Techno-economic analysis of fast pyrolysis as a process step within biomass-to-liquid fuel production

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

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64 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the decentralized fast pyrolysis process step which converts biomass into a so-called biosyncrude consisting of pyrolysis liquids and char. The biosyncrude can be further processed to synthetic fuels via pressurized entrained flow gasification, gas cleaning and synthesis in biomass-to-liquid fuel production concepts such as the considered bioliq concept. This twostage concept allows the economic and ecological transportation of biomass over long distances, due to the relatively high energy density of the biosyncrude produced in the first stage. In addition, reductions in specific investments and costs for further processing in the second stage are enabled by economies of scale. This paper addresses possibilities for the further process development and presents an outlook for a commercial implementation of a biomass-derived biosyncrude production. Within the techno-economic analysis, eight different configurations for the pyrolysis process are assessed and compared from an economic and energetic point of view to identify the currently most promising technology. The techno-economic analysis of the decentralized pyrolysis plant with a capacity of 100 MW thermal energy input concludes that at present, it is possible to produce the biosyncrude in Germany at costs of about 35 €/MWh compared to 22 €/MWh for natural gas or 15 €/MWh for coal which are inputs for coal-to-liquid and gas-to-liquid processes. Production costs for the biosyncrude consist of 50% biomass feedstock costs and 30% investment dependent costs; personnel and electric energy are only minor contributors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-430
Number of pages16
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass-to-liquid
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Technoeconomic analysis


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