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Title: Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals

Abstract

MBI, a 501c(3) company focusing on de-risking and scaling up bio-based technologies, has teamed with Michigan State University and the Idaho National Laboratory to develop and demonstrate process improvements to the ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment process. The logistical hurdles of biomass handling are well known, and the regional depot concept - in which small, distributed bioprocessing operations collect, preprocess, and densify biomass before shipping to a centralized refinery - is a promising alternative to centralized collection. AFEXTM (AFEX is a trademark of MBI) has unique features among pretreatments that would make it desirable as a pretreatment prior to densification at the depot scale. MBI has developed a novel design, using a packed bed reactor for the AFEX process that can be scaled down economically to the depot scale at a lower capital cost as compared to the traditional design (Pandia type reactor). Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop, scale-up, demonstrate, and improve this novel design The key challenges are the recovery of ammonia, consistent and complete pretreatment performance, and the overall throughput of the reactor. In this project an engineering scale packed bed AFEX system with 1-ton per day capacity was installed at MBI’s building. Themore » system has been operational since mid-2013. During that time, MBI has demonstrated the robustness, reliability, and consistency of the process. To date, nearly 500 runs have been performed in the reactors. There have been no incidences of plugging (i.e., inability to remove ammonia from biomass after the treatment), nor has there been any instance of a major ammonia release into the atmosphere. Likewise, the sugar released via enzyme hydrolysis has remained consistent throughout these runs. Our economic model shows a 46% reduction in AFEX capital cost at the 100 ton/day scale compared to the traditional design of AFEX (Pandia type reactor). The key performance factors were demonstrated; >94% ammonia recovery, >75% sugar yields at high solid loading, and complete utilization of the sugars for ethanol production at the 2500 liter scale. Fermentation tests were performed using Zymomonas mobilis 8b and densified AFEX-treated corn stover at >20% solid loading. The obtained titer (~60g/l), productivity (2.5 g/L-h), and yield (330 L/tonne of biomass) exceeded the performance targets set out by NREL. The key findings from these efforts are: no contamination was observed, no cleanup of the sugar stream was required, and no major nutrient addition was required. Our economic model shows that using a packed bed design for the AFEX process and pelleted AFEX-treated biomass reduces the ethanol production cost by 24% when compared to using the traditional AFEX design.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Michigan Biotechnology Inst., Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan Biotechnology Inst., Lansing, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Org.:
Michigan State University; Idaho National Laboratory
OSTI Identifier:
1235580
Report Number(s):
DOE-MBI-0005071
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0005071
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; AFEX; biomass conversion

Citation Formats

Teymouri, Farzaneh. Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1235580.
Teymouri, Farzaneh. Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals. United States. doi:10.2172/1235580.
Teymouri, Farzaneh. Sat . "Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals". United States. doi:10.2172/1235580. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1235580.
@article{osti_1235580,
title = {Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals},
author = {Teymouri, Farzaneh},
abstractNote = {MBI, a 501c(3) company focusing on de-risking and scaling up bio-based technologies, has teamed with Michigan State University and the Idaho National Laboratory to develop and demonstrate process improvements to the ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment process. The logistical hurdles of biomass handling are well known, and the regional depot concept - in which small, distributed bioprocessing operations collect, preprocess, and densify biomass before shipping to a centralized refinery - is a promising alternative to centralized collection. AFEXTM (AFEX is a trademark of MBI) has unique features among pretreatments that would make it desirable as a pretreatment prior to densification at the depot scale. MBI has developed a novel design, using a packed bed reactor for the AFEX process that can be scaled down economically to the depot scale at a lower capital cost as compared to the traditional design (Pandia type reactor). Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop, scale-up, demonstrate, and improve this novel design The key challenges are the recovery of ammonia, consistent and complete pretreatment performance, and the overall throughput of the reactor. In this project an engineering scale packed bed AFEX system with 1-ton per day capacity was installed at MBI’s building. The system has been operational since mid-2013. During that time, MBI has demonstrated the robustness, reliability, and consistency of the process. To date, nearly 500 runs have been performed in the reactors. There have been no incidences of plugging (i.e., inability to remove ammonia from biomass after the treatment), nor has there been any instance of a major ammonia release into the atmosphere. Likewise, the sugar released via enzyme hydrolysis has remained consistent throughout these runs. Our economic model shows a 46% reduction in AFEX capital cost at the 100 ton/day scale compared to the traditional design of AFEX (Pandia type reactor). The key performance factors were demonstrated; >94% ammonia recovery, >75% sugar yields at high solid loading, and complete utilization of the sugars for ethanol production at the 2500 liter scale. Fermentation tests were performed using Zymomonas mobilis 8b and densified AFEX-treated corn stover at >20% solid loading. The obtained titer (~60g/l), productivity (2.5 g/L-h), and yield (330 L/tonne of biomass) exceeded the performance targets set out by NREL. The key findings from these efforts are: no contamination was observed, no cleanup of the sugar stream was required, and no major nutrient addition was required. Our economic model shows that using a packed bed design for the AFEX process and pelleted AFEX-treated biomass reduces the ethanol production cost by 24% when compared to using the traditional AFEX design.},
doi = {10.2172/1235580},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {5}
}