Presentation Type

Poster

Title of Abstract

Economic Analysis for the Production of Liquid Transportation Fuels via Gasification of Biomass

Abstract

Motivation

The Department of Energy’s Advisory Committee has set a goal that the United States should be able to sustainably supply biomass sufficient enough to displace roughly 30% of the country’s current petroleum consumption by 2030. This research presents an economic analysis of a biomass to liquid (BTL) fuels process with emphasis on Florida grown biomass.

Problem Statement

The costs of converting biomass to liquid (BTL) are high, and may limit our ability to meet the goals set for 2030. The economic feasibility of a BTL process relies heavily on not only the biomass supply costs, but also the abundances of biomass within a given area.

Methods

We designed and analyzed a 2,100 dry-ton of biomass per day BTL plant to produced 47 million gallons of transportation fuels per year. Economic and sensitivity studies were conducted. We used prior published literature for the key operating and process parameters that were needed to complete the plant design.

Results

Biomass costs were found to range in between $40 to as much as $285 per dry-ton depending on different costs scenarios and types of biomass. It was also found that there are 6 counties in Florida that have biomass resources enough to sustain such a design. Total U.S. biomass resource estimates exceed 1 billion dry tons per year. These estimates would support the DOE’s goal for 30% displacement of the country’s current petroleum consumption.

Conclusions

It was found that the costs of supplying biomass and the biomass supply distance play critical roles to the process economics. Areas of research and development that need to be focused on are the lowering of biomass harvesting and transportation costs, and possible ways of increasing fuel yields per given amounts of biomass processed by process improvements and catalyst development. This research will help future researchers and policy makers by establishing baseline process economics of BTL processes.

Categories

Engineering/Physical Science

Research Type

Research Assistant

Mentor Information

Dr. Babu Joseph

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Economic Analysis for the Production of Liquid Transportation Fuels via Gasification of Biomass

Motivation

The Department of Energy’s Advisory Committee has set a goal that the United States should be able to sustainably supply biomass sufficient enough to displace roughly 30% of the country’s current petroleum consumption by 2030. This research presents an economic analysis of a biomass to liquid (BTL) fuels process with emphasis on Florida grown biomass.

Problem Statement

The costs of converting biomass to liquid (BTL) are high, and may limit our ability to meet the goals set for 2030. The economic feasibility of a BTL process relies heavily on not only the biomass supply costs, but also the abundances of biomass within a given area.

Methods

We designed and analyzed a 2,100 dry-ton of biomass per day BTL plant to produced 47 million gallons of transportation fuels per year. Economic and sensitivity studies were conducted. We used prior published literature for the key operating and process parameters that were needed to complete the plant design.

Results

Biomass costs were found to range in between $40 to as much as $285 per dry-ton depending on different costs scenarios and types of biomass. It was also found that there are 6 counties in Florida that have biomass resources enough to sustain such a design. Total U.S. biomass resource estimates exceed 1 billion dry tons per year. These estimates would support the DOE’s goal for 30% displacement of the country’s current petroleum consumption.

Conclusions

It was found that the costs of supplying biomass and the biomass supply distance play critical roles to the process economics. Areas of research and development that need to be focused on are the lowering of biomass harvesting and transportation costs, and possible ways of increasing fuel yields per given amounts of biomass processed by process improvements and catalyst development. This research will help future researchers and policy makers by establishing baseline process economics of BTL processes.