(186a) Techno-Economic Analysis of Renewable Transportation Fuel from Wastewater Treatment Sludge
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 10:15am to 10:40am
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a process that uses hot, pressurized water in the condensed phase to convert wet biomass to an oil product. As such, it is particularly well suited for processing wet waste feedstocks and eliminates the need for drying that is required for other biomass conversion technologies. The oil product, also known as âbiocrudeâ, is analogous to petroleum crude in that it contains a mixture of hydrocarbons with carbon numbers in the gasoline/jet/diesel range. However, it contains higher oxygen and nitrogen than petroleum and therefore must be hydrotreated to improve compatibility with petroleum fuels. This talk presents the conceptual process design, economics and supporting data for a sludge-to-hydrocarbon fuel blendstocks pathway through HTL and biocrude upgrading. The design and techno-economic analysis represents a goal case for the pathway, targeting performance that is anticipated to be achievable by 2022 (BETOâs target year for verification of biofuel hydrocarbon pathways) with further development. The relevance of this work reaches beyond sludge to lay the groundwork for application to other distributed wet wastes and blends that together represent a substantial resource of underutilized biomass.