(35c) Multistage Torrefaction of Biomass and in Situ Catalytic Upgrading to Hydrocarbon Biofuels and Specialty Biochemicals
This work performs a prospective life cycle assessment to determine the environmental profile of concurrent hydrocarbon biofuel and specialty biochemical production via a multistage torrefaction and in situ catalytic upgrading platform. Several multistage design strategies consisting of different catalytic strategies and targeted platform chemicals (i.e. 2-methylfuran, tetrahydrofuran, and cyclopentanone) are considered. Detailed material and energy balances for multistage systems are developed using a combination of experimental data and ASPEN process simulations. Several critical sustainability metrics including life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and Energy Return on Investment (EROI) are used to compare the environmental performance of multistage systems, and benchmark against a base-case fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing platform. Preliminary results reveal that multistage systems have the capacity of achieving over 75% GHG reductions relative to petroleum diesel, and produce high quality hydrocarbon transportation fuels and specialty bio-chemicals. The influence of different LCA allocation schemes and coproduct scenarios for the produced biochar on the environmental profile of hydrocarbon biofuels and biochemicals will be discussed.