Open Access Highly Accessed Original

The bioliq® bioslurry gasification process for the production of biosynfuels, organic chemicals, and energy

Nicolaus Dahmen*, Edmund Henrich*, Eckhard Dinjus and Friedhelm Weirich

Author Affiliations

Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Campus Nord, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, D-76344, Germany

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Energy, Sustainability and Society 2012, 2:3  doi:10.1186/2192-0567-2-3

Published: 27 February 2012

Abstract

Background

Biofuels may play a significant role in regard to carbon emission reduction in the transportation sector. Therefore, a thermochemical process for biomass conversion into synthetic chemicals and fuels is being developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) by producing process energy to achieve a desirable high carbon dioxide reduction potential.

Methods

In the bioliq process, lignocellulosic biomass is first liquefied by fast pyrolysis in distributed regional plants to produce an energy-dense intermediate suitable for economic transport over long distances. Slurries of pyrolysis condensates and char, also referred to as biosyncrude, are transported to a large central gasification and synthesis plant. The bioslurry is preheated and pumped into a pressurized entrained flow gasifier, atomized with technical oxygen, and converted at > 1,200°C to an almost tar-free, low-methane syngas.

Results

Syngas - a mixture of CO and H2 - is a well-known versatile intermediate for the selectively catalyzed production of various base chemicals or synthetic fuels. At KIT, a pilot plant has been constructed together with industrial partners to demonstrate the process chain in representative scale. The process data obtained will allow for process scale-up and reliable cost estimates. In addition, practical experience is gained.

Conclusions

The paper describes the background, principal technical concepts, and actual development status of the bioliq process. It is considered to have the potential for worldwide application in large scale since any kind of dry biomass can be used as feedstock. Thus, a significant contribution to a sustainable future energy supply could be achieved.

Keywords:
bioliq; biomass; bioslurry; biosynfuel; biosyngas; entrained flow gasification; fast pyrolysis; dimethyl ether; gasoline