(420c) Electrochemistry As a Sustainable Alternative for Distributed Processing of Biomass

Authors: 
Diaz, L. A. - Presenter, Idaho National Laboratory
Lister, T., Idaho National Laboratory
Electrochemical processes use electrons, a green reagent, as main driving force for the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy of vice versa. Conventional electrochemical technologies (i.e. fuel cells and batteries) are well developed and are ideal for distributed energy generation and storage. Recent developments have extended scope to include stabilization and energy densification of biomass feedstock to produce transportation fuels. Among the main advantage of electrochemical technologies for distributed processes are that it can features rapid start up and turn off, which enable them to operate either in batch or continues operations and be directly fed by intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. In the specific case of distributed biomass processing, electrochemical processes can be implemented the conversion of generated CO2, upgrading of lignocellulose biomass, and biomass stabilization.

In this work the applicability of electrochemical technologies on distributed biomass processing schemes will be contextualized. Current state of the art and potential impacts will be assessed based on technology readiness, roadblocks, and viability. Case studies will be presented for the electrochemical reduction of CO2, and the electrochemical upgrading/stabilization of biomass derived streams.