(210c) Assessment of Hydrothermal Liquefaction Oil with Catalytic Upgrading for Renewable Fuel and Chemical Production | AIChE

(210c) Assessment of Hydrothermal Liquefaction Oil with Catalytic Upgrading for Renewable Fuel and Chemical Production


Funkenbusch, L. - Presenter, Michigan Technological University
Mullins, M., Michigan Technological University
Vamling, L., Chalmers University
Belkheiri, T., Chalmers University
Srettiwat, N., Chalmers University
Winjobi, O., Michigan Technological University
Shonnard, D. R., Michigan Technological University
Rogers, T. N., Michigan Technological University
Lignin is a readily available byproduct of the Kraft pulping process, and may be processed via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) to produce a bio-oil suitable for co-feeding into a petroleum refinery hydrotreatment unit. HTL of lignin is performed in near-critical water and, in addition to the bio-oil, produces an aqueous organic and solid char phase. The aqueous organics are primarily phenolics, which may then be converted into valuable co-products via liquid-liquid extraction and hydrotreatment to BTEX compounds. Three technological scenarios were developed: a current technology case, a state of the art research case, and an optimal case based on product targets provided by refiners. For a large Kraft pulp mill (400 metric tons/day of dry lignin), a renewable fuel production of 65-70 million liters per year, with capital costs of $114-125 million and a final per liter cost of $0.41-0.44 were estimated. The BTEX co-product yield ranged from 16.8-18.0 million liters per year. An economic analysis of the process revealed that the hydrotreatment steps have the highest installed capital costs, while the liquid-liquid extraction process is the largest operating cost. The economic analysis also yielded the minimum selling price of the biofuel as $3.52-3.86 per gallon, and the MSP of BTEX as $1.65-2.00 per liter. At the current level of technology, the selling price of the biofuel and co-production of BTEX do not offset the cost of production. Improved technology to further lower the oxygen content of bio-oil and decrease both capital and operating costs are needed to make HTL-based fuels competitive with fossil fuel-based options.


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