Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/29/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ratner, Albert

First Committee Member

Buchholz, James

Second Committee Member

Carrica, Pablo

Third Committee Member

Udaykumar, H S

Fourth Committee Member

Stanier, Charles O


Biomass is an attractive renewable energy resource for electricity generation, which has the potential to protect air quality, reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and improve forest health. Biomass gasification is a technology that transfers solid or liquid biomass into gaseous energy carrier (syngas) to increase the efficiency of electricity generation. The objective of this thesis is to supply a detailed feasibility study and provide a state-of-the-art economical pathway on biomass gasification application.

The work of this dissertation can be separated into two parts: commercial-scale biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) power plants comparison and other biomass gasification system design. The first part compares eight BIGCC systems with three groups of technology variations of gasification agent, syngas combustion method, and CO2 capture and storage. By comparing on performance, economic, and environmental indicators of these systems, it is found that BIGCC systems have higher exergy efficiency and lower emissions than biomass combustion electricity production system and electricity grid. However, its levelized cost of electricity is around 27% higher than the average electricity market price.

To reduce the BIGCC system’s cost, in the second part of this thesis, the potential for waste material gasification has been discussed. This part discussed the tire gasification and the gasification technology application for avian influenza poultry management. Results showed that tire gasification has a lower cost than natural gas which has the potential to reduce the BIGCC system’s cost. Moreover, gasification is an effective and economical available approach for avian influenza poultry management.


Biomass gasification, Economic analysis, Exergy analysis, Life cycle assessment, Power generation, Waste material


xvii, 167 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 152-167).


Copyright © 2019 Guiyan Zang

Available for download on Thursday, July 29, 2021