(193g) Nuclear Powered Biorefineries: A Nationwide Supply Chain Analysis | AIChE

(193g) Nuclear Powered Biorefineries: A Nationwide Supply Chain Analysis


Jones, D., Idaho National Laboratory
Forsberg, C., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dale, B., Michigan State University
Wendt, L., Idaho National Laboratory
Advancement in biofuel and biopower technology is on the rise to mitigate climate change and to ensure constant energy supply to a growing population. Replacing all liquid fossil fuels with biofuel will require large-scale biorefineries and an extensive source of biomass. Lignocellulosic biomass is the largest biomass source in the world as it comes from numerous nonedible materials such as energy crops, forest residues, agricultural residues and waste materials. However, conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into liquid hydrocarbon biofuels requires intensive energy requirements. Using biomass for both the carbon source as well as the energy source for conversion will decrease the biofuel production by half of the biomass potential. This study analyzes the new concept of nuclear powered large-scale biorefineries (82 million dry tons per year) in which nuclear energy will provide the heat and hydrogen needed for biomass conversion. Nuclear powered biorefineries have the potential to increase the total biofuel yield and lower the carbon emissions of the biofuel conversion systems. We developed a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model to analyze the nationwide on-spec delivery of biomass to nuclear powered biorefineries. Delivering on-spec biomass, includes feedstock with ash content less than or equal to 5% (dry basis), moisture content greater than or equal to 20% and carbohydrate content greater than or equal to 59%. Approximately 164, 246 and 328 million dry tons of corn stover and switchgrass could be delivered nationwide at less than $110 per dry ton to the biorefinery gate with the establishment of two, three and four nuclear powered biorefineries in years 2022, 2030, and 2040 respectively.