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Bioenergy > Technologies > Thermochemical technologies > Gasification

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Gasification is a thermochemical conversion technology used to produce energy from biomass. Gasification is conducted using equipment known as "gasifiers".


Types of Gasification Technologies

Gasification technologies can be categorized as being of three types:

  • Fixed Bed Gasification,
  • Fluidized Bed Gasification, and
  • Novel Designs for Gasification.

Fixed Bed Gasification

Fixed Bed Gasification can be further categorized into the following:

Fluidized Bed Gasification

Novel Designs for Gasification


Feedstocks that can be used for gasification include


Products of gasification include:

Advantages of Gasification

Commercialization Status

Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

Societal Impacts

  • The inherent difficulty in optimizing the benefits for local people is the economies of scale. A shift in focus to the economies of integration and value offers promise. The focus should be on cascading every Btu, kilowatt, drop of water, nutrient, chemical and human talent through the system to save money, produce co-products and optimize the productivity and satisfaction of the workers. There are also opportunities in the formation of farmer/worker coops to own and operate the facility. There could be a focus on keeping the value-added benefits in the rural community and in strengthening the community while gaining the multiplier of benefits by turning money over within the community. It is necessary to develop gasification technologies that will encourage economies of integration and value in order to ensure the competitiveness of such systems with economies of scale facilities. Government policy, regulations and incentives may be necessary for small facilities to compete. However, this could well be justified in terms of overall benefits to society.



See books, reports, scientific papers, position papers and websites for additional useful resources.

  • Sustainable fuel for the transportation sector by Rakesh Agrawal, Navneet R. Singh, Fabio H. Ribeiro, and W. Nicholas Delgass; School of Chemical Engineering and Energy Center at Discovery Park, Purdue University, PNAS published online Mar 14, 2007.


  • Advaced Plasma Power (UK) uses a two-stage gasification process to convert dried organic waste is into H-rich gas, which can be burnt as a power source (e.g. in cars). The remaining soot & ash can be solidified into a material stronger than granite and can be used as a building material.
  • Nova Fuels- Develops biomass-to-fuel conversion facilities (that use gasification technology) with joint venture partners. Produces NovaholTM, a mixture of alcohols which can be used as a fuel or refined to ethanol, biobutanol or other form.







This page has been modified from information developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, in cooperation with the Biomass Coordinating Council of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Gasification edit

Gasification is a Thermochemical conversion technology.
(Thermochemical technologies: Combustion, Gasification, Pyrolysis, Depolymerization)

Gasification technologies:
Fixed Bed - Downdraft Co-current Fixed Bed, Updraft co-current Fixed Bed, Updraft Counter-current Fixed Bed, Cross-draft fixed bed, Open core fixed bed
Fluidized Bed - Pressurized Circulating Fluidized Bed, Atmospheric Circulating Fluidized Bed
Novel Designs - Plasma Arc Gasification, 2-Stage Gasifier, Open-Top, Aqueous Phase Reforming, Hybrid hydrogen-carbon process

Bioenergy conversion technologies edit
Technologies categorized by bioenergy processes:

Biochemical: Aerobic, Anaerobic, Landfill gas collection (LFG), Biodiesel production, Ethanol production
Thermochemical: Combustion, Gasification, Pyrolysis, Depolymerization

Technologies categorized by feedstock:
Algae | Cellulosic technology

Technologies by commercialization status:

Analysis of technologies: Life-cycle analysis


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