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Keywords:

  • hydropyrolysis;
  • pyrolysis;
  • catalysis;
  • biomass;
  • gasoline;
  • diesel;
  • fuel

Abstract

Cellulosic biomass can be directly converted to hydrocarbon transportation fuels through the use of hydropyrolysis or integrated hydropyrolysis plus hydroconversion (IH2). Hydropyrolysis performed in a fast fluidized bed under 14–35 bar of hydrogen pressure with an effective deoxygenation catalyst directly produces a fungible hydrocarbon product with less than 1 total acid number which can either be directly fed to a refinery or polished in an integrated hydroconversion reactor to produce gasoline and diesel with less than 1% oxygen. Experimental data from a 0.45 kg/h semi-continuous IH2 pilot plant is presented. Economics and life cycle analysis data will be presented later in this series, and will show that by employing IH2 technology, biomass can be converted to gasoline and diesel fuels at delivered costs of less and in some cases significantly less than $1.80/gallon with greater than 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Larger (2.08 kg/h) long-term continuous pilot-scale testing of the IH2 process will commence in the near future. As a biomass-to-fuels conversion technology, IH2 has the potential to substantially reduce US dependence on foreign oil, thereby reducing the price of transportation fuels and significantly lowering worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. © American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011