Fuel and chemical products from biomass syngas: A comparison of gas fermentation to thermochemical conversion routes



Increasing demand for renewable feedstock-based biofuels is driving the interest and rapid development of processes to produce fuels and chemicals from biomass-generated syngas. Biomass is gasified to produce syngas that can be converted via thermochemical routes to fuels and chemicals such as alcohols, olefins, and fuel grade hydrocarbons. An alternate route to produce liquid products from syngas is through gas fermentation, a hybrid thermochemical/ biochemical process. Biomass gasification, thermochemical syngas conversion routes, and gas fermentation are described including a comparison for converting biomass to ethanol via thecurrent thermochemical route versus gas fermentation. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2012