Techno-economic and uncertainty analysis of Biomass to Liquid (BTL) systems for transport fuel production

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This work examines the technical and economic feasibility of Biomass-To-Liquid (BTL) processes for the manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Six BTL systems are modelled and evaluated which are based on pressurised oxygen gasification of woody biomass, and specifically on circulating fluidised bed and entrained flow gasification systems. Three fuel synthesis technologies are considered: Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol conversion followed by Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) and the Topsoe Integrated Gasoline (TIGAS) synthesis.

Published modelling studies of BTL systems based on gasification have only used deterministic estimates of fuel production costs to assess economic viability without accounting for uncertainties of their model parameters. Unlike other studies, the present techno-economic assessment examines and quantifies the effect of uncertainty of key parameters on the fuel production costs. The results of this analysis show that there is a realistic chance (8–14%) of concepts based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis meeting the cost of conventional fuels; that this probability could be increased to 50% with moderate tax incentives (an 8% reduction in the tax rate); but that deterministic estimates may be systematically underestimating likely production costs.

The overall energy efficiency and production costs of the BTL designs evaluated range from 37.9% to 47.6% LHV and €17.88–25.41 per GJ of produced fuels, respectively. The BTL concept with the lowest production costs incorporates CFB gasification and FT synthesis. The model deterministic estimates of production costs of this design indicate that a BTL process is not yet competitive with conventional refineries since the biofuel production costs are approximately 8% higher than current market prices. Large scale biofuel production may be possible in the long term through subsidies, crude oil price rises and legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-175
JournalRenewable and sustainable energy reviews
Volume88
Early online date12 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Fingerprint

Uncertainty analysis
Economic analysis
Biomass
Liquids
Gasification
Costs
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
Biofuels
Taxation
Economics
Gasoline
Methanol
Energy efficiency
Crude oil
Hydrocarbons
Oxygen

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

Funding: SUPERGEN Bioenergy II Programme; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Keywords

  • Biomass-to-liquid (BTL); Gasification; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; Synthetic fuels; Techno-economic assessment; Process simulation

Cite this

@article{eb7571978ec64507900f1788174425d7,
title = "Techno-economic and uncertainty analysis of Biomass to Liquid (BTL) systems for transport fuel production",
abstract = "This work examines the technical and economic feasibility of Biomass-To-Liquid (BTL) processes for the manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Six BTL systems are modelled and evaluated which are based on pressurised oxygen gasification of woody biomass, and specifically on circulating fluidised bed and entrained flow gasification systems. Three fuel synthesis technologies are considered: Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol conversion followed by Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) and the Topsoe Integrated Gasoline (TIGAS) synthesis.Published modelling studies of BTL systems based on gasification have only used deterministic estimates of fuel production costs to assess economic viability without accounting for uncertainties of their model parameters. Unlike other studies, the present techno-economic assessment examines and quantifies the effect of uncertainty of key parameters on the fuel production costs. The results of this analysis show that there is a realistic chance (8–14{\%}) of concepts based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis meeting the cost of conventional fuels; that this probability could be increased to 50{\%} with moderate tax incentives (an 8{\%} reduction in the tax rate); but that deterministic estimates may be systematically underestimating likely production costs.The overall energy efficiency and production costs of the BTL designs evaluated range from 37.9{\%} to 47.6{\%} LHV and €17.88–25.41 per GJ of produced fuels, respectively. The BTL concept with the lowest production costs incorporates CFB gasification and FT synthesis. The model deterministic estimates of production costs of this design indicate that a BTL process is not yet competitive with conventional refineries since the biofuel production costs are approximately 8{\%} higher than current market prices. Large scale biofuel production may be possible in the long term through subsidies, crude oil price rises and legislation.",
keywords = "Biomass-to-liquid (BTL); Gasification; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; Synthetic fuels; Techno-economic assessment; Process simulation",
author = "Ioanna Dimitriou and Goldingay, {Harry J} and Bridgwater, {Anthony V}",
note = "{\circledC} 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/). Funding: SUPERGEN Bioenergy II Programme; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).",
year = "2018",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.rser.2018.02.023",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "160--175",
journal = "Renewable and sustainable energy reviews",
issn = "1364-0321",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Techno-economic and uncertainty analysis of Biomass to Liquid (BTL) systems for transport fuel production

AU - Dimitriou, Ioanna

AU - Goldingay, Harry J

AU - Bridgwater, Anthony V

N1 - © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/). Funding: SUPERGEN Bioenergy II Programme; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

PY - 2018/5/1

Y1 - 2018/5/1

N2 - This work examines the technical and economic feasibility of Biomass-To-Liquid (BTL) processes for the manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Six BTL systems are modelled and evaluated which are based on pressurised oxygen gasification of woody biomass, and specifically on circulating fluidised bed and entrained flow gasification systems. Three fuel synthesis technologies are considered: Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol conversion followed by Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) and the Topsoe Integrated Gasoline (TIGAS) synthesis.Published modelling studies of BTL systems based on gasification have only used deterministic estimates of fuel production costs to assess economic viability without accounting for uncertainties of their model parameters. Unlike other studies, the present techno-economic assessment examines and quantifies the effect of uncertainty of key parameters on the fuel production costs. The results of this analysis show that there is a realistic chance (8–14%) of concepts based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis meeting the cost of conventional fuels; that this probability could be increased to 50% with moderate tax incentives (an 8% reduction in the tax rate); but that deterministic estimates may be systematically underestimating likely production costs.The overall energy efficiency and production costs of the BTL designs evaluated range from 37.9% to 47.6% LHV and €17.88–25.41 per GJ of produced fuels, respectively. The BTL concept with the lowest production costs incorporates CFB gasification and FT synthesis. The model deterministic estimates of production costs of this design indicate that a BTL process is not yet competitive with conventional refineries since the biofuel production costs are approximately 8% higher than current market prices. Large scale biofuel production may be possible in the long term through subsidies, crude oil price rises and legislation.

AB - This work examines the technical and economic feasibility of Biomass-To-Liquid (BTL) processes for the manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Six BTL systems are modelled and evaluated which are based on pressurised oxygen gasification of woody biomass, and specifically on circulating fluidised bed and entrained flow gasification systems. Three fuel synthesis technologies are considered: Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol conversion followed by Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) and the Topsoe Integrated Gasoline (TIGAS) synthesis.Published modelling studies of BTL systems based on gasification have only used deterministic estimates of fuel production costs to assess economic viability without accounting for uncertainties of their model parameters. Unlike other studies, the present techno-economic assessment examines and quantifies the effect of uncertainty of key parameters on the fuel production costs. The results of this analysis show that there is a realistic chance (8–14%) of concepts based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis meeting the cost of conventional fuels; that this probability could be increased to 50% with moderate tax incentives (an 8% reduction in the tax rate); but that deterministic estimates may be systematically underestimating likely production costs.The overall energy efficiency and production costs of the BTL designs evaluated range from 37.9% to 47.6% LHV and €17.88–25.41 per GJ of produced fuels, respectively. The BTL concept with the lowest production costs incorporates CFB gasification and FT synthesis. The model deterministic estimates of production costs of this design indicate that a BTL process is not yet competitive with conventional refineries since the biofuel production costs are approximately 8% higher than current market prices. Large scale biofuel production may be possible in the long term through subsidies, crude oil price rises and legislation.

KW - Biomass-to-liquid (BTL); Gasification; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; Synthetic fuels; Techno-economic assessment; Process simulation

UR - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032118300492

U2 - 10.1016/j.rser.2018.02.023

DO - 10.1016/j.rser.2018.02.023

M3 - Article

VL - 88

SP - 160

EP - 175

JO - Renewable and sustainable energy reviews

JF - Renewable and sustainable energy reviews

SN - 1364-0321

ER -