Analysis of biomass hydrothermal liquefaction and biocrude-oil upgrading for renewable jet fuel production: The impact of reaction conditions on production costs and GHG emissions performance

Konstantinos F. Tzanetis, John A. Posada, Andrea Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper shows a detailed analysis of a biomass HTL process by considering changes in three main reaction variables (i.e. catalysts (water, Na2CO3(aq.), and Fe(aq.)), temperature (280–340 °C), and catalysts/biomass mass ratio (0–0.33 kg catalysts/kg biomass)), and by assessing their influence on the techno-economic and GHG emissions performance. This analysis is based on Aspen Plus® simulations, process economics and life-cycle GHG assessment on SimaPro (using Ecoinvent 2.2). Results showed that the lowest production cost for biocrude oil is achieved when HTL is performed at 340 °C with Fe as catalyst (450 €/tbiocrude-oil or 13.6 €/GJbiocrude-oil). At these conditions, the biocrude oil produced has an oxygen content of 16.6 wt% and a LHV of 33.1 MJ/kgbiocrude-oil. When the hydrotreatment and hydrogen generation units are included, the total production costs was 1040 €/tupgraded-oil or 0.8 €/Lupgraded-oil. After fractionation, the estimated production cost was 1086 €/tbiojet-fuel or 25.1 €/GJbiojet-fuel. This value is twice the commercial price of fossil jet fuel. However, the allocated life cycle GHG emissions for renewable jet fuel were estimated at 13.1 kgCO2-eq./GJbiojet-fuel, representing only 15% the GHG emission of fossil jet fuel and therefore, indicating a significant potential on GHG emission reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1398
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Bio-oil upgrading
  • Economic evaluation
  • GHG emissions
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Jet biofuel
  • Lignocellulosic biofuels

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