(538b) Biomass and Natural Gas to Liquid Transportation Fuels and Olefins (BGTL+C2_C4)

Authors: 
Onel, O., Princeton University
Elia, J. A., Princeton University
Baliban, R. C., Princeton University
Floudas, C. A., Princeton University
Niziolek, A. M., Princeton University



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 [1], 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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[4] R.C. Baliban, J.A. Elia, C.A. Floudas.  Optimization Framework for the Simultaneous Process Synthesis, Heat and Power Integration of a Thermochemical Hybrid Biomass, Coal, and Natural Gas Facility.  Comp. Chem. Eng., 2011:35(9), 1647-1690.

[5] J. A. Elia, R.C. Baliban, X. Xiao, C.A. Floudas.  Optimal Energy Supply Network Determination and Life Cycle Analysis for Hybrid Coal, Biomass, and Natural Gas to Liquid (CBGTL) Plants Using Carbon-based Hydrogen Production.  Comp. Chem. Eng., 2011:35(8), 1399-1430.

[6] R.C. Baliban, J.A. Elia, C.A. Floudas.  Simultaneous Process Synthesis, Heat, Power, and Water Integration of Thermochemical Hybrid Biomass, Coal, and Natural Gas Facilities.  Comp. Chem. Eng., 2012:37(10), 297-327.

[7] R.C. Baliban, J.A. Elia, R. Misener, C.A. Floudas.  Global optimization of a MINLP process synthesis model for thermochemical based conversion of hybrid coal, biomass and natural gas to liquid fuels.  Comp. Chem. Eng., 2012:42, 64-86

 [8] R.C. Baliban, J.A. Elia, V.W. Weekman, C.A. Floudas.  Process synthesis of hybrid coal, biomass, and natural gas to liquids via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, ZSM-5 catalytic conversion, methanol synthesis, methanol-to-gasoline, and methanol-to-olefins/distillate technologies.  Comp. Chem. Eng.,2012:47(12), 29-56.

[9] J.A. Elia, R.C. Baliban, C.A. Floudas.  Nationwide Energy Supply Chain Analysis for Hybrid Feedstock Processes with Significant CO2 Emissions Reduction. AIChE J.,2012:58(7), 2142-2154.

[10] Baliban, R. C.; Elia, J. A.; Floudas, C. A. Biomass to liquid transportation fuels (BTL) systems: process synthesis and global optimization framework. Energy Environ. Sci., 2013:6 (1), 267-287. 

[11] Baliban, R. C.; Elia, J. A.; Floudas, C. A. Novel Natural Gas to Liquids Processes: Process Synthesis and Global Optimization Strategies. AIChE J., 2013:59 (2), 505-531

[12] Baliban, R. C.; Elia, J. A.; Floudas, C. A. Biomass and Natural Gas to Liquid Transportation Fuels: Process Synthesis, Global Optimization, and Topology Analysis. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research,2013:52 (9), 3381-3406.