Light olefins and transport fuels from biomass residues via synthetic methanol: performance and cost analysis

Ilkka Hannula, Vesa Arpiainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A thermochemical processing route from biomass residues to light olefins (ethylene and propylene) is assessed by means of process simulation and cost analysis. A two-step process chain is proposed where (1) biomass residues are first converted to synthetic methanol in a gasification plant situated close to feedstock resources and (2) the produced methanol is transported to a steam cracking site where it is further converted in a methanol to olefins (MTO) plant. Possibilities for heat and product integration as well as equipment sharing with a steam cracking plant are discussed. Overall mass yields from dry biomass to light olefins range from 169 to 203 kg/t. Based on cursory capital cost estimates, the maximum methanol purchase price for such integrated MTO plants is estimated to be in the range of 420-450 /t.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • biomass
  • gasification
  • methanol
  • olefins
  • biofuels

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