Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Biomass gasification

Project ID 03KB003

BioSyn - Biomass gasification for the production of a tar-free synthesis gas

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  • 01.04.2009 – 31.03.2012


Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Dr. Thomas Aicher – project leader
Telephone: +49 (0) 761 4588-5194
E-mail: thomas.aicher(at)

Christian Lintner – project coordinator
Telephone: +49 (0) 761 4588-5211
E-mail: christian.lintner(at)


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Cooperation partners



Only in German available.


Biomass gasification is an environmentally friendly, CO2-neutral and renewable technology for the production of synthesis gas, with the possibility to produce electricity and heat in a combined heat and power cogeneration (CHP). Especially in off-grid regions, biomass gasification combined with a gas engine provides an ecological and economical way to produce electricity and heat. In hybrid systems gas engines can be integrated as additional and back-up systems, compensating the strongly varying range of power provided by wind and photovoltaic technologies. Although many different research groups worldwide are working in the field of biomass gasification, there is still a high potential for optimisation of any existing technologies, which will be exploited in the frame of this project.


Most biomass gasification plants in the European Union are pilot plants at laboratory or technical scale. These pilot plants cannot be operated economically yet, in particular in the power range of < 1 MW. The aim of this project is to set up a pilot plant for biomass gasification at technical scale within the next three years and to investigate and optimize the gasification performance of a new gasification process for various kinds of biomass. Thus, the technical feasibility of several innovative improvements, patented by Fraunhofer ISE (patent DE 10 2004 024 672 B4) and enabling the production of a tar free synthesis gas also beyond laboratory scale will be demonstrated. The gas will be used in a CHP plant. For gas cleaning, only a hot gas filter is needed. At the end of the project, the gasification plant should run fully automated.


A demonstration plant for biomass gasification with a fuel capacity of 50 kW will be designed, constructed and tested at Fraunhofer ISE. The product gas quality will be monitored via gas analysis and gas chromatography. The gas will be used in a CHP plant. The influence of different kinds of biomass on gasification performance will be investigated and the different sub processes of the gasification plant will be simulated, the goal being to predict gasification performance and hence to achieve full automation of the gasifier.


  • Demonstration of a new, optimized process for biomass gasification at technical scale for the production of tar free synthesis gas
  • Investigation of various kinds of biomass as feedstock
  • Product gas analysis
  • Simulation of the process

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