skip to main content

Title: Techno-Economic Analysis of Liquid Fuel Production from Woody Biomass via Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) and Upgrading

A series of experimental work was conducted to convert woody biomass to gasoline and diesel range products via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and catalytic hydroprocessing. Based on the best available test data, a techno-economic analysis (TEA) was developed for a large scale woody biomass based HTL and upgrading system to evaluate the feasibility of this technology. In this system, 2000 dry metric ton per day woody biomass was assumed to be converted to bio-oil in hot compressed water and the bio-oil was hydrotreated and/or hydrocracked to produce gasoline and diesel range liquid fuel. Two cases were evaluated: a stage-of-technology (SOT) case based on the tests results, and a goal case considering potential improvements based on the SOT case. Process simulation models were developed and cost analysis was implemented based on the performance results. The major performance results included final products and co-products yields, raw materials consumption, carbon efficiency, and energy efficiency. The overall efficiency (higher heating value basis) was 52% for the SOT case and 66% for the goal case. The production cost, with a 10% internal rate of return and 2007 constant dollars, was estimated to be $1.29 /L for the SOT case and $0.74 /L for the goal case.more » The cost impacts of major improvements for moving from the SOT to the goal case were evaluated and the assumption of reducing the organics loss to the water phase lead to the biggest reduction in the production cost. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the final products yields had the largest impact on the production cost compared to other parameters. Plant size analysis demonstrated that the process was economically attractive if the woody biomass feed rate was over 1,500 dry tonne/day, the production cost was competitive with the then current petroleum-based gasoline price.« less
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Energy, 129:384-394
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Techno-economic analysis, Biomass, Hydrothermal liquefaction, Upgrading