464269 Economics of Biofuels and Bioproducts from an Integrated Pyrolysis Biorefinery

Monday, November 14, 2016: 3:40 PM
Union Square 17 & 18 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Qi Dang1, Wenhao Hu2, Marjorie Rover1, Robert C. Brown1 and Mark Mba Wright2, (1)Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, (2)Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

This presentation describes a novel integrated biorefinery based on fast pyrolysis and subsequent bio-oil upgrading to yield diverse renewable product portfolios. Three portfolios are considered: hydrocarbon biofuels (gasoline and diesel), biobased products (bioasphalt, calcium acetate, and dextrose), and hydrocarbon chemicals (aromatics, olefins, and fuel oil). Based on the economic assumptions and historical market prices of the products, internal rate of returns (IRRs) of the biorefinery (2000 dry metric tons per day) over 30 years are calculated to evaluate the performance of the proposed biorefinery. Given the historical low, average, and high prices of the products, a total of twenty-seven scenarios are explored and the maximum IRR for each scenario is determined. Results indicate that upgrading bio-oil to biobased products generates the maximum IRR of 67.9% if the biobased products can be marketed at a historically high price level (between $257 and $1491 per metric ton) and an IRR of 42.5% at an average price level (between $240 and $950 per metric ton). The capital and operating costs of producing biobased products are $166.5 and $80.6 million. Under some market conditions, the biorefinery should produce hydrocarbon chemicals or biofuels to increase the IRR. IRRs of less than 10% are found under market prices of $820 to $909 per metric ton for biofuels, $222 to $416 per metric ton for biobased products, and $172 to $1356 per metric ton for hydrocarbon chemicals indicating potential financial risks under low market product prices.

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