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Direct production of gasoline and diesel fuels from biomass via integrated hydropyrolysis and hydroconversion process—A techno-economic analysis



A techno-economic analysis (TEA) is performed to investigate the production of gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbon fuels by conversion of woody biomass via Gas Technology Institute (GTI)'s integrated hydropyrolysis plus hydroconversion (IH2) process. The processing capacity is 2000 dry metric tonnes (2205 dry US tons) of woody biomass per day. Major process areas include catalytic hydropyrolysis, catalytic hydroconversion, on-site hydrogen production, feedstock handling and storage, hydrocarbon absorber, sour water stripper, hydrogen sulfide scrubber, distillation tower, and all other operations support utilities. The TEA incorporates applicable commercial technologies, process modeling using Aspen HYSYS software, equipment cost estimation, and discounted cash flow analysis. The resulting minimum fuel selling price is $1.64 per gallon (or $1.68 per gallon of gasoline equivalent) in 2007 US dollars. The process yields 79 gallons of liquid fuels per dry US ton of woody biomass feedstock, for an annual fuel production rate of 61 million gallons at 96% on-stream time. The estimated total capital investment for an nth-plant is $264 million. A sensitivity analysis captures uncertainties in costs and plant performance. Results from this TEA can serve as the baseline for future comparison and as a basis for comparing this process to other biomass-to-liquid fuel pathways. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 609–617, 2014