About the project

Biomass is the main source of renewable carbon, enabling production of various valuable energy carriers, providing with a possible pathway for reshaping the present fossil based energy usage. Research has shown that Sweden has good prospects for utilising residual biomass from forest and agricultural land and subsequently produce biofuels for the transportation sector, and that there is a large theoretical potential for sustainably produced lignocellulose-based liquid fuels.

Biomass thermochemical treatment (gasification/pyrolysis) produce gaseous and liquid feedstock that could be used for transportation fuel production. However, catalytic deoxygenation of pyrolysis liquids results in low overall carbon efficiencies. Fischer Tropsch synthesis (FTS) displays the same results due to unfavourable product selectivity. Production of a versatile intermediate, such as lower olefins, used for production of high-quality fuels with high selectivity and flexibility would therefore be attractive, improving the overall carbon efficiency.

This project analyses, models and optimizes a novel route for direct conversion of biomass pyrolysis vapors and gasification-derived gas to liquid fuels (synthetic gasoline, diesel and LPG) via olefin production to provide knowledge about the feasibility of the production route. The goal is to develop a process scheme that offers at least 40 % carbon efficiency. This will be accomplished technologies that are already commercially available technologies, satisfying also the objective for fast industrial implementation according to the 2030 agenda.

However, the transportation fuel market is dynamic and changes are strongly related to international and regional developments and policies as well as technology advances and therefore production flexibility is needed. The project will therefore evaluate process costs and process adaption into the transportation fuel distribution chain using advanced optimization techniques for mass and heat integration among process components that act on the main design parameters of the components themselves. Last but not least, this alternative route could also contribute to the production of very important feedstock (light olefins) for the chemical or petrochemical industry contributing to the overall goal of sustainable economy and society.

Facts

Manager
Efthymios Kantarelis, KTH

Contact
ekan@kth.se

Participants
Klas Engvall, KTH // Andrea Toffolo, LTU // Rolf Ljunggren, Cortus Energy

Time plan
July 2019 - December 2020

Total project cost
1 117 036 SEK

Funding
The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partners, KTH, LTU and Cortus Energy AB.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program
48369-1