Gasification of Biomass

FastOx gasification is the ideal technology for converting the most diverse range of biomass feedstocks, including mixed biomass, into syngas suitable for downstream conversion into renewable energy and fuels. Find out why FastOx gasification is so suitable for mixed biomass feedstocks.

What is Biomass?

Biomass is organic matter, such as plant material and animal waste, that can be used as a source of fuel. Through its vast stores of chemical energy generated through natural processes, biomass provides a substantial energy source that is both renewable and sustainable. However, not all biomass is alike when it comes to gasification.



FastOx Gasification of Biomass Feedstock Advantages

FastOx gasification, which reaches 4000⁰ F (2200⁰ C) has significant advantages over low-temperature gasification technologies, particularly when handling mixed biomass and biomass feedstocks with low ash melting points. The advantages of FastOx gasification over lower temperature gasifiers include:


Feedstock diversity: FastOx gasifiers can handle the widest range of biomass including mixed biomass with varying morphology, sizing, shapes, and moisture content that might collapse the bed of a low-temperature gasifier

Fibrous materials: FastOx gasifiers can feed and process more fibrous materials and difficult to feed materials

Tar mitigation and slagging: FastOx gasifiers handle biomass with variable and low ash melting points, turning all ash into a non-leaching stone that is a saleable product, thus avoiding the sticky tar issues faced by low-temperature gasifiers

Higher energy conversion: As a slagging gasifier with no ash, we have a higher conversion of carbon into useful syngas for downstream conversion

Wide range of operating parameters: With a demonstration facility in operation and available as a testing site, Sierra has developed vast refractory experience and the ability to adjust slag chemistry under a wide range of operating conditions


While it is true that some char from low-temperature gasifiers can be land applied as soil amendment, this has become a problematic issue in some locations even when biomass is the feedstock, as regulations around this use of the ash material are becoming more stringent. When low-temperature gasifiers process non-biomass feedstocks such as municipal solid waste, the ash is typically toxic and considered hazardous waste that must be landfilled. FastOx gasification, which produces a non-leaching instead of an ash, does not have this problem.


Some of the biomass feedstock suitable for FastOx gasification include:


  • Forestry biomass and waste
  • Agricultural waste
  • Cellulosic materials such as contaminated waste paper
  • Dedicated energy crops
  • Corn stover
  • Palm fronds
  • Switchgrass
  • Bagasse
  • Wood included painted and treated waste wood
  • Nutshells and nut hulls
  • Orchard waste
  • Paper sludge (dried)
  • Cow manure (dried)


Sierra Energy is the supplier and equipment manufacturer of the FastOx gasification technology, a commercial gasifier that is ideal for processing biomass feedstock. The company’s oxygen blown FastOx gasification technology can create high-energy syngas from nearly all biomass feedstocks.