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Title: Economic and environmental potentials for natural gas to enhance biomass-to-liquid fuels technologies

Abstract

With the increased availability of low-cost natural gas (NG), co-conversion of natural gas and biomass-to-liquid (GBtL) fuels has gained interest from industry and the U.S. Department of Energy due to the potential to improve liquid fuel yields while lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this article, we explore the conceptual process design and cost comparison of liquid biofuels using both biomass-derived gas intermediates and natural gas, as well as studies on quantification and assessment of sustainability metrics including life cycle/GHG emissions. Additionally, we have performed sensitivity analysis to understand the impact from variations of the biomass-to-NG ratio, design assumptions, and NG prices on process economics. This is to understand key cost drivers, parameters influencing the environment, and to discover opportunities to optimize the use of NG along with biomass. Our analysis shows that different blending ratios of natural gas/biomass have a large effect on the economic and environmental performance of the GBtL fuels. Co-processing NG enables the economic feasibility of converting biomass to the liquid fuel but at the expense of environmental sustainability. This study determined that the maximum amount of NG that can be blended with biomass would be 28% to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) GHG emissionmore » targets for advanced fuels, with a resulting minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) of 2.75 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE). Additionally, the paper demonstrates the impact of the co-conversion operation on equipment design, raw materials, utility consumption, and overall process economic performance for the GBtL system. A secondary outcome: This study shows that renewable liquid fuel could be cost competitive with fossil-derived liquid fuel if further improvements and optimizations could be made to blending ratios of NG, optimization of heat integration of the process, and reduction of excess hydrogen and excess electricity production.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1481222
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1484431
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5100-72877
Journal ID: ISSN 1463-9262; GRCHFJ
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Green Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 1463-9262
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; natural gas; biomass; greenhouse gas emissions; liquid biofuels

Citation Formats

Zhang, Yanan, Sahir, Asad H., Tan, Eric C. D., Talmadge, Michael S., Davis, Ryan E., Biddy, Mary J., and Tao, Ling. Economic and environmental potentials for natural gas to enhance biomass-to-liquid fuels technologies. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1039/C8GC01257A.
Zhang, Yanan, Sahir, Asad H., Tan, Eric C. D., Talmadge, Michael S., Davis, Ryan E., Biddy, Mary J., & Tao, Ling. Economic and environmental potentials for natural gas to enhance biomass-to-liquid fuels technologies. United States. doi:10.1039/C8GC01257A.
Zhang, Yanan, Sahir, Asad H., Tan, Eric C. D., Talmadge, Michael S., Davis, Ryan E., Biddy, Mary J., and Tao, Ling. Wed . "Economic and environmental potentials for natural gas to enhance biomass-to-liquid fuels technologies". United States. doi:10.1039/C8GC01257A.
@article{osti_1481222,
title = {Economic and environmental potentials for natural gas to enhance biomass-to-liquid fuels technologies},
author = {Zhang, Yanan and Sahir, Asad H. and Tan, Eric C. D. and Talmadge, Michael S. and Davis, Ryan E. and Biddy, Mary J. and Tao, Ling},
abstractNote = {With the increased availability of low-cost natural gas (NG), co-conversion of natural gas and biomass-to-liquid (GBtL) fuels has gained interest from industry and the U.S. Department of Energy due to the potential to improve liquid fuel yields while lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this article, we explore the conceptual process design and cost comparison of liquid biofuels using both biomass-derived gas intermediates and natural gas, as well as studies on quantification and assessment of sustainability metrics including life cycle/GHG emissions. Additionally, we have performed sensitivity analysis to understand the impact from variations of the biomass-to-NG ratio, design assumptions, and NG prices on process economics. This is to understand key cost drivers, parameters influencing the environment, and to discover opportunities to optimize the use of NG along with biomass. Our analysis shows that different blending ratios of natural gas/biomass have a large effect on the economic and environmental performance of the GBtL fuels. Co-processing NG enables the economic feasibility of converting biomass to the liquid fuel but at the expense of environmental sustainability. This study determined that the maximum amount of NG that can be blended with biomass would be 28% to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) GHG emission targets for advanced fuels, with a resulting minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) of 2.75 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE). Additionally, the paper demonstrates the impact of the co-conversion operation on equipment design, raw materials, utility consumption, and overall process economic performance for the GBtL system. A secondary outcome: This study shows that renewable liquid fuel could be cost competitive with fossil-derived liquid fuel if further improvements and optimizations could be made to blending ratios of NG, optimization of heat integration of the process, and reduction of excess hydrogen and excess electricity production.},
doi = {10.1039/C8GC01257A},
journal = {Green Chemistry},
number = 23,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 07 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Wed Nov 07 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1039/C8GC01257A

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Works referenced in this record:

Techno-economic comparison of biomass-to-transportation fuels via pyrolysis, gasification, and biochemical pathways
journal, November 2010


Advances in Coal Gasification, Hydrogenation, and Gas Treating for the Production of Chemicals and Fuels
journal, October 2013

  • Higman, Christopher; Tam, Samuel
  • Chemical Reviews, Vol. 114, Issue 3, p. 1673-1708
  • DOI: 10.1021/cr400202m