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Author: Anna Orłowska Published at: 26.10.2021 Last update: 26.10.2021

Project FLOWCHAR Launching Event

The FlowChar project is led by scientists from the Department of Heat Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology. The project aims to develop a system of co-generation of electricity, heat and clean water, using renewable resources and based on the principles of closed-loop economy. The seminar inaugurating the research work will be held on November 9, 2021 on the MS Teams platform.

The idea behind the project "Flow electrodes from biomass-derived char" (acronym FlowChar) is to integrate two processes:

  1. Generation of heat and electricity using synthesis gas created by biomass gasification
  2. Production of pure water by capacitive deionization of brackish or seawater using flow electrodes.

The concept of the integrated gasification and desalination system is based on the fact that the carbonizate, i.e. the solid material generated during biomass conversion, is directed to a water treatment plant where ions present in the saline water are adsorbed on its surface, after which the carbonizate saturated with sodium ions is returned to the gasification process. The anticipated advantage of this solution is the replacement of commercially produced activated carbon with an electrode of semi-waste material, as well as the use of the catalytic properties of sodium to improve the efficiency of the gasification process.

Combining the production of electricity, heat, and treated water with a single, comprehensive technology would work well in places where utility connections are difficult. This solution would be particularly desirable for the agricultural sector, which generates significant amounts of waste biomass, consumes a lot of electricity and process heat, and at the same time has a high demand for water.

The FlowChar project will perform a feasibility study of the proposed concept. The research program will start with the preparation of carbonizates under laboratory conditions, allowing for precise control of the process and thus the properties of the resulting material. In the next step, it is planned to test the efficiency of water desalination using flow electrodes made of the obtained carbonizates. The final phase of the project will assess the potential improvement of gasification efficiency by using carbonates saturated with sodium ions.

The FlowChar project (contract number NOR/SGS/FlowChar/0062/2020-00) was selected through a competition organized by the National Centre for Research and Development Small Grant Scheme 2020, funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2020, for research projects carried out by women scientists in the area of technical sciences. The two-year project will be implemented by Agnieszka Korus, Ph.D. (project manager) and Paulina Wienchol, M.Sc. from the Department of Heat Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology. Substantive support for the young research team was also declared by experienced scientists from the Wrocław University of Technology and SINTEF Energy Research, a renowned Norwegian research institute.

About the idea of the project, the main research tasks and challenges ahead, the creators of the project will talk during the kick-off meeting, which will be held on 9 November 2021 at 10:00 a.m. For epidemic reasons, it will be conducted remotely, on MS Teams platform. The event will begin with a presentation of the project concept, and then the participants will be invited to take part in an open discussion. The detailed program of the meeting and the registration form are available at: https://tinyurl.com/FlowChar . The meeting will be held in English.




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