Comprehensive techno-economic assessment of dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis as alternative process steps within biomass-to-liquid production

Frederik Trippe, Magnus Fröhling, Frank Schultmann, Ralph Stahl, Edmund Henrich, Ajay Dalai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations

Abstract

The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass, such as residual wood or straw, to synthetic fuels and chemicals is currently being developed within the bioliq® concept. The aim of this study is to model and assess two different biomass-to-liquid (BtL) concepts for the production of gasoline via dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis as well as gasoline and diesel via Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis. The techno-economic assessment concludes that total energy efficiencies from biomass to final products range between 38 and 39%. The resulting production costs of gasoline via DME synthesis are about 1.15 €/L (0.82 US$/L). Gasoline and diesel via FT synthesis can be produced at costs of about 1.23 €/L (0.88 US$/L). The production costs for biomass-derived fuels are 76 to 93% higher than current market prices. However, the considered technologies are close to becoming competitive to conventional refineries since the production costs are only 7 to 18% higher than current market prices when coal is used as main feedstock. Further, the implications of negative CO2 emissions, mineral oil tax reduction and the combination of both kinds of subsidies in order to compensate high biomass feedstock costs as well as the sensitivity of production costs to biomass feedstock costs are evaluated in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-586
Number of pages10
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Volume106
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2nd generation biomass utilization
  • Biomass-to-liquid
  • Dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis
  • Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis
  • Process simulation
  • Techno-economic assessment

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