A W Palumbo and A W Weimer
University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Fundam Renewable Energy Appl
Feedstock hybridization has been shown to increase end-product yields and improve overall process efficiency for fungible liquid fuel production from bio-based resources. Presented is a co-feed thermochemical processing system to non-catalytically covert natural gas and biomass to synthesis gas. At ultra-high temperatures (>1400Ã?Â°C), tar destruction is complete, hydrogen content is elevated, and nearly all of the carbon and oxygen in the system is converted to CO. Experimentally, a 60 kVA was used in an entrained flow configuration with three biomass types: Microalgae, rice hulls, and cotton stalk. Overall carbon conversions were demonstrated at Ã¢Â?Â¥95% and CO selectivity was shown to achieve Ã¢Â?Â¥90%. Out of the reactor, H2/COÃ¢Â?Â?2.2 and CO2/CO<0.1. With these results, process simulations in ASPEN Plus for a 2000 dry t/d showed a two-fold increase in liquid fuel yield per tonne of input carbon compared to state-of-the-art gasification technologies. Challenges and practical limitations for indirectly-heated gasifiers include materials of construction and severe heat transfer limitations for solid fuel conversion. Operational greenhouse gas emissions, for a once-through process, are at least 40% less than conventional gasification processes, but overall lifecycle GHG are higher due to the natural gas component. However, the economic incentive for this co-feed configuration represents a bridge to truly sustainable fuel production.
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