more combustible gas is produced in the stove. It is the sum of the
startup time and the operating time of the gasifier.
T3 = T1 + T2 − − − − − − − − − −3.6

4. Fuel Consumption Rate (FCR) – This is the amount of water hyacinth fuel used
in operating the stove divided by the operating time. This is computed using the
formula,
weight of fuel used ( kg )
FCR = − − − − − − − − − −3.7
Operating time (hr )

5. Specific Gasification Rate (SGR) – This is the amount of water hyacinth fuel
used per unit time per unit area of the reactor. This is calculated using the weight of
dry water hyacinth gasified for a run, net operating period and cross sectional area
of the reactor. This is computed using the formula,

23
Weight of fuel used (kg )
SGR = − − − − − − − − − −3.8
Re actor area ( m 2 ) × Operating time (hr )

6. Equivalence Ratio (ER)


This is the actual air used in a run to stiochiometric air requirement for the run.
This is computed the formula,
Amount of air used in one run
ER = − − − − − − − − − −3.9
Amount of stoichiome tric air in the run
7. Gasification efficiency (η)
This the percentage of energy of the water hyacinth converted into cold producer
gas (free from tar). The expression below is used to compute gasification
efficiency.

Amount of gas produced × LCV of the gas


η − − − − − − − − − −3.10
Quantity of water hyacinth × LCV of hyacinth

24
3.1.4 Data collection
Determination gasifier performance in the laboratory
Results of the performance testing of the gasifier will be carried out in laboratory. This will
be done in three modes that is, on full load, three quarter load and half load. In each mode
three trials will be recorded as shown in table 2 below
Table 2: Operating test results of the stratified water hyacinth gasifier

Loading Weight Of Fuel Start Up Gas Ignition Total


Capacity Fuel Time Time Operating
Time
(Kg) (Min) (Sec) (Min)

Full Load
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Average
¾ Load
Trial 1

Trail 2

Trial 3
Average
½ Load
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Average

25
Table 3 Operating performance of the stratified gasifier

Loading capacity Fuel consumption Char produced Specific


rate. (kg/hr) (%) gasification rate
(Kg/hr-m2 )
Full Load

¾ Load

½ Load

Table 4: Power Output and efficiency of the stove.

Loading Power Input Thermal Efficiency Power output


Capacity (kW) (%) (kW)

Full Load
¾ Load
½ Load

Expected Results
1) Determination of the amount of energy that can be produced by water hyacinth
would lead to the use of water hyacinth as an alterative source of renewable energy
in Kenya.
2) Determination of emission characteristics of water hyacinth for the formation of
pollutant gases will allow for the safe use of water hyacinth without polluting the
environment.
3) Utilization of water hyacinth as a source of energy will reduce the dependency on
wood-biomass as a source of energy in Kenya.
4) Savings from reduced important of fuel can be used to expand enterprises that
would create employment opportunities in Kenya.
5) Commercialization of water hyacinth will generate additional income to farmers
living along the lake region.

Specific objective two: Determination of energy conversion efficiency

26
CHAPTER FOUR

4.0
WORK PLAN

Year 2008 2009


Month N D J F M A M J J A S O N
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 12 13
Number
0 1
1 Problem Definition
2 Literature Review
3 Methodology
4 Work plan
5 Budget
6 Design of Gasifier
7 Fabrication
8 Testing of Gasifier
9 Analysis &
Evaluation
10 Conclusion
11 Presentation

27
BUDGET

Description Cost in Ksh.


1. Communication
E mail and internet browsing 10,000
Internet modem 3,000
Phone 1,000
Sub total 14,000
2. Stationary
Flash disk 1,000
Printer cartridge 3,000
Printing papers 5,000
Binding 1,000
Sub total 9,000
3. Traveling 10,000
4. Construction of prototype
Construction of materials 25,000
Tools and equipment 8,000
Labour 5,000
Sub total 38,000
5. Testing and analysis
Testing equipment 20,000
Total 81,000
6. Contingency (10% of total) 8,100
Grand total 89,100

28
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Appendices

Appendix 1. Parts of the gasifier

Mild steel Sheet


200

150

Stainless Steel Sheet

Mild steel Sheet

Metal Sheet Flange


5
Outer Cylinder

Insulation Material

Welded to the ash Intermediate


chamber Cylinder
Inner Cylinder

Figure 2: Part of the gasifier reactor not drawn to scale. All dimensions in mm

36
37
200

Ash Lever

Fuel Grate

Hinge Lock
Top View

Cover

38
160

Front View Rubber


Shoes
300

Figure 3: Detail of the char chamber not drawn to scale (All dimensions are in mm)

Appendix 2. Sample test data sheet

Water boiling test


Date :
Place :
Tester :
Table 4 Design details of the gasifier

Stove model
Fuel reactor diameter (mm)
Fuel reactor height (mm)
Kind and Thickness of insulation

Table 5 Design details of the gasifier


Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Average
Type of test
Ambient condition
Temperature (0C)
Fuel Weight
Initial, kg
Final, kg

39
Time operated
Started
Finished
Volume of water
Initial (liters)
Final (liters)
Water temperature
Initial (0C)
Final (0C)
Boiling time (min)
Summering time (min)

40