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Title: A Low-cost, High-yield Process for the Direct Productin of High Energy Density Liquid Fuel from Biomass

The primary objective and outcome of this project was the development and validation of a novel, low-cost, high-pressure fast-hydropyrolysis/hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) process (H{sub 2}Bioil) using supplementary hydrogen (H{sub 2}) to produce liquid hydrocarbons from biomass. The research efforts under the various tasks of the project have culminated in the first experimental demonstration of the H2Bioil process, producing 100% deoxygenated >C4+ hydrocarbons containing 36-40% of the carbon in the feed of pyrolysis products from biomass. The demonstrated H{sub 2}Bioil process technology (i.e. reactor, catalyst, and downstream product recovery) is scalable to a commercial level and is estimated to be economically competitive for the cases when supplementary H{sub 2} is sourced from coal, natural gas, or nuclear. Additionally, energy systems modeling has revealed several process integration options based on the H{sub 2}Bioil process for energy and carbon efficient liquid fuel production. All project tasks and milestones were completed or exceeded. Novel, commercially-scalable, high-pressure reactors for both fast-hydropyrolysis and hydrodeoxygenation were constructed, completing Task A. These reactors were capable of operation under a wide-range of conditions; enabling process studies that lead to identification of optimum process conditions. Model compounds representing biomass pyrolysis products were studied, completing Task B. These studies were critical in identifyingmore » and developing HDO catalysts to target specific oxygen functional groups. These process and model compound catalyst studies enabled identification of catalysts that achieved 100% deoxygenation of the real biomass feedstock, sorghum, to form hydrocarbons in high yields as part of Task C. The work completed during this grant has identified and validated the novel and commercially scalable H2Bioil process for production of hydrocarbon fuels from biomass. Studies on model compounds as well as real biomass feedstocks were utilized to identify optimized process conditions and selective HDO catalyst for high yield production of hydrocarbons from biomass. In addition to these experimental efforts, in Tasks D and E, we have developed a mathematical optimization framework to identify carbon and energy efficient biomass-to-liquid fuel process designs that integrate the use of different primary energy sources along with biomass (e.g. solar, coal or natural gas) for liquid fuel production. Using this tool, we have identified augmented biomass-to-liquid fuel configurations based on the fast-hydropyrolysis/HDO pathway, which was experimentally studied in this project. The computational approach used for screening alternative process configurations represents a unique contribution to the field of biomass processing for liquid fuel production.« less
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Technical Report
Research Org:
Purdue University
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Country of Publication:
United States