Gasification is a process that creates a gaseous fuel that then is used to fuel a power plant. Here's how this works. Biomass is gasified in a vessel called a gasifier using a chemical reaction in which solid or liquid biomass is heated to high temperatures and then injected with a controlled amount of oxygen or steam. Under these conditions the biomass breaks down without combustion, resulting in a gas mixture called syngas or producer gas. This gas contains mostly hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water as well as other substances that are typically removed through use of heat exchangers and filters.
This process converts the biomass to a gas that can then be used in reciprocating engines, gas turbines, combined-cycle gas turbines, or fuel cells. In turn, these technologies spin a generator to create electricity. Typical biomass used for gasification includes wood chips, rice hulls, nut shells and dried sewage sludge.