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Gasification-based Biorefinery for Mechanical Pulp Mills
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Chemical Engineering.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The modern concept of “biorefinery” is dominantly based on chemical pulp mills to create more value than cellulose pulp fibres, and energy from the dissolved lignins and hemicelluloses. This concept is characterized by the conversion of biomass into various bio-based products. It includes thermochemical processes such as gasification and fast pyrolysis. In thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) mills, the feedstock available to the gasification-based biorefinery is significant, including logging residues, bark, fibre material rejects, bio-sludges and other available fuels such as peat, recycled wood and paper products. On the other hand, mechanical pulping processes consume a great amount of electricity, which may account for up to 40% of the total pulp production cost. The huge amount of purchased electricity can be compensated for by self-production of electricity from gasification, or the involved cost can be compensated for by extra revenue from bio-transport fuel production. This work is to study co-production of bio-automotive fuels, bio-power, and steam via gasification of the waste biomass streams in the context of the mechanical pulp industry. Ethanol and substitute natural gas (SNG) are chosen to be the bio-transport fuels in the study. The production processes of biomass-to-ethanol, SNG, together with heat and power, are simulated with Aspen Plus. Based on the model, the techno-economic analysis is made to evaluate the profitability of bio-transport fuel production when the process is integrated into a TMP mill.The mathematical modelling starts from biomass gasification. Dual fluidized bed gasifier (DFBG) is chosen for syngas production. From the model, the yield and composition of the syngas and the contents of tar and char can be calculated. The model has been evaluated against the experimental results measured on a 150

KWth Mid Sweden University (MIUN) DFBG. As a reasonable result, the tar content in the syngas decreases with the gasification temperature and the steam to biomass (S/B) ratio. The biomass moisture content is a key parameter for a DFBG to be operated and maintained at a high gasification temperature. The model suggests that it is difficult to keep the gasification temperature above 850 ℃ when the biomass moisture content is higher than 15.0 wt.%. Thus, a certain amount of biomass or product gas needs to be added in the combustor to provide sufficient heat for biomass devolatilization and steam reforming.For ethanol production, a stand-alone thermo-chemical process is designed and simulated. The techno-economic assessment is made in terms of ethanol yield, synthesis selectivity, carbon and CO conversion efficiencies, and ethanol production cost. The calculated results show that major contributions to the production cost are from biomass feedstock and syngas cleaning. A biomass-to-ethanol plant should be built over 200 MW.In TMP mills, wood and biomass residues are commonly utilized for electricity and steam production through an associated CHP plant. This CHP plant is here designed to be replaced by a biomass-integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) plant or a biomass-to-SNG (BtSNG) plant including an associated heat & power centre. Implementing BIGCC/BtSNG in a mechanical pulp production line might improve the profitability of a TMP mill and also help to commercialize the BIGCC/BtSNG technologies by taking into account of some key issues such as, biomass availability, heat utilization etc.. In this work, the mathematical models of TMP+BIGCC and TMP+BtSNG are respectively built up to study three cases: 1) scaling of the TMP+BtSNG mill (or adding more forest biomass logging residues in the gasifier for TMP+BIGCC); 2) adding the reject fibres in the gasifier; 3) decreasing the TMP SEC by up to 50%.The profitability from the TMP+BtSNG mill is analyzed in comparison with the TMP+BIGCC mill. As a major conclusion, the scale of the TMP+BIGCC/BtSNG mill, the prices of electricity and SNG are three strong factors for the implementation of BIGCC/BtSNG in a TMP mill. A BtSNG plant associated to a TMP mill should be built in a scale above 100 MW in biomass thermal input. Comparing to the case of TMP+BIGCC, the NR and IRR of TMP+BtSNG are much lower. Political instruments to support commercialization of bio-transport fuel are necessary.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2014. , 75 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 188
Keyword [en]
Gasification, Mechanical Pulping, Biofuels, Power Generation, Biomass Residues, ASPEN Plus
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-22985ISBN: 978-91-87557-60-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-22985DiVA: diva2:746844
Public defence
2014-05-20, N 109, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 11:01 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Gasification-based Biorefinery for Mechanical Pulp Mills
Available from: 2014-09-16 Created: 2014-09-15 Last updated: 2015-03-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Simulation of biomass gasification in a dual fluidized bed gasifier
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulation of biomass gasification in a dual fluidized bed gasifier
2012 (English)In: Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, ISSN 2190-6815, E-ISSN 2190-6823, Vol. 2, no 1, 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Bioenergy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16182 (URN)10.1007/s13399-011-0030-2 (DOI)2-s2.0-84978021765 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-05-07 Created: 2012-05-04 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved
2. Review of syngas production via biomass DFBGs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of syngas production via biomass DFBGs
2011 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, Vol. 15, no 1, 482-492 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Production of high-quality syngas from biomass gasification in a dual fluidised bed gasifier (DFBG) has made a significant progress in R&D and Technology demonstration. An S&M scale bio-automotive fuel plant close to the feedstock resources is preferable as biomass feedstock is widely sparse and has relatively low density, low heating value and high moisture content. This requires a simple, reliable and cost-effective production of clean and good quality syngas. Indirect DFBGs, with steam as the gasification agent, produces a syngas of high content H2 and CO with 12-20 MJ/mn3 heating value. A good quality syngas from DFBGs can be obtained by optimised design and operation of the gasifier, by the use of active catalytic bed materials including internal reforming of tars and methane, and finally by a downstream cleaning process. This article reviews the whole process from gasification to high quality syngas. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keyword
Allothermal gasification; Bio-automotive fuels; Biomass; Gasifier and syngas
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12205 (URN)10.1016/j.rser.2010.09.032 (DOI)000284863100032 ()2-s2.0-78149409758 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-11-03 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2014-09-16Bibliographically approved
3. Techno-economic evaluation of thermo-chemical biomass-to-ethanol
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Techno-economic evaluation of thermo-chemical biomass-to-ethanol
2011 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 88, no 4, 1224-1232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bio-ethanol has received considerable attention as a basic chemical and fuel additive. Bio-ethanol is presently produced from sugar/starch materials, but can also be produced from lignocellulosic biomass via hydrolysis-fermentation route or thermo-chemical route. In terms of thermo-chemical route, a few pilot plants ranging from 0.3 to 67 MW have been built and operated for alcohols synthesis. However, commercial success has not been found. In order to realize cost-competitive commercial ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass through thermo-chemical pathway, a techno-economic analysis needs to be done. In this paper, a thermo-chemical process is designed, simulated and optimized mainly with ASPEN Plus. The techno-economic assessment is made in terms of ethanol yield, synthesis selectivity, carbon and CO conversion efficiencies, and ethanol production cost. Calculated results show that major contributions to the production cost are from biomass feedstock and syngas cleaning. A biomass-to-ethanol plant should be built around 200 MW. Cost-competitive ethanol production can be realized with efficient equipments, optimized operation, cost-effective syngas cleaning technology, inexpensive raw material with low pretreatment cost, high performance catalysts, off-gas and methanol recycling, optimal systematic configuration and heat integration, and high value byproduct.

Keyword
Ethanol; Syngas; Biomass; BTL; Efficiency; Economy
National Category
Environmental Biotechnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12645 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.10.022 (DOI)000286707300024 ()2-s2.0-78650543159 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-12-13 Created: 2010-12-13 Last updated: 2014-09-16Bibliographically approved
4. Techno-economic evaluation of a mechanical pulp mill with gasification
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Techno-economic evaluation of a mechanical pulp mill with gasification
2013 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, Vol. 28, no 3, 349-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mechanical pulping processes, including thermomechanical pulp (TMP), groundwood (SGW andPGW), and chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP) processes, each have a very high wood-to-pulp yield. Producing pulp by means of these processes is a prerequisite for paper (such as printing paper and paperboard) grades requiring high printability and stiffness. However, mechanical pulping processes consume a great amount of electricity, which may account for up to 40% of the total pulp production cost.

In mechanical pulping mills, wood (biomass) residues are commonly utilized for electricity production through an associated combined heat and power (CHP) plant. This techno-economic evaluation deals with the possibility of utilizing a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) plant in place of the CHP plant.

Implementing BIGCC in a mechanical pulp production line might greatly improve the overall energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, especially when more biomass from forest (such as branches and tree tops) is available. When the fibre material that negatively affects pulp properties is utilized as a bioenergy resource, the overall efficiency will be further improved. A TMP+BIGCC mathematical model is developed with ASPEN Plus. By means of modeling, three cases are studied:

1) adding more forest biomass logging residues in the gasifier,2) adding the reject fibres in the gasifier, and3) decreasing the TMP-specific electricity consumption (SEC) by up to 50%.

For a TMP+BIGCC mill, the energy supply and consumption are analyzed in comparison with a TMP+CHP mill. The production profits are evaluated.

Keyword
Gasification, Mechanical Pulping, Power Generation, Biomass Residues, ASPEN Plus
National Category
Chemical Process Engineering Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-17702 (URN)000325145900004 ()
Note

In Jie He's Licentiate thesis the submitted version of this article is appended

Available from: 2012-12-13 Created: 2012-12-13 Last updated: 2014-09-16Bibliographically approved

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