(302b) Supply Chains Analysis for Sustainable Production of Aviation and Marine Biofuels: A Comparative Study of Feedstocks, Technologies, Regions, and GHG Emissions

Posada, J. A., Delft University of Technology
This study presents a techno-economic and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions analysis of energy and material self-sufficient biorefineries for production of aviation and marine biofuels. The scope of this analysis focuses on the screening method to reduce a large number of initial possibilities and includes three main stages: i) biomass supply and logistics for different types of feedstocks (i.e. sugar bearing crops, oil bearing plants and agricultural and forest residues); ii) geographical sourcing of feedstocks (incl. Brazil and China for aviation biofuels, and Nordic countries for marine biofuels); and iii) biomass pretreatment and conversion technologies with intermediates upgrading (i.e. ethanol to jet fuel (ETJ), direct fermentation to jet fuel via farnesene (DFJ), fast pyrolysis (FP), gasification and Fischer Tropsch (GFT), and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL)). Thus, more than 400 configurations of potential supply chains for aviation and marine biofuel production are compatred from a techno-economic and environmental perspective.

One of best results for aviation biofuel production are obtained when Brazilian sugarcane bagasse is directly upgraded to jet via FP with a minimum selling price (MSP) of around 2200 US$/ton biojet. The MSP could further be reduced if lignin is considered to be sold for higher value applications. Furthermore, the lowest production costs, overall the analysis, were obtained when eucalyptus, pine and macauba were used as feedstocks together with hydrothermal liquefaction or fast pyrolysis (with hydro-processing in the case of Macauba oil). These scenarios resulted in minimum selling price of around 620 to 870 US$/ton biojet. All of these scenarios resulted in a GHG emissions reduction of around 50-70% with respect to the fossil based jet fuel.

In the case of the marine biofuel production, the total production costs were estimated to be around 3.2-11.2 times higher than the costs of the fossil based marine gas oil. Furthermore, the GHG emissions were estimated in the range of -36kg/GJ to 96kg/GJ (HFO: 89kg/GJ). This large is also due to the application of different models for biogenic CO2 accounting.

The methodology here presented builds up on the combination of early-stage analysis [1], techno-economic evaluation [2], parametric analysis for combined techno-economic and environmental assessment [3-4], for integration of the three pillars of sustainability during the early-design stages of sustainable biorefineries [5-7].


[1] Moncada J., Posada JA, Andrea R. (2015). Early sustainability assessment for potential configurations of integrated biorefineries. Screening of bio-based derivatives from platform chemicals. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 9:722–748.

[2] Santos CI; Cornelio da Silva C; Mussatto MI; Osseweijer P; van der Wielen L; Posada JA. (in press). Integrated 1st and 2nd Generation Sugarcane Bio-refinery for Jet Fuel Production in Brazil: Techno-economic and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment. Renewable Energy.

[3] Posada JA, Brentner LB, Ramirez A, Patel MK. (2016). Conceptual design of sustainable integrated microalgae biorefineries: parametric analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and techno-economics. Algal Research 17:113-131.

[4] Almeida-Benalcázar E; Gevers-Deynoot B; Noorman H; Osseweijer P; Posada JA. (2017). Production of bulk chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass via thermochemical conversion and syngas fermentation: a comparative techno-economic and environmental assessment of different site-specific supply chain configurations. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 11:861–886.

[5] Palmeros Parada M, Osseweijer P, Posada JA. (2017). Sustainable biorefineries, an analysis of practices for incorporating sustainability in biorefinery design. Industrial Crops and Products 106:105-123.

[6] Palmeros Parada M, Asveld L., Osseweijer P, Posada JA. (2018). Setting the design space of biorefineries through sustainability values, a practical approach. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 12:29-44.

[7] Pashaei-Kamali F., Borges JA, Osseweijer P, Posada JA. (in press). Towards social sustainability: screening potential social and governance issues for biojet fuel supply chains in Brazil. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews.