Entrained flow gasification-based biomass-to-X processes: A techno-economic assessment

Vincent Dieterich, Andreas Hanel, Sebastian Bastek, Hartmut Spliethoff, Sebastian Fendt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the pursuit of a successful energy transition, synthetic basic chemicals and fuels, alongside renewable energies, play pivotal roles. This study focuses on the utilization of biomass as a carbon source to replace conventional fossil feedstocks, conducting detailed process simulations and techno-economic analyses for various biomass-to-x pathways. Six key products—Methanol, Dimethyl Ether, Methane (SNG), Fischer-Tropsch syncrude, Hydrogen, and Ammonia—derived from entrained flow gasification of a representative biomass are systematically compared. The uniformity of simulation detail and economic methodology enables a direct and comprehensive comparison of these products. Notably, carbon-based products exhibit up to 34% lower average investment costs compared to their hydrogen-based counterparts, namely ammonia and hydrogen. This cost discrepancy is reflected in the levelized costs of manufacturing, with hydrogen-based products emerging as the most energy-expensive. The analysis identifies variable costs as the primary contributor to overall costs with around 50%, followed by fixed investment. The study underscores the critical impact of full load hours, plant lifetime, and feedstock costs on results. This emphasise the importance of detailed planning if alternative feedstock is used to balance fuel costs and enhance plant availability. Among the evaluated products, methanol emerges as the most promising across the evaluated KPIs with costs of 283.48 € MWh−1. However, regarding hydrogen-based products, it is suggested that, especially in the context of CO2 abatement costs, a comprehensive consideration of the long-term system effects is essential to prevent misinvestments during the early stages of the energy transition. This emphasizes the need for strategic planning to ensure a sustainable and economically viable shift towards biomass-derived synthetic fuels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118061
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Biomass-to-X
  • Entrained flow gasification
  • Process simulation
  • Techno-economic analysis


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