(554a) Biomass and Natural Gas to Liquid Transportation Fuels and C6-C8 Chemicals (BGTL+C6_C8)

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



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 [1]. 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 [13]. 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 [6] 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.

[1] National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council. Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Issues. Washington, D. C., EPA, 2009.

[2] C.A. Floudas, J.A. Elia, R.C Baliban.  Hybrid and Single Feedstock Energy Processes for Liquid Transportation Fuels: A Critical Review.  Comp. Chem. Eng., 2012: 41(11), 24-51.

[3] R.C. Baliban, J.A. Elia, C.A. Floudas.  Toward Novel Hybrid Biomass, Coal, and Natural Gas Processes for Satisfying Current Transportation Fuel Demands, 1: Process Alternatives, Gasification Modeling, Process Simulation, and Economic Analysis.  Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2010:49(16), 7343-7370.

[4] J.A. Elia, R.C. Baliban, C.A. Floudas.  Toward Novel Hybrid Biomass, Coal, and Natural Gas Processes for Satisfying Current Transportation Fuel Demands, 2: Simultaneous Heat and Power Integration.  Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2010:49(16), 7371-7388.

[5] 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.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.

[8] Baliban, R. C; Elia, J. A; Misener, R.; Floudas, C. A Global optimization of a MINLP process synthesis model for thermochemical based conversion of hybrid coal, biomass, and natural gas to liquid fuels. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2012:42, 64-86. 

[9] 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.

[10] 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.

[11] 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.

[12] 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. 

[13] 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.