Biomass is the main source of renewable carbon, enabling production of a wide variety of valuable energy carriers and chemicals, for example transportation fuels.
Sweden has good prospects for utilizing residual biomass from forest and agricultural land for biofuel production, for example via biomass thermo-chemical conversion in which one critical step is pyrolysis. In view of the advantage of using existing refinery infrastructure, biomass pyrolysis is a versatile way to produce bio-oil (or bio-crude) that could potentially replace fossil-based feedstock. However, bio-oil’s chemical instability, mainly caused by the high oxygen content, complicates its transportation and storage and constitutes a major hinderance for widespread adoption as feedstock. Removal of oxygen by HDO, hydrodeoxygenation, is a promising pre-treatment stage necessary for downstream upgrading of the bio-oil to premium products, such as transportation fuels.
Large R&D efforts have been directed towards studying pyrolysis processes for biooil production and upgrading to transportation fuels. But there is a lack of studies considering the integration of different processes/technologies for producing clean hydrogen for the hydrodeoxygenation step for bio-oil upgrading. This project aims at developing and strengthen knowledge about production of biofuels via biomass feedstock pyrolysis and hydrodeoxygenation, including various hydrogen sources, to produce stable bio-oil that can be further upgraded in existing refinery plants to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Four different process routes (shown in the figure), including also the refinery and – when relevant – CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) will be investigated. Key performance indicators associated with energy and economic performance and important insights on opportunities and constraints of possible utilization and integration of process routes in existing infrastructure will be provided.
Project coordinator: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Project Leader: Shareq Mohd Nazir
Funding Authorities: The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partner organisations, KTH, Chalmers and Cortus Energy.
Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program 50466-1.
The overall objective of the project is to develop and strengthen knowledge about production of biofuels via feedstock pyrolysis and hydrodeoxygenation to produce stable bio-oil that can be further upgraded in existing refinery plants. This will contribute to promoting the long-term deployment of forest-based biofuel production technologies. The work plan to achieve these objectives is divided in four work packages.
WP1: Literature review (Responsible: KTH, Involved: Cortus Energy AB)
Literature review to collect available information on relevant technologies for the proposed biomass to biofuel process chains will be performed.
WP2: Process chains evaluation – technology (Responsible: KTH, Involved: Cortus Energy AB)
Conceptual process definitions and modeling of the biomass to biofuel process chains selected, including upgrading to final transportation fuel, using relevant industrial data.
WP3: Environmental and techno-economic analysis of selected process routes (Responsible: Chalmers, Involved: KTH, Cortus Energy AB)
Evaluation of environmental (greenhouse gas) and techno-economic performance of the proposed process chains based on the quantitative understanding.
WP4: Dissemination and communication of outcomes (All partners involved)
Disseminating and summarizing all relevant elements about perspectives for stakeholders, including technology developers, forest-industry and policy makers.