Solutions for Biomass & Biofuels

Fire Suppression in Biomass Silos and other Gas-enabled Technologies for Renewables
We support biomass-to-liquids, biodiesel and biogas production processes with gas-based solutions for gasification, inerting, hydrogenation, desulfurization and silo fire suppression
Biomass and Biofuels as Sources of Renewable Energy

Using biomass to generate energy reduces reliance on fossil fuels and does not release any more carbon dioxide than that initially absorbed by the plants. It is a flexible energy source that can be supplied as a solid, liquid or gaseous raw material, and can be used to generate heat and electricity or as a replacement for conventional fuels.

Industrial gases play a crucial role in converting biomass. They support chemical processes, refine products and reduce hazards:

  • In biomass-to-liquids (BTL) processes, oxygen is used for gasification, nitrogen for inerting and hydrogen for hydrogenation
  • In the production of biodiesel, nitrogen is used for inerting and tank recirculation
  • In the production of biogas, oxygen is used for desulfurization and nitrogen for inerting and preparing the pipeline network
The Biomass Storage Challenge

Biomass is stored in large silos and these are prone to combustion incidents. The problem is that bacterial and fungal activity generates heat within the silos, along with toxic and combustible gases. Smoldering fires can start with oxygen levels as low as 3%, either through auto-ignition or as a result of heat applied from an external source. Once ignited, a smoldering fire in biomass is extremely difficult to extinguish. Auto-ignition can occur very deep in the material. By the time it is apparent, the smoldering fire has already grown and caused significant damage, compromising fuel quality and using up dry matter. Water as a fire suppression medium is often ineffective, causing additional - costly - problems and failing to penetrate the pile. A smoldering fire in biomass cannot be tackled with conventional fire suppression methods.

Inerting a silo helps to:
  • Slow down the production of flammable gases such as carbon monoxide
  • Help detect a fire more quickly by forcing combustion gases upwards to gas detectors
  • Control the temperature of the biomass pile
  • Control the oxygen concentration within the silo
Linde’s Expertise in Biomass Fire Suppression

Based on our experience supporting successful fire-fighting activities, we have developed innovative fire suppression solutions to manage and mitigate the risk of smoldering fires. These leverage the inerting power of gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide to purge the biomass and reduce the rate of bacterial oxidation. Our experts will work with you to develop a customized inerting and extinguishing system that is designed to the specifications of your material handling and storage project. Our offering includes consulting, installation support and reliable gas supply solutions.

Any questions?

One of our experts would be delighted to discuss your needs, answer your questions and provide more detailed information about our solutions for low-carbon fuels
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