Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

Mild catalytic pyrolysis of biomass for production of transportation fuels: a techno-economic analysis

Author affiliations

Abstract

A techno-economic analysis of mild catalytic pyrolysis (CP) of woody biomass followed by upgrading of the partially deoxygenated pyrolysis liquid is performed to assess this pathway's economic feasibility for the production of hydrocarbon-based biofuels. The process achieves a fuel yield of 17.7 wt% and an energy conversion of 39%. Deoxygenation of the pyrolysis liquid requires 2.7 wt% hydrogen while saturation of aromatic rings in the pyrolysis liquid increases total hydrogen consumption to 6.4 wt%. Total project investment is $457 million with annual operating costs of $142 million for a 2000 metric ton per day facility. A minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) of $3.69 per gal is estimated assuming 10% internal rate of return. Twenty-nine percent of the capital outlay is the result of including a co-generation system to consume heat generated from burning part of the off-gases from pyrolysis and upgrading and all of the coke during regeneration of catalysts. Forty-five percent of the MFSP arises from the cost of biomass feedstock. Hydrogen required for the upgrading process is generated using the balance of the process off-gases. The analysis reveals that an optimum design would include a cogeneration unit; however using natural gas for hydrogen generation is more favorable than using process off-gases as the feed. An uncertainty analysis indicates a probable fuel price of $3.03 per gal, demonstrating the potential of the CP pathway as an alternative to petroleum-derived transportation fuels.

Graphical abstract: Mild catalytic pyrolysis of biomass for production of transportation fuels: a techno-economic analysis

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jul 2013, accepted on 09 Sep 2013 and first published on 18 Sep 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41314D
Citation: Green Chem., 2014,16, 627-636
  •   Request permissions

    Mild catalytic pyrolysis of biomass for production of transportation fuels: a techno-economic analysis

    R. Thilakaratne, T. Brown, Y. Li, G. Hu and R. Brown, Green Chem., 2014, 16, 627
    DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41314D

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements