Boosting biofuel production from biomass with electricity can increase efficiancy with 30 per cent.
Gasification of biomass is the most promising technology for producing biofuel. But high investment costs and difficulties scaling up the technology has set back commersialisation.
The project Electrolysis assisted biomass gasification for transportation fuels has managed to make the process more efficient by combining gasification with pyrolysis, powering the chemical converision with electricity. Depending on the gasification method, the result is energy efficiency increases of 15-31 per cent.
The hybrid process allows for the biomass carbon content to be used more efficiently. The electrolysis also replaces several other process steps: It makes conversion from electricity to fuel and vice versa more flexible, and reduces capacity limitations of the gasifier. Another advantage is that CO2 kan be captured and returned to the process.
There are cinsiderably large initial investment costs for the hybrid concept, but they are compensated for by increased efficiency. Production costs are calculated at 1 400 – 1 500 SEK per MWh, meaning it falls within the middle range of costs for biofuel production processes.
The project has been carried out within the collaborative research program Renewable transportation fuels and systems, financed jointly by the Swedish Energy Agency and f3 Centre.