272489 Drop-in Gasoline From Carbona Wood Gasification, Morphysorb CO2 Removal, and the Tigas Process

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 12:55 PM
333 (Convention Center )
Rick Knight, Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL, Niels R. Udengaard, Syngas Catalyst & Technology, Haldor Topsoe, Inc., Houston, TX, Finn Joensen, Haldor Topsøe A/S, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark, Jesper Jensen, Technology Division, Haldor Topsoe A/S, Lyngby, Denmark and Jim Patel, Andritz/Carbona, Vallejo, CA

Drop-In Gasoline from Wood Gasification, CO2 Removal, and the TIGAS Process


Biomass conversion is the only near-term option to replace petroleum-based motor fuels with renewable alternatives.  One of the pathways under development is thermochemical gasification followed by conversion of the resulting synthesis gas to gasoline.  Under U.S. Department of Energy sponsorship, Haldor Topsoe Inc. (HTI), the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Andritz-Carbona, UPM-Kymmene, and ConocoPhillips have teamed up to build and operate a pilot biorefinery based on this approach.  Woody biomass will be converted to gasoline blendstock, offering product compatibility with existing infrastructure. Startup of the 21 bbl/day pilot plant is scheduled for November 2012.

The biorefinery integrates Andritz-Carbona's pressurized, oxygen-blown bubbling-bed gasifier, which features high thermal efficiency and low syngas tar contamination.  A cleanup system featuring hot gas filter and catalytic reformer eliminates particulates and heavy organics while also converting residual methane to carbon monoxide and hydrogen.  GTI's acid-gas removal process uses Morphysorb® solvent to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide with high selectivity that minimizes loss of desired syngas components.  The clean, conditioned syngas is then converted to gasoline in Haldor Topsoe's TIGAS process, which employs a unique high-conversion once-through methanol/dimethylether synthesis step. Recycling a portion of the tail gas from the synthesis back to the gasifier results in an essentially power-neutral process, resulting in an overall syngas conversion of well over 90 per cent. 

This integrated process is capable of converting any type of biomass, but the commercial case under consideration is to supply the plant with woody biomass such as mill wastes, non-merchantable roundwood, whole tree chips, or other available forestry byproducts.  This strategy will leverage the resources, facilities, and expertise of the pulp and paper industry to provide value-added revenue streams while helping meet U.S. transportation fuel needs with home-grown sustainability.

In this presentation, we will discuss the proposed process layout of the wood-to-gasoline process, summarize the engineering and construction status, and present an updated prediction of operating cost for the early commercial plants.


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See more of this Session: Developments In Biobased Alternative Fuels II
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum