Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert C. Brown


In an advancing technological world, gasification is a relatively mature technology that can be refreshed to help achieve sustainable energy production. This thesis discusses the development of a pressurized gasification system that converts bio-oil from fast pyrolysis of red oak into producer gas. Focus will be given to the challenges of operating a pressurized system at high temperature while injecting a non-uniform liquid. Demonstration experiments using methanol resulted in development of experimental methods to show critical nozzle designs and their affects on gasification of liquid jets.

Start up of the bio-oil gasification system was performed using methanol as a model fuel. Methanol provides a stable platform for proving the system's capabilities and focused attention on areas that needed design improvements. The ideal fuel also made it easy to compare the system results directly with theoretical calculations of equilibrium. The methanol experiments highlighted a need to show the importance of volatility verses the importance of atomization. Due to this discovery, the experiments where adjusted to demonstrate the change in atomization within a fixed system.

Producing the whole bio-oil that 1) could be readily pumped 2) would not clog the system and 3) have congruent properties throughout testing proved to be a challenge within itself. A list of lab experiments were conducted to show differences in bio-oils that had been filtered to three difference sizes; 500μm, 90μm and 40μm. To best show the importance in atomization, the 90μm bio-oil was selected. The bio-oil gasification tests were performed using 3 nozzle configurations. Each nozzle showed a unique result while further proving that atomization is critical to performing gasification of liquid jets.


Copyright Owner

Nicholas Ryan Creager



File Format


File Size

49 pages