Technical and economic assessment of thermal processes for biofuels

Jun 2009

A comprehensive technical and economic assessment of the current status and future prospects for biofuels product from biomass by thermal processing has been carried out. These are known as Biomass To Liquids or BTL processes.
This report considers alternative thermochemical process routes from solid raw biomass to hydrocarbons or blendable alcohols including biomass supplies, pretreatment by fast pyrolysis and torrefaction, preparation, gasification, direct and indirect synthesis of hydrocarbons and incorporation of products into transport fuel infrastructures. The technical and economic performance of these BTL processes has been analysed and areas where further RD&D are needed has been identified. Particular attention has been paid to the trade off between pretreatment by fast pyrolysis and the impact on gasification showing that although there is a small increase in overall capital cost with addition of multiple decentralised fast pyrolysis units, these may be justified by the logistical and environmental advantages.

By: AV Bridgwater COPE Ltd

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