Gasification of Biowaste Based on Validated Computational Simulations: A Circular Economy Model to Handle Poultry Litter Waste

Oisin De Priall, Caterina Brandoni, Valentina Gogulancea, Mohammad Jaffar, Neil Hewitt, kai zhang, Y Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Converting waste biomass resources through downdraft gasification can generate a producer gas for a combined heat and power unit. The study includes feedstock analysis, process modelling using ECLIPSE simulation software, and experimental analysis of materials in a pilot-scale fixed-bed downdraft gasifier. Anaerobic digestate and miscanthus were investigated for comparing the gasification potential of poultry litter as an energy source. Models validated through experimental analysis were applied to a case study based on a typical poultry farm in Northern Ireland. Results found producer gas with a lower heating value up to 4.15MJ/Nm3 can be generated. Sufficient poultry waste is generated on-site to produce the required heat and electricity for each shed, allowing the farm to switch from fossil fuels to a local renewable resource and addressing the waste disposal issue. Downdraft gasification coupled with cogeneration could have a payback period of 4 - 5 years given the correct conditions. The net present value is positive for all technologies considered (i.e. internal combustion engine and the Organic Rankine cycle combined heat and power unit) under different subsidies, showing the economic viability of the solution. The break-even selling price could be lower than the current grid electricity selling price (£120/MWh) when incentives such as: i) avoiding disposal cost of £30/tonne, ii) selling the biochar by-product at £200/tonne and iii) fuel displacement costs of 1.5p/kWh are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3899-3911
Number of pages13
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number9
Early online date12 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Bryden Centre project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Project Reference: IVA5048. The views and opinions expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission or the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Funding Information:
This research work was also carried out as part of NSFC‐RS International Exchange Scheme funded by the Royal Society and National Natural Science Foundation of China (IEC\NSFC\201070).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Downdraft Gasification
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Poultry Litter
  • Combined Heat and Power
  • Internal Combustion Engine
  • Organic Rankine Cycle
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Downdraft gasification
  • Organic rankine cycle
  • Internal combustion engine
  • Combined heat and power
  • Poultry litter


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