Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 8, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Techno-economic and environmental evaluation of producing chemicals and drop-in aviation biofuels via aqueous phase processing

Author affiliations

Abstract

Novel aqueous-phase processing (APP) techniques can thermochemically convert cellulosic biomass into chemicals and liquid fuels. Here, we evaluate these technologies through process design and simulation, and from a techno-economic and environmental point of view. This is the first peer-reviewed study that conducts such an assessment taking into account different biomass pretreatment methods, process yields, product slates, and hydrogen sources, as well as the historical price variation of a number of core commodities involved in the production. This paper undertakes detailed process simulations for seven biorefinery models designed to convert red maple wood using a set of APP technologies into chemicals (e.g. furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural and gamma-valerolactone) and liquid fuels (e.g. naphtha, jet fuel and diesel). The simulation results are used to conduct a well-to-wake (WTW) lifecycle analysis for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and minimum selling price (MSP) calculations based on historical commodity price data from January 2010 to December 2015. An emphasis has been given towards aviation fuels throughout this work, and the results have been reported and discussed extensively for these fuels. It is found that the WTW GHG emissions and the MSP of jet fuel vary across the different refinery configurations from 31.6–104.5 gCO2e per MJ (64% lower and 19% higher, respectively, than a reported petroleum-derived fuel baseline) and $1.00–6.31 per gallon ($0.26–1.67 per liter, which is 61% lower and 146% higher, respectively, than the average conventional jet fuel price of the above time frame). It has been shown that the variation in the estimated emissions and fuel selling prices is primarily driven by the choice of hydrogen source and the relative production volumes of chemicals to fuels, respectively. The latter is a consequence of the fact that the APP chemicals considered here have a higher economic value than the liquid transportation fuels, and that their production is less carbon intensive compared to these fuels. However, the chemical market may get saturated if they are produced in large quantities, and increasing biofuel production over that of chemicals can help the biorefinery benefit under renewable fuel programs.

Graphical abstract: Techno-economic and environmental evaluation of producing chemicals and drop-in aviation biofuels via aqueous phase processing

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
16 Dec 2017
Accepted
04 May 2018
First published
29 May 2018

This article is Open Access

Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11, 2085-2101
Article type
Paper

Techno-economic and environmental evaluation of producing chemicals and drop-in aviation biofuels via aqueous phase processing

H. Olcay, R. Malina, A. A. Upadhye, J. I. Hileman, G. W. Huber and S. R. H. Barrett, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 2085
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE03557H

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements