Large-scale gasification-based coproduction of fuels and electricity from switchgrass



Large-scale gasification-based systems for producing Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) fuels (diesel and gasoline blendstocks), dimethyl ether (DME), or hydrogen from switchgrass – with electricity as a coproduct in each case are assessed using a self-consistent design, simulation, and cost analysis framework. We provide an overview of alternative process designs for coproducing these fuels and power assuming commercially mature technology performance and discuss the commercial status of key component technologies. Overall efficiencies (lower-heating-value basis) of producing fuels plus electricity in these designs ranges from 57% for F-T fuels, 55–61% for DME, and 58–64% for hydrogen. Detailed capital cost estimates for each design are developed, on the basis of which prospective commercial economics of future large-scale facilities that coproduce fuels and power are evaluated. © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd