(538b) Biomass and Natural Gas to Liquid Transportation Fuels and Olefins (BGTL+C2_C4)
Due to high dependence on petroleum and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; production, distribution and consumption of hydrocarbon fuels and petrochemicals is a serious challenge for the United States. Petrochemicals, the chemical products derived from petroleum, consist of significant part of a refinery in which those produced are used as precursors for other processes. Specifically, C2 to C4 olefins; including ethylene, propylene and butadiene are important petrochemical intermediates. Being an important part of refineries and being used as sources of industrial chemicals, plastics or synthetic rubber productions, C2 to C4 olefins are essential. In a recent review , it was shown that a single or a hybrid feedstock design alternatives are present to produce gasoline, diesel and kerosene from coal, biomass and natural gas. In addition, biomass and natural gas as a combined feedstock has an advantage such that natural gas is a cheaper, large domestic source whereas biomass is sustainable and reduces GHG emissions.
An optimization based framework will be presented to perform an economic and environmental assessment of a novel refinery that will convert biomass and natural gas to liquid fuels and C2 to C4 olefins (BGTL+C2_C4). This framework includes process design, global optimization, process synthesis strategies to determine the optimum plant configuration under different scenarios [2-12]. The simultaneous heat, power and water integration is included in the model to ensure that utility and wastewater treatment costs are reasonable with respect to other operation costs. Using this framework, the process which produces the liquids and the C2 to C4 olefins in the most preferable way (lowest cost or highest profit) will be chosen. The superstructure [2-12] proposes different methods of production of syngas and upgrading sections, therefore the tradeoffs between each method and the likelihood of maximizing olefins production using each method are investigated. Different case studies will be presented to explore the effect of biomass type, plant capacity on the optimal process topology, olefins production and break-even oil prices. The key foundations on olefins production, topological decisions, economical and environmental aspects will be discussed.
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