Fluidized bed gasification is suitable for processing solid fuels such as biomass and unreactive fuels that require a long solids residence time. The University of Utah’s pressurized fluidized bed gasifier is capable of gasifying up to 32 kg/hr of fuel with steam of air, with or without addition of oxygen. The reactor is built in five sections and consists of gas distributor, bed section and freeboard. The fuel is fed directly into the bed, where it is converted into a hydrogen-rich synthesis gas. Eighty heaters located within the bed allow it to be indirectly heated if desired. A pressurized lock hopper system at the bottom of the bed allows automatic removal of bed solids while the system is operating.


  • Max. throughput: 32 kg/hr (70 lb/hr)
  • Max. temperature: 825°C
  • Max. pressures: 2.0 Mpa
  • Overall dimensions: Ø 0.75m (30 in) x approximately 5.2m (17 ft)
  • Reactor dimensions: Ø 0.25m (10 in) diameter x 1.4m (55 in)
  • The freeboard above the bed is approximately 3m (10 ft) in height and has an internal cyclone to return entrained solids to the bed


  • Investigation of fuel reactivity under gasifying conditions
  • Study of fuel’s effects on production and quality of synthesis gas
  • Study of tar production from biomass gasification
  • Production of industrially representative syngas for study of syngas cleaning and catalytic fuel production


  • Investigation of fuel chemistry and bed performance in a fluidized bed black liquor steam reformer
  • Fluidized bed steam reforming research
  • Biomass syngas to liquid fuels validation