(132b) Perspective on Carbon Utilization for Fuels, Chemicals, and Materials:Case Studies on Thermal and Catalytic Biomass Processing

Schaidle, J. A., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Biorefinery process economics are strongly impacted by the overall carbon efficiency from biomass to products; however, market dynamics influence the types of products that should be targeted. Thus, trade-offs must be considered between product value (quality and market demand), carbon efficiency, and the associated costs (capex/opex) of accessing those products. This presentation will discuss biorefinery carbon utilization and these trade-offs from the perspective of two case studies on thermal and catalytic biomass processing: catalytic fast pyrolysis and indirect liquefaction through dimethyl ether. Each of these processes proceeds through an intermediate (stabilized bio-oil and dimethyl ether) that can undergo further upgrading and generates carbon-containing ‘waste’ streams, creating both opportunities and challenges for improving overall carbon utilization. Approaches and recent advancements in enhancing biorefinery carbon utilization will be presented and discussed within the context of a market-responsive biorefinery concept.