Conclusions conversion

BioBoost was concentrated on all components of a full bio-fuel value chain. The results show that, in spite of substantial progress, the maturity of the conversion pathway concepts and, accordingly, business plans are not ready for direct market implementation.

  • The fast pyrolysis chain has a high maturity and has been proven in MW size. However challenges are the concept of preparing an industrially feasible biosyncrude from flexible feedstock in de-central plants of small to medium size requiring suitable transport means to central large scale gasification thus profiting from economy of scale. Also the further conversion by gasification and fuel or chemical synthesis is not state of the art today, even though a variety of pilot and demonstration plants exist.
  • In the catalytic pyrolysis chain maturity is in an early stage and technical risks like coking of catalysts in long-term operation need to be further investigated. However the concept of producing a high quality CP oil, making use of conventional transport means and its subsequent treatment in several process steps including by-product extraction and hydrotreating, is promising in terms of products and costs. This bioenergy carrier pathway need to be further investigated using larger quantities of CP oil to proof the subsequent steps of the value chain. 
  • The hydrothermal carbonization coal has a unique selling point as a solid energy carrier prepared from wet wastes and residues. Further investigation on feedstock cost development, safe transport modes and on scaling effects in combination with other chemicals production is needed. Also the combustion behaviour for heat and power production needs adaption of burner and boiler systems based on additional testing.

Conclusions logistics and assessment

The results of the logistic modelling and optimisation of the value chain leads to the following conclusions:

  • The developed model allows investigation and optimisation of fuel production from feedstock supply at field, pre-treatment to intermediate energy carriers and central large scale production of fuels in Europe. While the central production step profits from scaling effects these are limited in small or medium size pre-treatment plants. High production costs in de-central pre-treatment plants can only partly compensated by optimized feedstock and energy carrier logistic.
  • In BioBoost the creation of the model and the validation of data and operation needed longer time than planned only some scenarios could be performed in the BioBoost project. The investigation of much more scenarios is still to come.
  • Cost of transportation fuel production via fast pyrolysis, catalytic pyroysis and hydrothermal carbonization is higher than today’s market prices of fossil counterparts. GHG savings would be 80-90 %. However the first few million tons could profit from low cost feedstock supply, optimized locations and capacities of new built pre-treatment plants and the use of spare plant capacity in refineries regarding hydrogen availability. Combined with regulations on GHG avoidance for transportation fuel like in Germany the fuels produced are competitive to other fuel blending options like 2G ethanol. Further requirements to reduce CO2 emissions in transport in the future may even support market uptake in the near future.