skip to main content

Title: Techno Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Production by gasification of biomass

Biomass represents a large potential feedstock resource for environmentally clean processes that produce power or chemicals. It lends itself to both biological and thermal conversion processes and both options are currently being explored. Hydrogen can be produced in a variety of ways. The majority of the hydrogen produced in this country is produced through natural gas reforming and is used as chemical feedstock in refinery operations. In this report we will examine the production of hydrogen by gasification of biomass. Biomass is defined as organic matter that is available on a renewable basis through natural processes or as a by-product of processes that use renewable resources. The majority of biomass is used in combustion processes, in mills that use the renewable resources, to produce electricity for end-use product generation. This report will explore the use of hydrogen as a fuel derived from gasification of three candidate biomass feedstocks: bagasse, switchgrass, and a nutshell mix that consists of 40% almond nutshell, 40% almond prunings, and 20% walnut shell. In this report, an assessment of the technical and economic potential of producing hydrogen from biomass gasification is analyzed. The resource base was assessed to determine a process scale from feedstock costs andmore » availability. Solids handling systems were researched. A GTI proprietary gasifier model was used in combination with a Hysys(reg. sign) design and simulation program to determine the amount of hydrogen that can be produced from each candidate biomass feed. Cost estimations were developed and government programs and incentives were analyzed. Finally, the barriers to the production and commercialization of hydrogen from biomass were determined. The end-use of the hydrogen produced from this system is small PEM fuel cells for automobiles. Pyrolysis of biomass was also considered. Pyrolysis is a reaction in which biomass or coal is partially vaporized by heating. Gasification is a more general term, and includes heating as well as the injection of other ''ingredients'' such as oxygen and water. Pyrolysis alone is a useful first step in creating vapors from coal or biomass that can then be processed in subsequent steps to make liquid fuels. Such products are not the objective of this project. Therefore pyrolysis was not included in the process design or in the economic analysis. High-pressure, fluidized bed gasification is best known to GTI through 30 years of experience. Entrained flow, in contrast to fluidized bed, is a gasification technology applied at much larger unit sizes than employed here. Coal gasification and residual oil gasifiers in refineries are the places where such designs have found application, at sizes on the order of 5 to 10 times larger than what has been determined for this study. Atmospheric pressure gasification is also not discussed. Atmospheric gasification has been the choice of all power system pilot plants built for biomass to date, except for the Varnamo plant in Sweden, which used the Ahlstrom (now Foster Wheeler) pressurized gasifier. However, for fuel production, the disadvantage of the large volumetric flows at low pressure leads to the pressurized gasifier being more economical.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
816024
Report Number(s):
FC36-01GO11089
TRN: US200320%%217
DOE Contract Number:
/GO/11089
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 2002
Research Org:
Golden Field Office, Golden, CO (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE) (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; BIOMASS; CHEMICAL FEEDSTOCKS; COAL GASIFICATION; COST ESTIMATION; ECONOMIC ANALYSIS; ECONOMICS; FLUIDIZED BEDS; FUEL CELLS; GASIFICATION; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; LIQUID FUELS; NATURAL GAS; ORGANIC MATTER; PETROLEUM RESIDUES; PILOT PLANTS; POWER SYSTEMS; PRODUCTION