Performance of simulated flexible integrated gasification polygeneration facilities, Part B: Economic evaluation.

J. C. Meerman, A. Ramírez, W. C. Turkenburg, A. P.C. Faaij

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the economics of integrated gasification polygeneration (IG-PG) facilities and assesses under which market conditions flexible facilities outperform static facilities. In this study, the facilities use Eucalyptus wood pellets (EP), torrefied wood pellets (TOPS) and Illinois #6 coal as feedstock to produce electricity, FT-liquids, methanol and urea. All facilities incorporate CCS. The findings show production costs from static IG-PG facilities ranging between 12 and 21 €/GJ using coal, 19-33 €/GJ using TOPS and 22-38 €/GJ using EP, which is above the average market prices. IG-PG facilities can become competitive if capital costs drop by 10%-27% for coal based facilities. Biomass based facilities will need lower biomass pellet prices or higher CO 2 credit prices. Biomass becomes competitive with coal at a CO 2 credit price of 50-55 €/t CO 2. Variations in feedstock, CO 2 credit and electricity prices can be offset by operating a feedstock flexible IG-PG facility, which can switch between coal and TOPS, thereby altering its electricity production. The additional investment is around 0.5% of the capital costs of a dedicated coal based IG-PG facility. At 30 €/t CO 2, TOPS will be the preferred feedstock for 95% of the time at a feedstock price of 5.7 €/GJ. At these conditions, FT-liquids (gasoline/diesel) can be produced for 15.8 €/GJ (116 $/bbl). Historic records show price variations between 5.7 and 7.3 €/GJ for biomass pellet, 1.0-5.6 €/GJ for coal and 0-32 €/t CO 2. Within these price ranges, coal is generally the preferred feedstock, but occasionally biomass is preferred. Lower biomass prices will increase the frequency of switching feedstock preference from coal to biomass, raising the desire for flexibility. Of the three investigated chemicals, an IG-PG facility producing FT-liquids benefits the most from flexibility. Our study suggests that if the uncertainty in commodity prices is high, a small additional investment can make flexible IG-PG facilities attractive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6083-6102
Number of pages20
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemicals
  • Biofuels
  • Economic assessment
  • Flexibility
  • Gasification
  • Refinery


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