Liquid transportation fuels via large-scale fluidised-bed gasification of lignocellulosic biomass

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

With the objective of gaining a better understanding of the system design trade-offs and economics that pertain to biomass-to-liquids processes, 20 individual BTL plant designs were evaluated based on their technical and economic performance. The investigation was focused on gasification-based processes that enable the conversion of biomass to methanol, dimethyl ether, Fischer-Tropsch liquids or synthetic gasoline at a large (300 MWth of biomass) scale. The biomass conversion technology was based on pressurised steam/O2-blown fluidised-bed gasification, followed by hot-gas filtration and catalytic conversion of hydrocarbons and tars. This technology has seen extensive development and demonstration activities in Finland during the recent years and newly generated experimental data has been incorporated into the simulation models. Our study included conceptual design issues, process descriptions, mass and energy balances and production cost estimates. Several studies exist that discuss the overall efficiency and economics of biomass conversion to transportation liquids, but very few studies have presented a detailed comparison between various syntheses using consistent process designs and uniform cost database. In addition, no studies exist that examine and compare BTL plant designs using the same front-end configuration as described in this work. Our analysis shows that it is possible to produce sustainable low-carbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass with first-law efficiency in the range of 49.6-66.7% depending on the end-product and process conditions. Production cost estimates were calculated assuming Nth plant economics and without public investment support, CO2 credits or tax assumptions. They are 58-65 /MWh for methanol, 58 -66 /MWh for DME, 64-75 /MWh for Fischer-Tropsch liquids and 68-78 /MWh for synthetic gasoline.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages126
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7979-2
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7978-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology
Number91
ISSN2242-1211

Keywords

  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • gasification
  • methanol
  • DME
  • Fischer-Tropsch
  • MTG

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