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Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis:

Opportunities for Large-Scale Technologies

Harvesting Clean Energy Conference


February 9, 2010

Dr. Don Stevens


Don.Stevens@PNL.gov
509 372 4603
Gasification and Pyrolysis:
The Opportunities Moving Forward
Increasing interest in liquid biofuels for
transportation
Policy factors:
EISA and other legislation
Department of Energy research
Focus:
Increasing interest in infrastructure
compatible hydrocarbon fuels
Potential interest in high-efficiency
electricity generation technologies
Implications:
Larger facilities (~500 – 2000 tpd) to achieve
economies of scale
Leveraging of existing energy infrastructure.

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Biomass Gasification for Liquid Fuels
Size Reduction
Storage & Handling
De-watering
Drying Alcohols
Feedstock Gasoline
Interface Products Green Diesel
FT Liquids

Gas Cleanup
More robust catalysts
Gasification & Fuel Synthesis Higher catalyst yields
Conditioning
Partial Oxidation
Pressurized Oxygen Particulate removal
Indirect/Steam Catalytic Reforming
Technical Feasibility of Tars By-
Syngas Quality Benzene products
Light Hydrocarbons
Methane
S, N, Cl mitigation Separations
CO2 removal For Recycle -
H2/CO adjustment to improve yields

Primary Issues: 1) cleaning raw syngas; 2) efficiently making liquid fuels

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Gasification for Liquid Fuels:
Commercial Development
Several DOE pilot and demo projects are
underway
“Commercial Scale” EPACT Section 932
Range Fuels
Fuel product: ethanol and other alcohols
Construction is underway in Soperton, GA
Up to 26 M gal/y
“Demonstration Scale” facilities
Flambeau River & New Page
Fuel product: FT diesel
Detailed designs underway, Wisconsin
Up to ~ 6 M gal/y each
Other Recent DOE awards:
Clear fuels, Haldor Topsoe, ZeaChem, Enerkem,
INEOS – use a variety of approaches

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National Research Program on Biomass
Gasification: PNNL is Actively Involved

Focus: 1) improve the gasification process; 2) remove contaminants;


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3) improve fuel synthesis
Pyrolysis Oil Stabilization and Upgrading

Pyrolysis
Potential for distributed bio-oil production that
also uses economies of scale for processing:
•Produce bio-oil near the resource
•Convert the bio-oil at a larger central site

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Bio-oil:
Upgrading Requirement Determined by the End Use
Pyrolysis Bio-Oil: Technical Challenges
Bio-oil is chemically different that petroleum
Bio-oil Petroleum
Moisture 15-25 wt% < 0.1%
Acidity (TAN) > 100 <1
Elemental O 35-45% < 1%
Stability Months Years

is Oil
Pyrolys ction
ra
Heavy f
Stabilization and upgrading
Can’t directly use existing petroleum processing approaches
Can potentially leverage the petroleum industry infrastructure
Biomass Pyrolysis Can Leverage Existing
Infrastructure
Research
Refinery-Ready Finished Fuels and
Biomass
Intermediates Blendstocks
Areas

Drop in
Drop in Drop in
Point #2:
Point #1: Point #3:
Stable Oil
Pyrolysis Fuels
Research Oil Blendstock
Areas
Gas Drop-In Fuels
L Naphtha
Reform
Vacuum Distillation
Atmospheric and

H Naphtha FCC Gasoline


Crude Jet Fuel
LGO Alky/Poly
Oil Diesel Fuel
VGO HT/HC
Atm. Res.
Coker
Vac. Res.

Existing Refinery
Infrastructure

Drop in Points 1&2 require different tax policies than Point 3


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The State of Pyrolysis Technology

Bio-oil is being produced


commercially
Ensyn
100 t/d capacity facility (Ottawa)
Product currently used for food
flavorings
Several smaller-scale, near-
commercial demo plants
Stabilization and upgrading
technologies entering demo stage
UOP, others

5 tpd facility at VTT, Finland

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PNNL’s Research Program on Biomass
Pyrolysis:
Before After

O: 40% 0.02%
PNNL is using it’s catalyst expertise to develop
technologies that produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

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Progress: 100% Renewable Jet

The hydroplane ran on 98% Bio-SPK and 2% renewable aromatics


Jet A1 Starting Woody Pyrolysis Oil
Spec SPK Aromatics
Freeze Point (oC) -47 -63 -53
Flash Point (oC) 39 42 52
Density (g/mL) 0.775 0.753 0.863
PNNL: Two Consortia on Advanced Biofuels
Awards:
National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC)
Focus: Hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass
National Association of Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB)
Focus: Algal-based biofuels
Goals:
Develop innovative pathways to infrastructure compatible, biomass-
based hydrocarbon fuels
Details:
Competitive proposals awarded in January 2010
Total value of approximately $75 million over three years
Both Consortia have numerous industry, lab, and university partners
Gasification and pyrolysis are part of both

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Thank You!

Acknowledgement:

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