Energy system evaluation of thermo-chemical biofuel production: Process development by integration of power cycles and sustainable electricity
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Fossil fuels dominate the world energy supply today and the transport sector is no exception. Renewable alternatives must therefore be introduced to replace fossil fuels and their emissions, without sacrificing our standard of living. There is a good potential for biofuels but process improvements are essential, to ensure efficient use of a limited amount of biomass and better compete with fossil alternatives. The general aim of this research is therefore to investigate how to improve efficiency in biofuel production by process development and co-generation of heat and electricity. The work has been divided into three parts; power cycles in biofuel production, methane production via pyrolysis and biofuels from renewable electricity.
The studies of bio-based methanol plants showed that steam power generation has a key role in the large-scale biofuel production process. However, a large portion of the steam from the recovered reaction heat is needed in the fuel production process. One measure to increase steam power generation, evaluated in this thesis, is to lower the steam demand by humidification of the gasification agent. Pinch analysis indicated synergies from gas turbine integration and our studies concluded that the electrical efficiency for natural gas fired gas turbines amounts to 56-58%, in the same range as for large combined cycle plants. The use of the off-gas from the biofuel production is also a potential integration option but difficult for modern high-efficient gas turbines. Furthermore, gasification with oxygen and extensive syngas cleaning might be too energy-consuming for efficient power generation.
Methane production via pyrolysis showed improved efficiency compared with the competing route via gasification. The total biomass to methane efficiency, including additional biomass to fulfil the power demand, was calculated to 73-74%. The process benefits from lower thermal losses and less reaction heat when syngas is avoided as an intermediate step and can handle high-alkali fuels such as annual crops.
Several synergies were discovered when integrating conventional biofuel production with addition of hydrogen. Introducing hydrogen would also greatly increase the biofuel production potential for regions with limited biomass resources. It was also concluded that methane produced from electrolysis of water could be economically feasible if the product was priced in parity with petrol.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , v, 68 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:59
Biomass, Gasification, Methane, SNG, Power to Gas, Pyrolysis
Energy Systems Chemical Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105814ISBN: 978-91-7415-835-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-105814DiVA: diva2:572354
2012-12-14, Sal E3, Osquarsbacke 14, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Held, Jörgen, Dr.
Westermark, Mats, Professor
QC 201211272012-11-272012-11-272012-11-27Bibliographically approved
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