Syngas production by integrating thermal conversion processes in an existing biorefinery

Detta är en avhandling från Umeå : Umeå Universitet

Sammanfattning: The use of carbon from fossil-based resources result in changes in the earth’s climate due to emissions of greenhouse gases. Biomass is the only renewable source of carbon that may be converted to transportation fuels and chemicals, markets now fully dominated by traditional oil supply. The biorefinery concept for upgrading and refinement of biomass feedstocks to value-added end-products has the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and replace fossil products. Most biorefineries use biochemical conversion processes and may have by-product streams suitable as feedstocks for thermal conversion and production of syngas. Further synthesis to value-added products from the syngas could increase the product output from the biorefinery.The application of thermal conversion processes integrated into an existing biorefinery concept has been evaluated in this licentiate thesis work. Two by-product streams; hydrolysis (lignin) residue from an ethanol plant and biogas from wastewater treatment, have been investigated as gasification/reforming feedstocks. Also, the pre-treatment method torrefaction has been evaluated for improved gasification fuel characteristics and integration aspects. A new process and system concept (Bio2Fuels) with potential carbon negative benefits has been suggested and evaluated as an alternative route for syngas production by separating biomass into a hydrogen rich gas and a carbon rich char product.The evaluation demonstrated that hydrolysis residue proved a suitable feedstock for gasification with respect to syngas composition. Biogas can be further reformed to syngas by combined biomass gasification and methane reforming, with promising results on CH4 conversion rate and increased H2/CO ratio at temperatures ?1000°C. The pre-treatment method torrefaction was demonstrated to improve fuel qualities and may thus significantly facilitate entrained flow gasification of biomass residue streams. Also, integration of a torrefaction plant at a biorefinery site could make use of excess heat for drying the raw material before torrefaction. The Bio2Fuels concept was evaluated and found feasible for further studies.The application of thermal conversion processes into an existing biorefinery, making use of by-products and biomass residues as feedstocks, has significant potential for energy integration, increased product output as well as for climate change mitigation.