Syngas, mixed alcohol and diesel synthesis from forest residues via gasification - an economic analysis
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Liquid transportation fuels can be produced by gasification of carbon containing biomass to syngas( a gaseous mixture of CO and H2) with subsequent conversion of the syngas to fuels. One possible process is the so called mixed alcohols synthesis, which produces a mixture of ethanol and higher alcohols. Another possible process is the reaction of syngas to Fischer-Tropsch liquids, mainly diesel fuel. This study examines the economics of syngas, ethanol and diesel fuel production from lignocellulosic biomass (southern pine residues). The process is modeled with Aspen Plus, a process simulation software package. The process is simulated for plant sizes between 715 and 2205 dry tons/day. The feedstock moisture content is varied between 20% and 50% and the feedstock costs are varied between $30/dry ton and $80/dry ton. The influences of the examined variables on the minimum product selling price are determined. The economic effects of an integration of the mixed alcohols and the FT diesel process with a kraft mill are also evaluated.