Enhanced catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass for maximum production of high-quality biofuels

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

Fast pyrolysis of biomass is one of the most promising ways to directly generate liquid fuels from biomass. However, the produced pyrolysis oil may have several major drawbacks which suppress its application for power and heat generation or transportation fuels. These are: high oxygen, water and water-soluble (acids) contents, which affect negatively the acidity (corrosion effect), miscibility with petroleum-based fuels (separation of fractions), chemical stability (aging), high viscosity,low energy density and the presence of fuel bound nitrogen.

The objectives of this proposal are: - To develop a new concept for the production of biofuels based on an enhanced catalytic flash pyrolysis process including deoxygenation and hydrogenation for the high-yield production of highquality bio-oil from both woody and residual biomass streams; - To test the high-quality oil in gas turbines and diesel engines for the production of heat and power; - To further increase the applicability of the bio-oil as transportation fuel by downstream hydrogenation; - To evaluate the new concept from biomass to biofuels with respect to sustainability and technoeconomic feasibility.

Korte omschrijving
The Enhanced Catalytic Pyrolysis (EnCat) project presents and investigates a new concept for the production of high-quality bio-oil and a high yield. Because of a novel biomass pre-treatment step to be developed the concept is suitable for both woody biomass and biomass residues from agriculture, etc. The pretreated biomass will be pyrolysed in a reactor making use of deoxygenation catalysts. Simultaneously, CO2 will be captured with sorbents and via the water-gas-shift reaction in-situ hydrogen will be produced. After cleaning, the oil vapours will be mildly hydrogenated to produce a high-quality bio-oil. The high-quality oil will be used for combustion tests in both a diesel engine and a gas turbine for combined power and heat generation. Parallel to this, the bio-oil will be further upgraded by a new method of downstream hydrogenation under high pressure for production of high-grade transportation fuels.

The impact of the EnCat-project is that the new biofuels concept will increase the value of the network of biomass suppliers (e.g. forest industry, farmers, SMEs from food sector, etc.) who have such biomass resources available. The industry and companies involved in biomass pre-treatment and fuel utilization for power and heat generation will extend their portfolio to new and renewable products and shall therefore become more competitive on the national and international market. The process engineering companies shall profit from widening their business by providing opportunities for petroleum chemical industries to enhance their green products. Gas turbine and diesel engine manufactures will be able to accommodate the new fuel in their equipment with minor engine changes. In the project two technology suppliers (Alucha and OPRA) are involved. To enable and speed-up the implementation of the project results, the partners will develop a plan for a demonstration project.