Improving Carbon and Process Utilization for Biomass-to-Liquid Fuel Operations

Olusola O. James


With the increasing world demand for transportation fuels, declining petroleum reserves and quest for energy security, there is a renewed interest in Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology as a viable alternative for the production of liquid fuels from carbonaceous resources (natural gas, coal and biomass). Concern about global warming has also created a special interest in the use of biomass (Biomass-To-Liquid Fuels, BTL) as a carbon-neutral route to liquid fuels. However, carbon utilization in BTL via traditional biomass gasification is between 25 – 40 % of carbons in the biomass feedstock. This results in poor process economy. Energy input from concentrated solar power (CSP) into BTL can salvage undue large carbon discharge in traditional BTL. The CSP-BTL hybrid not only improves carbon utilization but is also a plausible strategy for solar energy storage.
Keywords: Biomass-To-liquid Fuels, BTL, Carbon utilization, Process economy, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis

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