Comparative techno-economic analysis and process design for indirect liquefaction pathways to distillate-range fuels via biomass-derived oxygenated intermediates upgrading

Academic Article


  • © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd This paper presents a comparative techno-economic analysis (TEA) of five conversion pathways from biomass to gasoline-, jet-, and diesel-range hydrocarbons via indirect liquefaction with a specific focus on pathways utilizing oxygenated intermediates. The four emerging pathways of interest are compared with one conventional pathway (Fischer-Tropsch) for the production of the hydrocarbon blendstocks. The processing steps of the four emerging pathways include biomass-to-syngas via indirect gasification, syngas clean-up, conversion of syngas to alcohols/oxygenates followed by conversion of alcohols/oxygenates to hydrocarbon blendstocks via dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation. Conversion of biomass-derived syngas to oxygenated intermediates occurs via three different pathways, producing: (i) mixed alcohols over a MoS2catalyst, (ii) mixed oxygenates (a mixture of C2+oxygenated compounds, predominantly ethanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate) using an Rh-based catalyst, and (iii) ethanol from syngas fermentation. This is followed by the conversion of oxygenates/alcohols to fuel-range olefins in two approaches: (i) mixed alcohols/ethanol to 1-butanol rich mixture via Guerbet reaction, followed by alcohol dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation, and (ii) mixed oxygenates/ethanol to isobutene rich mixture and followed by oligomerization and hydrogenation. The design features a processing capacity of 2000 tonnes/day (2205 short tons) of dry biomass. The minimum fuel selling prices (MFSPs) for the four developing pathways range from $3.40 to $5.04 per gasoline-gallon equivalent (GGE), in 2011 US dollars. Sensitivity studies show that MFSPs can be improved with co-product credits and are comparable to the commercial Fischer-Tropsch benchmark ($3.58/GGE). Overall, this comparative TEA study documents potential economics for the developmental biofuel pathways via mixed oxygenates. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Genetic Counseling  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tan ECD; Snowden-Swan LJ; Talmadge M; Dutta A; Jones S; Ramasamy KK; Gray M; Dagle R; Padmaperuma A; Gerber M
  • Start Page

  • 41
  • End Page

  • 66
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1