Sustainable synthetic fuels from biomass gasification and electrolysis

Description

Carbon containing fuels will be essential for the transport sector for the foreseeable future. However, there is not enough biomass to cover the demand for fuels sustainably. This project addresses a novel approach to produce sustainable fuels: Using surplus electricity from, e.g., wind power to produce hydrogen by steam electrolysis and add it to gasified biomass thereby extending the biomass resources. By combining high temperature electrolysis and thermal gasification with a catalytic converter it becomes possible to synthesize methane or liquid fuels such as methanol. The combined process is very energy efficient due to a tight thermal match between endothermic and exothermic processes. The hydrogen-to-carbon ratio of the feedstock for the catalytic conversion is controlled by adding hydrogen produced by electrolysis to match the required one for the end product. Using the oxygen produced by electrolysis in an oxygen-blown gasification process is highly advantageous as one avoids diluting the feedstock with nitrogen. The project addresses critical research issues that need to be solved for the potential of the technology to be realized. This includes both issues specific to the solid oxide electrochemical cells used in high temperature electrolysis, to realizing oxygen-blown biomass gasification, and to the integrated system. A proof-of-principle will be a main technological outcome of the project. The project brings together three Danish research groups with key expertise in electrolysis, gasification and process simulation. Three companies and a grid operator ensure a focus on market aspects, while six international centers of excellence will give the project access to state-of-the-art knowledge.
AcronymSynfuel
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/07/201530/06/2019

Funding

  • Innovation Fund Denmark: DKK28,374,916.00

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Synthetic fuels
Electrolysis
Gasification
Biomass
Hydrogen
Feedstocks
Oxygen
Catalytic converters
Carbon
Electrochemical cells
Liquid fuels
Wind power
Methane
Methanol
Steam
Electricity
Nitrogen
Temperature
Oxides
Industry