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HQ 953614

March 25, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953614 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8504.10.00

Mr. Harry G. Kelly
Givens and Kelly
950 Echo Lane, Suite 360
Houston, TX 77024-2788

RE: "Chemrec Gasifier"; Water Gas Generator; Explanatory Note 84.05

Dear Mr. Kelly:

This is in response to your letter of February 8, 1993, to the Regional Commissioner of Customs, New York, on behalf of Gotaverken Energy AB, concerning the classification of a chemical recovery gasifier under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for preparation of a response.


The merchandise consists of a chemical recovery gasifier, known as the "Chemrec Gasifier". It is used by paper pulp producers as an incremental expansion option for recovering energy (as gas) from wood pulp residues. The residue is black liquor that results from the liquification of wood chips in the pulping process. The gasifier is a freestanding closed cylinder, fitted with a refractory lining and an entrained bed reactor. The black liquor, composed of organics, water, and caustics, is injected as an atomized spray into the cylinder where in comes into contact with pressurized heated air. The mixture partially combusts at a temperature of 900 degrees Celsius in order to yield water gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The water gas is subsequently used as heat fuel. The wastes are filtered through, solidified, suspended in a cooling liquid, and continually drawn off.


Whether the chemical recovery gasifier is classifiable under heading 8405, HTSUS, as a water gas generator?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Subheading 8405.10.00, HTSUS, provides for: "[p]roducer gas or water gas generators, with or without their purifiers; acetylene gas generators and similar water process gas generators, with or without their purifiers."

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part Explanatory Note 84.05 (pp. 1146 - 1147) states that:

[t]his heading covers self-contained apparatus and plant for generating any kind of gas (e.g., producer gas, water gas and mixtures thereof, or acetylene) whatever the intended use of the gas produced (lighting, industrial heating, feeding gas engines, welding or cutting metals, chemical synthesis, etc.) . . .


[t]hese usually consist of a closed cylinder, generally fitted with a refractory lining or a water-cooled double wall enclosing a grate (either of fixed, shaking or revolving type), with provision for passing a current of air (or of air and steam) by suction or blowing. A thick bed of fuel is burned on the grate and the flow of air and steam is regulated so that combustion is incomplete, the resultant mixture of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and nitrogen (producer gas) being drawn off at the top of the apparatus.

In certain generators of the "reversed combustion" type, the air is blown from the top to the bottom and along the sides of the cylinder and the gas is collected at the bottom of the apparatus, below the grate. This allows for more complete combustion of tars, etc.


These are of a similar construction, but are arranged so that air and a spray of water or steam are blown in alternate phases into the apparatus. The gas resulting from the water phase is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (water gas) having a higher heating power than producer gas. It may be collected separately from the producer gas obtained during the air phase or the two gases may be mixed. . .

Based upon the above description, it is our position that the subject chemical recovery gasifier is described as a water gas generator under heading 8405, HTSUS. Specifically, we find that the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8405.10.00, HTSUS.


The chemical recovery gasifier is classifiable under subheading 8405.10.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]roducer gas or water gas generators, with or without their purifiers; acetylene gas generators and similar water process gas generators, with or without their purifiers." The general, column one rate of duty is 2.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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