(554a) Biomass and Natural Gas to Liquid Transportation Fuels and C6-C8 Chemicals (BGTL+C6_C8)
High crude oil prices and volatility of the global oil market represent major challenges facing the United States transportation sector. These concerns, together with high greenhouse gas emissions produced from the production, distribution, and consumption of hydrocarbon fuels, have received considerable attention and have prompted the search for U.S. energy independence from alternative fuel producing technologies . These alternatives include single and hybrid feedstocks that produce gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from coal, biomass, and natural gas [2-3]. However, these challenges also present opportunities to produce valuable chemical products, such as C6-C8 aromatics, from novel processes. The main products from this subset of petrochemicals include benzene, toluene, and xylenes. The most important of these is the para-xylene compound.
The advantage of using a hybrid design involving biomass and natural gas to liquid fuels (BGTL) has previously been investigated . We present an optimization based framework that will perform a technoeconomic and environmental assessment of a refinery that converts biomass and natural gas to liquid transportation fuels and chemicals (C6-C8). The framework incorporates process design, global optimization, and process synthesis strategies [2-12] to determine the optimal process for the conversion of biomass and natural gas to liquid transportation fuels and chemicals (C6-C8) under different scenarios. The optimization model includes simultaneous heat, power, and water integration  and is solved to global optimality in order to determine the process topologies that will produce in tandem liquid transportation fuels and chemicals in the most optimal way (i.e. lowest cost or highest profit). The major topological decisions, trade-offs of technological alternatives, and the effect of capacities from the optimization model will be discussed.
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