Gasification of Biomass and Waste

Countries Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA


Professor Kevin Whitty
Dept. of Chemical Engineering
The University of Utah
Salt Lake City

Tel: +1 801 585 9388

Assistant Task Leaders

Professor Reinhard Rauch
Bereich Chemische Energieträger – Brennstofftechnologie
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Engler-Bunte-Ring 3, Geb. 40.02, R005
D-76131 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-42960
Mobil: +49 174 9675356

Task Secretary

Dr Jitka Hrbek
Institute of Chemical Engineering
Vienna University of Technology
Getreidemarkt 9/166

Tel.: +43 1 58801 166355


1.         Definition and Objectives

(a)  Definition

‘Gasification’ means the thermal destruction of biomass in a reducing atmosphere of steam or air (or both) to produce a medium- or low-calorific value gas which can subsequently be converted to other fuel forms, chemicals, hydrogen, and other products.

(b)  Objectives

The objectives of Task 33 are:

–       To promote commercialisation of biomass gasification (BMG) to produce fuel and synthesis gases that can be subsequently converted to substitutes for fossil fuel based energy products and chemicals, and lay the foundation for secure and sustainable energy supply;

–       to assist IEA Bioenergy Executive Committee activities in developing sustainable bioenergy strategies and policy recommendations by providing technical, economic, and sustainability information for BMG systems;

–       to conduct sub-Task studies to review and evaluate information from the current world-wide RD&D programmes and operating gasification systems to identify and resolve barriers for advancement of economical, efficient, and environmentally preferable BMG processes; and

–       to enable National Team Leaders (NTLS) to develop forward looking strategies and policies to implement programmes in their respective countries, and help ‘leapfrog’ resource consuming repetitive and redundant exercises.

2.         Scope of the Task

(a)     The Participants will have R&D programmes directly or indirectly related to the Task within their countries in order to meet the above objectives;

(b)     The Participants will make their best effort to carry out co-operative research work towards reaching the objectives described in paragraph 1(b) above, based on the national R&D programmes referred to in sub-paragraph (a) above;


(c)          The Programme of Work undertaken will consist of the following elements:

(i)      Organise semi-annual Task Meetings to exchange and review global RD&D programmes and projects to identify barriers to commercialise BMG.

(ii)     NTLs will prepare and update Country Reports and RD&D needs and make them available for use by other NTLS and Executive Committee members to aid in the development of their respective national BMG and bioenergy plans.


(iii)    Conduct sub-Task studies, including technical workshops, with industrial and academic experts to address the key barriers to advancing BMG on a country and global basis.

(iv)      Conduct joint studies/workshops with related Tasks, annexes, and other international activities to pursue mutually beneficial investigation including the following outputs / activities:

  • A gasification lessons learned report;
  • A Technology facility database;
  • A White Paper as the basis for a protocol for biomass gasification process plant contract acceptance or compliance testing;
  • A White Paper on feed handling and feeding; and
  • A collaboration with Task 32 and 34 on development of techno-economic assessments of technologies for CHP and biofuel production.

(v)       Reports and publications from Task activities.