Gasification of biowaste: A critical review and outlooks

Jamison Watson, Yuanhui Zhang, Buchun Si, Wan Ting Chen, Raquel de Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gasification is a promising technology for reducing the volume of biowaste feedstock. Further, with the incorporation of steam this thermochemical treatment technology also concomitantly produces H2, a high value energy. This paper aims to summarize the status of biowaste gasification technology and detail the benefits and limitations of different gasification processes, especially for biowaste. First, we compare steam with other gasification agents (oxygen and air) to understand the specific effects of gasification agents on the resulting gas quality and quantity. Second, influencing process factors (reactor configurations, temperature, steam to biomass ratio, and catalyst incorporation) are evaluated in terms of their impact on the resulting H2/CO ratio, gas heating value, gas yield, tar yield, and energy recovery. Third, commercial biowaste gasification applications are detailed and the economics and societal impacts are elucidated. Finally, the current challenges facing the field of gasification and the future outlooks of this technology for reducing biowaste are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Biowaste
  • Future outlook
  • Gasification
  • Hydrogen
  • Steam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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