295946 Separation Technologies for the New Biochemical Applications

Wednesday, May 1, 2013: 3:30 PM
Bonham E (Grand Hyatt San Antonio)
Glenn Shiveler, Applications - Gas Processing Group, Sulzer Chemtech USA, Inc., Tulsa, OK and Antonio Garcia, Sulzer Chemtech USA Inc., Houston, TX

Advances in the next generation of biofuels will include development of commercial process technologies for the global transportation markets. R&D has led to new biofuels from renewable feed stocks: grains, bagasse, switch grass, sugar cane, beets, turnips and wood pulp. Fermentation of these feed stocks produces alcohols along with contaminates that include acetates, aldehydes and acids. Separation of the valuable biofuel components from these contaminants is made challenging due to azeotropes, separation of the chemicals from the fermentation biomass, potential use of extraction solvents, efficient heat integration and dehydration of the biofuel product.

Additional challenges are: process economic feasibility and fast-track commercialization process.

For many years Sulzer has been active in providing mass transfer equipment in many existing 1st generation biofuels production facilities. Currently, Sulzer is supporting the development of 2nd generation biofuels with separation process technologies, process equipment , skid mounted systems for demonstration scale and basic engineering and key equipment for commercial plants. The new biochemicals plants involve various design considerations that are described in this paper.

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