Synthetic fuels and light olefins from biomass residues, carbon dioxide and electricity

Performance and cost analysis: Dissertation

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

Abstract

The objective of this compilation dissertation is to examine and compare the technical and economic feasibility of selected large-scale plant configurations capable of producing synthetic fuels or chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The evaluation of technical performance is based on mass and energy flows calculated with ASPEN Plusr simulation software. The investment costs and the sensitivity of overall economics to different price assumptions are investigated with a spreadsheet based tool. The production of synthetic fuels from CO2, water and electricity is an emerging process alternative, whose feasibility against gasification-based production is evaluated in detail. Three basic production routes are considered: (1) production from biomass residues via gasification; (2) from CO2 and electricity via water electrolysis; (3) from biomass and electricity via a hybrid process combining elements from gasification and electrolysis. Process designs are developed based on technologies that are either commercially available or at least successfully demonstrated on a pre-commercial scale. The following gasoline equivalent production cost estimates were calculated for plants co-producing fuels and district heat: 0.6-1.2 /Lgeq (18-37 /GJ) for synthetic natural gas, 0.7-1.3 / Lgeq (21-40 /GJ) for methanol and 0.7-1.5 /Lgeq (23-48 /GJ) for gasoline. For a given end-product, the lowest costs are associated with thermochemical plant configurations, followed by hybrid and then by electrochemical plants. Production costs of gasification-based configurations can be further reduced by five per cent, if filtration temperature can be successfully elevated from its present 550 °C level to the target of 850 °C. The results of this thesis can be used to guide future process development work towards configurations identified as best candidates for near-term deployment at scale. The results can also be used by the industry and the government to make rational decisions about development projects and policy measures that will help renewable fuel technologies to reach a self-sustaining growth path.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Ahtila, Pekka, Supervisor, External person
  • Kurkela, Esa, Advisor
  • Solantausta, Yrjö, Advisor
Award date16 Oct 2015
Place of PublicationEspoo
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-38-8342-3
Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-8343-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Fingerprint

Synthetic fuels
Olefins
Carbon dioxide
Biomass
Electricity
Gasification
Costs
Electrolysis
Gasoline
Economics
Spreadsheets
Feedstocks
Water
Process design
Natural gas
Methanol
Industry

Keywords

  • forest residues
  • gasification
  • reforming
  • electrolysis
  • synthetic fuels
  • light olefins
  • district heat

Cite this

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title = "Synthetic fuels and light olefins from biomass residues, carbon dioxide and electricity: Performance and cost analysis: Dissertation",
abstract = "The objective of this compilation dissertation is to examine and compare the technical and economic feasibility of selected large-scale plant configurations capable of producing synthetic fuels or chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The evaluation of technical performance is based on mass and energy flows calculated with ASPEN Plusr simulation software. The investment costs and the sensitivity of overall economics to different price assumptions are investigated with a spreadsheet based tool. The production of synthetic fuels from CO2, water and electricity is an emerging process alternative, whose feasibility against gasification-based production is evaluated in detail. Three basic production routes are considered: (1) production from biomass residues via gasification; (2) from CO2 and electricity via water electrolysis; (3) from biomass and electricity via a hybrid process combining elements from gasification and electrolysis. Process designs are developed based on technologies that are either commercially available or at least successfully demonstrated on a pre-commercial scale. The following gasoline equivalent production cost estimates were calculated for plants co-producing fuels and district heat: 0.6-1.2 /Lgeq (18-37 /GJ) for synthetic natural gas, 0.7-1.3 / Lgeq (21-40 /GJ) for methanol and 0.7-1.5 /Lgeq (23-48 /GJ) for gasoline. For a given end-product, the lowest costs are associated with thermochemical plant configurations, followed by hybrid and then by electrochemical plants. Production costs of gasification-based configurations can be further reduced by five per cent, if filtration temperature can be successfully elevated from its present 550 °C level to the target of 850 °C. The results of this thesis can be used to guide future process development work towards configurations identified as best candidates for near-term deployment at scale. The results can also be used by the industry and the government to make rational decisions about development projects and policy measures that will help renewable fuel technologies to reach a self-sustaining growth path.",
keywords = "forest residues, gasification, reforming, electrolysis, synthetic fuels, light olefins, district heat",
author = "Ilkka Hannula",
note = "BA3125 118 p. + app. 76 p.",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-951-38-8342-3",
series = "VTT Science",
publisher = "VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland",
number = "107",
address = "Finland",
school = "Aalto University",

}

Synthetic fuels and light olefins from biomass residues, carbon dioxide and electricity : Performance and cost analysis: Dissertation. / Hannula, Ilkka.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2015. 194 p.

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

TY - THES

T1 - Synthetic fuels and light olefins from biomass residues, carbon dioxide and electricity

T2 - Performance and cost analysis: Dissertation

AU - Hannula, Ilkka

N1 - BA3125 118 p. + app. 76 p.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The objective of this compilation dissertation is to examine and compare the technical and economic feasibility of selected large-scale plant configurations capable of producing synthetic fuels or chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The evaluation of technical performance is based on mass and energy flows calculated with ASPEN Plusr simulation software. The investment costs and the sensitivity of overall economics to different price assumptions are investigated with a spreadsheet based tool. The production of synthetic fuels from CO2, water and electricity is an emerging process alternative, whose feasibility against gasification-based production is evaluated in detail. Three basic production routes are considered: (1) production from biomass residues via gasification; (2) from CO2 and electricity via water electrolysis; (3) from biomass and electricity via a hybrid process combining elements from gasification and electrolysis. Process designs are developed based on technologies that are either commercially available or at least successfully demonstrated on a pre-commercial scale. The following gasoline equivalent production cost estimates were calculated for plants co-producing fuels and district heat: 0.6-1.2 /Lgeq (18-37 /GJ) for synthetic natural gas, 0.7-1.3 / Lgeq (21-40 /GJ) for methanol and 0.7-1.5 /Lgeq (23-48 /GJ) for gasoline. For a given end-product, the lowest costs are associated with thermochemical plant configurations, followed by hybrid and then by electrochemical plants. Production costs of gasification-based configurations can be further reduced by five per cent, if filtration temperature can be successfully elevated from its present 550 °C level to the target of 850 °C. The results of this thesis can be used to guide future process development work towards configurations identified as best candidates for near-term deployment at scale. The results can also be used by the industry and the government to make rational decisions about development projects and policy measures that will help renewable fuel technologies to reach a self-sustaining growth path.

AB - The objective of this compilation dissertation is to examine and compare the technical and economic feasibility of selected large-scale plant configurations capable of producing synthetic fuels or chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The evaluation of technical performance is based on mass and energy flows calculated with ASPEN Plusr simulation software. The investment costs and the sensitivity of overall economics to different price assumptions are investigated with a spreadsheet based tool. The production of synthetic fuels from CO2, water and electricity is an emerging process alternative, whose feasibility against gasification-based production is evaluated in detail. Three basic production routes are considered: (1) production from biomass residues via gasification; (2) from CO2 and electricity via water electrolysis; (3) from biomass and electricity via a hybrid process combining elements from gasification and electrolysis. Process designs are developed based on technologies that are either commercially available or at least successfully demonstrated on a pre-commercial scale. The following gasoline equivalent production cost estimates were calculated for plants co-producing fuels and district heat: 0.6-1.2 /Lgeq (18-37 /GJ) for synthetic natural gas, 0.7-1.3 / Lgeq (21-40 /GJ) for methanol and 0.7-1.5 /Lgeq (23-48 /GJ) for gasoline. For a given end-product, the lowest costs are associated with thermochemical plant configurations, followed by hybrid and then by electrochemical plants. Production costs of gasification-based configurations can be further reduced by five per cent, if filtration temperature can be successfully elevated from its present 550 °C level to the target of 850 °C. The results of this thesis can be used to guide future process development work towards configurations identified as best candidates for near-term deployment at scale. The results can also be used by the industry and the government to make rational decisions about development projects and policy measures that will help renewable fuel technologies to reach a self-sustaining growth path.

KW - forest residues

KW - gasification

KW - reforming

KW - electrolysis

KW - synthetic fuels

KW - light olefins

KW - district heat

M3 - Dissertation

SN - 978-951-38-8342-3

T3 - VTT Science

PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

CY - Espoo

ER -