Posted in | Biofuels | Biomaterials

Primary Conversion of Biomass into Intermediate Liquid Products

The goal of COMSYN, an EU-funded project, is to create a production concept for generating competitive bio-based fuels through a compact gasification and production method.

(Credit: VTT TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF FINLAND LTD)

The target decrease in the production cost of the biofuel is nearly 35% compared to substitutive methods, culminating in a production cost of nearly less than 0.80 Euros per liter of diesel.

The production concept is dependent on the distributed primary conversion of different types of biomass residues into intermediary liquid products at small-to-medium scale (10 to 50 kt/a Fischer-Tropsch products, 30 to 150 MW biomass) enterprises situated very near to biomass resources. The Fischer-Tropsch products will be transformed into fuels in prevalent central oil refineries, thus making the entire process highly economic.

As the primary conversion process is executed at a smaller scale, the risk of investment is lowered, which has been one of the major drawbacks in large-scale biofuel plants. When the primary conversion process is combined with local heat and power production, energy efficiency of biomass utilization is increased to nearly 80%.

The COMSYN project investigates the validity of the production concept from biomass gasification through to the final biofuel product. The biomass gasification process and the gas cleaning process have been designed and piloted by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd in collaboration with GKN Sinter Metals Filters GmbH.

The production process involves using a state-of-the-art intensified Fischer-Tropsch reactor by INERATEC GmbH and one of the main aims of the project is to further enhance the technique for greater syngas transformation. The refinement of Fischer-Tropsch products to produce high-quality drop-in liquid transport fuels is performed at the Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education (UniCRE).

Amec Foster Wheeler Italiana Srl, DLR German Aerospace Center and ÅF-Consult Ltd performed the designing of the process, environmental and techno-economic assessments, and also business and market case studies.

The COMSYN project was initiated on May 1st 2017 and will continue for the coming four years. EU Horizon 2020 Competitive Low-Carbon Energy call 08-2016 provides a funding of 5.1 million Euros for the COMSYN project. The goals of this particular call are to considerably decrease the biofuel cost, expand the raw material resource, enhance conversion efficiency, generate career opportunities, decrease emissions and enhance the productivity and flexibility of industrial processes.

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