bioBOOST plus - Continuous hydrodeoxygenation of liquid phase pyrolysis oil to diesel

Project: Research project

Project Details


Until 2020 10 % of the transportation energy consumption must be covered by renewable energy sources. First generation biofuels will not be able to meet this target, since admixture to standard fuels is limited. Therefore new complementary technologies are required to close the gap between the availability of about 7% (maximum addition of fatty acid methylesters to fossil diesel as specified in EN 590) and the demanded of 10% biomass based fuels. The target can be met by upgrading hydrogenated vegetable oils, which is in competition with food issues, and improved conversion of lignocellulose based biomass to second generation biofuels. In prior projects liquid phase pyrolysis of lignocellulose has shown promising results when producing second generation biofuels directly from solid biomass at a temperature below 400°C and ambient pressure. Since 2006 the Graz University of Technology, Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology has been investigating liquid phase pyrolysis. Several projects have been funded by KLIEN and FFG (Lab4BtL Nr. 817613, bioCRACK, Nr. 825564, bioBOOST Nr. 835804, bioCRACK ScaleUp Nr.: 846149). Apart from directly formed biofuels, pyrolysis oil is a major product of liquid phase pyrolysis with an amount of up to 26% biogenous carbon. Target of the bioBOOSTplus project is to increase the overall liquefaction yield of biomass to biofuels by continuous catalytic hydrogenation of pyrolysis oil at standard refinery parameters of 400°C and 80 bar. Upgrading of pyrolysis oil into biofuels shall be performed by hydro-deoxygenation in a plug-flow reactor. The principle viability of these processes has already been proven in batch bench scale in the bioBOOST project. Now systematic scientific investigation of the continuous process is necessary. Moreover the technology will be adapted for the needs of fast pyrolysis oil hydrodeoxygenation. The aim of this project is the elaboration of scientific basic process principles and the engineering needs to gain validation of kinetics, the design data for optimum reaction conditions of pyrolysis oil hydrodeoxygenation for successful reactor and process design and scale up purposes. Hydrogen is the liquefaction chemical of choice, since it can be obtained from several sources (e.g. high pressure electrolysis or biohydrogen). The process does not need high grade hydrogen since the targeted hydrogenation catalysts are not expected to be subject of poisoning by byproducts of the feed gas. Our final aim is the commercial utilization of the technology for producing high quality liquid biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass with high yield of conversion and continuous operation on an industrial scale. bioBOOST+continuous reactor=bioBOOST^plus
Effective start/end date1/06/1631/05/18


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