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Title: Systems Based Approaches for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy and Bioproducts

Abstract

The research provided data on applicability of agricultural energy crops and forest biomass production and logistics models. While much of the overall research effort was focused on lignocellulosic feedstocks, the research also recognized that there are important opportunities for the production and use of starch-based agricultural crops to serve as alternative regionally-appropriate biofuel feedstocks. Also, the research identified fractionation techniques that can be used to separate biomass feedstocks into their basic chemical constituents and then streamline the biorefining industry by developing commodity products for cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Finally, models and techniques were developed to determine economically feasible technologies for production of biomass-derived synthesis gases that can be used for clean, renewable power generation and for production of liquid transportation fuels through Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis. Moreover, this research program educated the next generation of engineers and scientists needed to implement these technologies.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Auburn Univ., AL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Auburn Univ., AL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1352342
Report Number(s):
DOE-Auburn-0418
DOE Contract Number:
EE0000418
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass; logistics; fractionation; gasification; gas-to-liquids; Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis

Citation Formats

Taylor, Steve, McDonald, Timothy, Adhikari, Sushil, fasina, oladiran, Roberts, Christopher, Eden, Mario, Gallagher, Thomas, and Tu, Maobing. Systems Based Approaches for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy and Bioproducts. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Taylor, Steve, McDonald, Timothy, Adhikari, Sushil, fasina, oladiran, Roberts, Christopher, Eden, Mario, Gallagher, Thomas, & Tu, Maobing. Systems Based Approaches for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy and Bioproducts. United States.
Taylor, Steve, McDonald, Timothy, Adhikari, Sushil, fasina, oladiran, Roberts, Christopher, Eden, Mario, Gallagher, Thomas, and Tu, Maobing. Fri . "Systems Based Approaches for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy and Bioproducts". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1352342,
title = {Systems Based Approaches for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy and Bioproducts},
author = {Taylor, Steve and McDonald, Timothy and Adhikari, Sushil and fasina, oladiran and Roberts, Christopher and Eden, Mario and Gallagher, Thomas and Tu, Maobing},
abstractNote = {The research provided data on applicability of agricultural energy crops and forest biomass production and logistics models. While much of the overall research effort was focused on lignocellulosic feedstocks, the research also recognized that there are important opportunities for the production and use of starch-based agricultural crops to serve as alternative regionally-appropriate biofuel feedstocks. Also, the research identified fractionation techniques that can be used to separate biomass feedstocks into their basic chemical constituents and then streamline the biorefining industry by developing commodity products for cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Finally, models and techniques were developed to determine economically feasible technologies for production of biomass-derived synthesis gases that can be used for clean, renewable power generation and for production of liquid transportation fuels through Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis. Moreover, this research program educated the next generation of engineers and scientists needed to implement these technologies.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 21 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Apr 21 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:
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  • Auburn’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts conducts research on production of synthesis gas for use in power generation and the production of liquid fuels. The overall goal of our gasification research is to identify optimal processes for producing clean syngas to use in production of fuels and chemicals from underutilized agricultural and forest biomass feedstocks. This project focused on construction and commissioning of a bubbling-bed fluidized-bed gasifier and subsequent shakedown of the gasification and gas cleanup system. The result of this project is a fully commissioned gasification laboratory that is conducting testing on agricultural and forest biomass. Initial tests onmore » forest biomass have served as the foundation for follow-up studies on gasification under a more extensive range of temperatures, pressures, and oxidant conditions. The laboratory gasification system consists of a biomass storage tank capable of holding up to 6 tons of biomass; a biomass feeding system, with loss-in-weight metering system, capable of feeding biomass at pressures up to 650 psig; a bubbling-bed fluidized-bed gasification reactor capable of operating at pressures up to 650 psig and temperatures of 1500oF with biomass flowrates of 80 lb/hr and syngas production rates of 37 scfm; a warm-gas filtration system; fixed bed reactors for gas conditioning; and a final quench cooling system and activated carbon filtration system for gas conditioning prior to routing to Fischer-Tropsch reactors, or storage, or venting. This completed laboratory enables research to help develop economically feasible technologies for production of biomass-derived synthesis gases that will be used for clean, renewable power generation and for production of liquid transportation fuels. Moreover, this research program provides the infrastructure to educate the next generation of engineers and scientists needed to implement these technologies.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are both strongly committed to expanding the role of biomass as an energy source. In particular, they support biomass fuels and products as a way to reduce the need for oil and gas imports; to support the growth of agriculture, forestry, and rural economies; and to foster major new domestic industries--biorefineries--making a variety of fuels, chemicals, and other products. As part of this effort, the Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee, a panel established by the Congress to guide the future direction of federally funded biomass R&D, envisionedmore » a 30 percent replacement of the current U.S. petroleum consumption with biofuels by 2030. Biomass--all plant and plant-derived materials including animal manure, not just starch, sugar, oil crops already used for food and energy--has great potential to provide renewable energy for America's future. Biomass recently surpassed hydropower as the largest domestic source of renewable energy and currently provides over 3 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States. In addition to the many benefits common to renewable energy, biomass is particularly attractive because it is the only current renewable source of liquid transportation fuel. This, of course, makes it invaluable in reducing oil imports--one of our most pressing energy needs. A key question, however, is how large a role could biomass play in responding to the nation's energy demands. Assuming that economic and financial policies and advances in conversion technologies make biomass fuels and products more economically viable, could the biorefinery industry be large enough to have a significant impact on energy supply and oil imports? Any and all contributions are certainly needed, but would the biomass potential be sufficiently large to justify the necessary capital replacements in the fuels and automobile sectors? The purpose of this report is to determine whether the land resources of the United States are capable of producing a sustainable supply of biomass sufficient to displace 30 percent or more of the country's present petroleum consumption--the goal set by the Advisory Committee in their vision for biomass technologies. Accomplishing this goal would require approximately 1 billion dry tons of biomass feedstock per year.« less
  • The report, Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply (generally referred to as the Billion-Ton Study or 2005 BTS), was an estimate of 'potential' biomass based on numerous assumptions about current and future inventory, production capacity, availability, and technology. The analysis was made to determine if conterminous U.S. agriculture and forestry resources had the capability to produce at least one billion dry tons of sustainable biomass annually to displace 30% or more of the nation's present petroleum consumption. An effort was made to use conservative estimates to assure confidence inmore » having sufficient supply to reach the goal. The potential biomass was projected to be reasonably available around mid-century when large-scale biorefineries are likely to exist. The study emphasized primary sources of forest- and agriculture-derived biomass, such as logging residues, fuel treatment thinnings, crop residues, and perennially grown grasses and trees. These primary sources have the greatest potential to supply large, reliable, and sustainable quantities of biomass. While the primary sources were emphasized, estimates of secondary residue and tertiary waste resources of biomass were also provided. The original Billion-Ton Resource Assessment, published in 2005, was divided into two parts-forest-derived resources and agriculture-derived resources. The forest resources included residues produced during the harvesting of merchantable timber, forest residues, and small-diameter trees that could become available through initiatives to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health; forest residues from land conversion; fuelwood extracted from forests; residues generated at primary forest product processing mills; and urban wood wastes, municipal solid wastes (MSW), and construction and demolition (C&D) debris. For these forest resources, only residues, wastes, and small-diameter trees were considered. The 2005 BTS did not attempt to include any wood that would normally be used for higher-valued products (e.g., pulpwood) that could potentially shift to bioenergy applications. This would have required a separate economic analysis, which was not part of the 2005 BTS. The agriculture resources in the 2005 BTS included grains used for biofuels production; crop residues derived primarily from corn, wheat, and small grains; and animal manures and other residues. The cropland resource analysis also included estimates of perennial energy crops (e.g., herbaceous grasses, such as switchgrass, woody crops like hybrid poplar, as well as willow grown under short rotations and more intensive management than conventional plantation forests). Woody crops were included under cropland resources because it was assumed that they would be grown on a combination of cropland and pasture rather than forestland. In the 2005 BTS, current resource availability was estimated at 278 million dry tons annually from forestlands and slightly more than 194 million dry tons annually from croplands. These annual quantities increase to about 370 million dry tons from forestlands and to nearly 1 billion dry tons from croplands under scenario conditions of high-yield growth and large-scale plantings of perennial grasses and woody tree crops. This high-yield scenario reflects a mid-century timescale ({approx}2040-2050). Under conditions of lower-yield growth, estimated resource potential was projected to be about 320 and 580 million dry tons for forest and cropland biomass, respectively. As noted earlier, the 2005 BTS emphasized the primary resources (agricultural and forestry residues and energy crops) because they represent nearly 80% of the long-term resource potential. Since publication of the BTS in April 2005, there have been some rather dramatic changes in energy markets. In fact, just prior to the actual publication of the BTS, world oil prices started to increase as a result of a burgeoning worldwide demand and concerns about long-term supplies. By the end of the summer, oil prices topped $70 per barrel (bbl) and catastrophic hurricanes in the Gulf Coast shut down a significant fraction of U.S. refinery capacity. The following year, oil approached $80 per bbl due to supply concerns, as well as continued political tensions in the Middle East. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) was enacted in December of that year. By the end of December 2007, oil prices surpassed $100 per bbl for the first time, and by mid-summer 2008, prices approached $150 per bbl because of supply concerns, speculation, and weakness of the U.S. dollar. As fast as they skyrocketed, oil prices fell, and by the end of 2008, oil prices dropped below $50 per bbl, falling even more a month later due to the global economic recession. In 2009 and 2010, oil prices began to increase again as a result of a weak U.S. dollar and the rebounding of world economies.« less
  • The purpose of this report is to determine whether the land resources of the United States are capable of producing a sustainable supply of biomass sufficient to displace 30% or more of the country's present petroleum consumption.
  • The purpose of this report is to determine whether the land resources of the United States are capable of producing a sustainable supply of biomass sufficient to displace 30 percent or more of the country’s present petroleum consumption – the goal set by the Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee in their vision for biomass technologies. Accomplishing this goal would require approximately 1 billion dry tons of biomass feedstock per year.