A new way of combining termochemical techniques can decrease the transport sector greenhouse gas emissions.
In the BioFlex project, researchers have combined two well-known technology concepts for biofuel production: pyrolysis and gasification. The intregrated process is far more efficient, meaning that more biofuel can be produced from the same amount of biomass.
The process makes it possible to achieve nearly 40 per cent of carbon conversion. That is a considerably larger number than what can be reached through direct pyrolysis or gasification, where corresponding results are between 30 and 35 percent.
Combining the two thermochemical processes allows for producing more of light olefins, an intermediate product that is the key for the good results. Olefins can then converted to liquid fuels.
The integrated process also offers a high level of flexibility since the choice to produce renewable gas (petrol) or diesel is not fixed. In other words, the olefin production can be adjusted to meet demands in fuel mix variations over time.
Parts of the technology is already commercially available in Sweden. Production costs are expected to be 10 SEK/liter biofuel, double the cost for fossil fuels. To stimulate investing the the technology, implementation of policy instruments is vital.
The project has been carried out within the collaborative research program Renewable transportation fuels and systems, jointly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and f3 Centre.