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Title: Pilot-Scale Biorefinery: Sustainable Transport Fuels from Biomass and Algal Residues via Integrated Pyrolysis, Catalytic Hydroconversion and Co-processing with Vacuum Gas Oil

Abstract

Beginning in 2010, UOP, along with the Department of Energy and other project partners, designed a pathway for an integrated biorefinery to process solid biomass into transportation fuel blendstocks. The integrated biorefinery (IBR) would convert second generation feedstocks into pyrolysis oil which would then be upgraded into fuel blendstocks without the limitations of traditional biofuels.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
UOP LLC, Des Plaines, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1267107
Report Number(s):
DOE-UOP-EE0002879
DOE Contract Number:
EE0002879
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass; biomass fuels; pyrolysis oil; upgrading; coprocessing; renewable transportation fuel

Citation Formats

Elliott, Douglas, Olarte, M. V., and Hart, T. R. Pilot-Scale Biorefinery: Sustainable Transport Fuels from Biomass and Algal Residues via Integrated Pyrolysis, Catalytic Hydroconversion and Co-processing with Vacuum Gas Oil. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1267107.
Elliott, Douglas, Olarte, M. V., & Hart, T. R. Pilot-Scale Biorefinery: Sustainable Transport Fuels from Biomass and Algal Residues via Integrated Pyrolysis, Catalytic Hydroconversion and Co-processing with Vacuum Gas Oil. United States. doi:10.2172/1267107.
Elliott, Douglas, Olarte, M. V., and Hart, T. R. 2016. "Pilot-Scale Biorefinery: Sustainable Transport Fuels from Biomass and Algal Residues via Integrated Pyrolysis, Catalytic Hydroconversion and Co-processing with Vacuum Gas Oil". United States. doi:10.2172/1267107. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1267107.
@article{osti_1267107,
title = {Pilot-Scale Biorefinery: Sustainable Transport Fuels from Biomass and Algal Residues via Integrated Pyrolysis, Catalytic Hydroconversion and Co-processing with Vacuum Gas Oil},
author = {Elliott, Douglas and Olarte, M. V. and Hart, T. R.},
abstractNote = {Beginning in 2010, UOP, along with the Department of Energy and other project partners, designed a pathway for an integrated biorefinery to process solid biomass into transportation fuel blendstocks. The integrated biorefinery (IBR) would convert second generation feedstocks into pyrolysis oil which would then be upgraded into fuel blendstocks without the limitations of traditional biofuels.},
doi = {10.2172/1267107},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Technical Report:

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  • DOE-EE Bioenergy Technologies Office has set forth several goals to increase the use of bioenergy and bioproducts derived from renewable resources. One of these goals is to facilitate the implementation of the biorefinery. The biorefinery will include the production of liquid fuels, power and, in some cases, products. The integrated biorefinery should stand-alone from an economic perspective with fuels and power driving the economy of scale while the economics/profitability of the facility will be dependent on existing market conditions. UOP LLC proposed to demonstrate a fast pyrolysis based integrated biorefinery. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has expertise in an importantmore » technology area of interest to UOP for use in their pyrolysis-based biorefinery. This CRADA project provides the supporting technology development and demonstration to allow incorporation of this technology into the biorefinery. PNNL developed catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) for use with aqueous streams within the pyrolysis biorefinery. These aqueous streams included the aqueous phase separated from the fast pyrolysis bio-oil and the aqueous byproduct streams formed in the hydroprocessing of the bio-oil to finished products. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate a technically and economically viable technology for converting renewable biomass feedstocks to sustainable and fungible transportation fuels. To demonstrate the technology, UOP constructed and operated a pilot-scale biorefinery that processed one dry ton per day of biomass using fast pyrolysis. Specific objectives of the project were to: The anticipated outcomes of the project were a validated process technology, a range of validated feedstocks, product property and Life Cycle data, and technical and operating data upon which to base the design of a full-scale biorefinery. The anticipated long-term outcomes from successful commercialization of the technology were: (1) the replacement of a significant fraction of petroleum based fuels with advanced biofuels, leading to increased energy security and decreased carbon footprint; and (2) establishment of a new biofuel industry segment, leading to the creation of U.S. engineering, manufacturing, construction, operations and agricultural jobs. PNNL development of CHG progressed at two levels. Initial tests were made in the laboratory in both mini-scale and bench-scale continuous flow reactor systems. Following positive results, the next level of evaluation was in the scaled-up engineering development system, which was operated at PNNL.« less
  • Cellulosic and woody biomass can be directly converted to hydrocarbon gasoline and diesel blending components through the use of a new, economical, technology named integrated hydropyrolysis plus hydroconversion (IH2). The IH2 gasoline and diesel blending components are fully compatible with petroleum based gasoline and diesel, contain less than 1% oxygen and have less than 1 total acid number (TAN). The IH2 gasoline is high quality and very close to a drop in fuel. The life cycle analysis (LCA) shows that the use of the IH2 process to convert wood to gasoline and diesel results in a greater than 90% reductionmore » in greenhouse gas emission compared to that found with fossil derived fuels. The technoeconomic analysis showed the conversion of wood using the IH2 process can produce gasoline and diesel at less than $2.00/gallon. In this project, the previously reported semi-continuous small scale IH2 test results were confirmed in a continuous 50 kg/day pilot plant. The continuous IH2 pilot plant used in this project was operated round the clock for over 750 hours and showed good pilot plant operability while consistently producing 26-28 wt % yields of high quality gasoline and diesel product. The IH2 catalyst showed good stability, although more work on catalyst stability is recommended. Additional work is needed to commercialize the IH2 technology including running large particle size biomass, modeling the hydropyrolysis step, studying the effects of process variables and building and operating a 1-50 ton/day demonstration scale plant. The IH2 is a true game changing technology by utilizing U.S. domestic renewable biomass resources to create transportation fuels, sufficient in quantity and quality to substantially reduce our reliance on foreign crude oil. Thus, the IH2 technology offers a path to genuine energy independence for the U. S., along with the creation of a significant number of new U.S. jobs to plant, grow, harvest, and process biomass crops into fungible fuels.« less
  • This collaboration between Algenol Biofuels Inc. and NREL will provide valuable information regarding Direct to Ethanol technology. Specifically, the cooperative R&D will analyze the use of flue gas from industrial sources in the Direct to Ethanol process, which may demonstrate the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously producing a valuable product, i.e., ethanol. Additionally, Algenol Biofuels Inc. and NREL will develop both a techno-economic model with full material and energy balances and an updated life-cycle analysis to identify greenhouse gas emissions relative to gasoline, each of which will provide a better understanding of the Direct to Ethanolmore » process and further demonstrate that it is a breakthrough technology with varied and significant benefits.« less
  • As a scientific and engineering endeavor, the Algenol IBR Biorefinery project has been a success by almost any measure. The vision for the system evolved significantly over the course of the project, always due to recognized opportunities for improved performance, lower energy consumption, and reduced costs. Our commitment to thorough, realistic, techno-economic and life cycle assessments has been an essential element for system innovation, technology guidance, and change management of the overall facility. The biological tools developed during this program for cyanobacteria are second to none, and are the primary reason for the remarkable improvements in organism performance. The breakthroughmore » was the successful transformation of our most robust wild type organism (AB1) early in 2012. That was followed by a series of improvements over the next several years that produced strains wherein over 80% of the fixed carbon was converted into ethanol. At the same time, our expertise in cultivation, physiology, process engineering, CO2 management, and photobioreactor design and manufacturing grew at a comparable pace. We learned enormous amounts from the various upsets, weather variations, contamination events, and new technology related disappointments. We overcame those challenges to produce fuel grade ethanol with a low carbon footprint, and are within striking distance of economic viability even with the challenges of low fossil fuel prices.« less
  • DOE DE-FE0001888 Award, Phase 2, funded research, development, and deployment (RD&D) of Phycal’s pilot-scale, algae to biofuels, bioproducts, and processing facility in Hawai’i. Phycal’s algal-biofuel and bioproducts production system integrates several novel and mature technologies into a system that captures and reuses industrially produced carbon dioxide emissions, which would otherwise go directly to the atmosphere, for the manufacture of renewable energy products and bioproducts from algae (note that these algae are not genetically engineered). At the end of Phase 2, the project as proposed was to encompass 34 acres in Central Oahu and provide large open ponds for algal massmore » culturing, heterotrophic reactors for the Heteroboost™ process, processing facilities, water recycling facilities, anaerobic digestion facilities, and other integrated processes. The Phase 2 award was divided into two modules, Modules 1 & 2, where the Module 1 effort addressed critical scaling issues, tested highest risk technologies, and set the overall infrastructure needed for a Module 2. Phycal terminated the project prior to executing construction of the first Module. This Final Report covers the development research, detailed design, and the proposed operating strategy for Module 1 of Phase 2.« less