430034 Combined Sustainability Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis for the Production of Biomass-Derived High-Octane Gasoline Blendstock

Thursday, November 12, 2015: 4:30 PM
255F (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Eric C. D. Tan1, Michael Talmadge2 and Abhijit Dutta1, (1)National Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (2)National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Conversion technologies for biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels are being actively developed. Converting biomass into advanced hydrocarbon fuels requires detailed assessments to help prioritize research; techno-economic analysis (TEA) is a long established tool used to assess feasibility and progress. TEA provides information needed to make informed judgments about the viability of any given conceptual conversion process; it is particularly useful to identify technical barriers and measure progress toward overcoming those barriers. Expansion of the cellulosic biofuels industry at the scale needed to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard goals is also expected to have environmental impacts. Hence, the success of the biofuels industry depends not only on economic viability, but also on environmental sustainability. A biorefinery process that is economically feasible but suffers from key sustainability drawbacks is not likely to represent a long-term solution to replace fossil-derived fuels. Overarching concerns like environmental sustainability need to be addressed for biofuels production. Combined TEA and environmental sustainability assessment of emerging pathways helps facilitate biorefinery designs that are both economically feasible and minimally impactful to the environment. This study focuses on environmental sustainability assessment and techno-economic analysis for the production of high-octane gasoline blendstock via gasification and methanol/dimethyl ether intermediates. Results from the conceptual process design with economic analysis, along with the quantification and assessment of the environmental sustainability, are presented and discussed. Sustainability metrics associated with the production of high-octane gasoline include carbon conversion efficiency, consumptive water use, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy consumption, energy return on investment and net energy value.

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See more of this Session: Sustainability Metrics at the Process and Product Level
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division