Modern Biomass Conversion Technologies

Article

Abstract

This article gives an overview of the state-of-the-art of key biomass conversion technologies currently deployed and technologies that may play a key role in the future, including possible linkage to CO2 capture and sequestration technology (CCS). In doing so, special attention is paid to production of biofuels for the transport sector, because this is likely to become the key emerging market for large-scale sustainable biomass use. Although the actual role of bio-energy will depend on its competitiveness with fossil fuels and on agricultural policies worldwide, it seems realistic to expect that the current contribution of bio-energy of 40–55 EJ per year will increase considerably. A range from 200 to 300 EJ may be observed looking well into this century, making biomass a more important energy supply option than mineral oil today. A key issue for bio-energy is that its use should be modernized to fit into a sustainable development path. Especially promising are the production of electricity via advanced conversion concepts (i.e. gasification and state-of-the-art combustion and co-firing) and modern biomass derived fuels like methanol, hydrogen and ethanol from ligno-cellulosic biomass, which can reach competitive cost levels within 1–2 decades (partly depending on price developments with petroleum). Sugar cane based ethanol production already provides a competitive biofuel production system in tropical regions and further improvements are possible. Flexible energy systems, in which biomass and fossil fuels can be used in combination, could be the backbone for a low risk, low cost and low carbon emission energy supply system for large scale supply of fuels and power and providing a framework for the evolution of large scale biomass raw material supply systems. The gasification route offers special possibilities to combine this with low cost CO2 capture (and storage), resulting in concepts that are both flexible with respect to primary fuel input as well as product mix and with the possibility of achieving zero or even negative carbon emissions. Prolonged RD&D efforts and biomass market development, consistent policy support and international collaboration are essential to achieve this.

Keywords

biomass conversion combustion gasification hydrolysis digestion biofuels electricity carbon capture storage 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Biewinga, E.E. and van der Bijl, G.: 1996, ‘Sustainability of energy crops in Europe, a methodology developed an applied’, Centre for Agriculture and Environment, CLM 234-1996, Utrecht, February.Google Scholar
  2. Braber, K.: 1995, ‘Anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste: A modern waste disposal option on the verge of breakthrough’, Biomass and Bioenergy 9(1–5), 365–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bridgewater, A.V.: 1998, ‘The status of fast pyrolysis of biomass in Europe’, In Proceedings of the 10th European Biomass Conference and Technology Exhibition, Wurzburg, Germany, pp. 268–271.Google Scholar
  4. Broek, R., van den, A. Faaij, and van Wijk, A.: 1996, ‘Biomass combustion power generation technologies’, Biomass and Bioenergy 11(4), 271–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calis, H.P., Haan, J.P., Peppink, G., Boerigter, H., Van der Drift, B., Venderbosch, R.J., Faaij, A.P.C. and Van den Broek, R.: 2003, ‘Technical and economic feasibility of large scale synthesis gas production in the Netherlands from imported biomass feedstock – a Strategic Decision Analysis study’, Report prepared by: Shell Global Solutions International B.V., Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, Biomass Technology Group B.V., Department of Science, Technology and Society – Utrecht University, Ecofys B.V., sponsored by the Agency for Research in Sustainable Energy (SDE project number P2001-008), p. 50.Google Scholar
  6. Celik, F., Larson, E.D. and Williams, R.H.: 2004, ‘Transportation fuel from coal with low CO2 emissions’, In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 5–9.Google Scholar
  7. Commission of the European Communities: 2001, ‘Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on alternative fuels for road transportation and on a set of measures to promote the use of biofuels’, COM, p. 547, Brussels.Google Scholar
  8. Consonni, S. and Larson, E.D.: 1994, ‘Biomass-gasifier/aeroderivative gas turbine combined cycles, part A: technologies and performance modelling’, Prepared for Cogen Turbo Power ‘94, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 8th congress & exposition on gas turbines in cogeneration and utility, industrial and independent power generation, Portland, Oregon, 25–27.Google Scholar
  9. Consonni, S. and Larson, E.D.: 1994, ‘Biomass-gasifier/aeroderivative gas turbine combined cycles, part B: performance calculations and economic assessment’, Prepared for Cogen Turbo Power ‘94, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 8th congress & exposition on gas turbines in cogeneration and utility, industrial and independent power generation, Portland, Oregon, 25–27.Google Scholar
  10. Damen, K.: 2001, ‘Future prospects for biofuel production in Brazil – a chain analysis comparison of ethanol from sugarcane and methanol from Eucalyptus in Sao Paulo State’, Department of Science, Technology & Society, Utrecht University, NW&S-E-2001-31, p. 68.Google Scholar
  11. Dornburg, V. and Faaij, A.: 2001, ‘Efficiency and economy of wood-fired biomass energy systems in relation to scale regarding heat and power generation using combustion and gasification technologies’, Biomass & Bioenergy 21(2), 91–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elliott, P. and Booth, R.: 1993, ‘Brazilian biomass power demonstration project’, Special project brief, Shell, London.Google Scholar
  13. Faaij, A.: 2004, ‘Bio-energy in Europe: Changing technology choices’ (Energy Policy; Special on Renewable Energy in Europe, in Press, available on line).Google Scholar
  14. Faaij, A., Hekkert, M., Worrell, E. and van Wijk, A.: 1998, ‘Optimization of the final waste treatment system in the Netherlands’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling (22), 47–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Faaij, A., van Ree, R., Waldheim, L., Olsson, E., Oudhuis, A., van Wijk, A., Daey Ouwens, C., and Turkenburg, W.: 1997, ‘Gasification of biomass wastes and residues for electricity production’, Biomass and Bioenergy 12(6).Google Scholar
  16. Faaij, A., Meuleman, B. and Van Ree, R.: 1998, ‘Long term perspectives of BIG/CC technology, performance and costs’, Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN), report prepared for NOVEM (EWAB 9840).Google Scholar
  17. Faaij, A. and Hamelinck, C.: 2002, ‘Long term perspectives for production of fuels from biomass; Integrated assessment and RD&D priorities’, Paper prepared for: The 12th European Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 17–21.Google Scholar
  18. Hamelinck, C.N.: 2004, ‘Outlook for advanced biofuels’, Ph.D.-thesis, Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, p. 232.Google Scholar
  19. José Goldemberg, Suani Teixeira Coelho, Plinio Mário Nastari and Oswaldo Lucon: 2004, ‘Ethanol learning curve – the Brazilian experience’, Biomass and Bioenergy 26(3) 301–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hamelinck, C.N. and Faaij, A.: 2002, ‘Future prospects for production of methanol and hydrogen from biomass’, Journal of Power Sources 111(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hamelinck, C., Faaij, A., den Uil, H. and Boerrigter, H.: 2004, ‘Production of FT transportation fuels from biomass; technical options, process analysis and optimisation and development potential’, Energy, the International Journal 29(11), 1743–1771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Carlo N. Hamelinck, Geertje van Hooijdonk and André P.C. Faaij: 2004, ‘Future prospects for the production of ethanol from ligno-cellulosic biomass’, Biomass & Bioenergy (In Press).Google Scholar
  23. Harmelinck, M., Voogt, M., Joosen, S., de Jager, D., Palmers, G., Shaw, S. and Cremer, C.: 2002, ‘PRETIR, Implementation of Renewable Energy in the European Union until 2010’, Report executed within the framework of the ALTENER programme of the European Commission, DG-TREN. ECOFYS BV, 3E, Fraunhofer-ISI, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 2002+various country reports.Google Scholar
  24. Hoogwijk, M., Faaij, A., van den Broek, R., Berndes, G., Gielen, D. and Turkenburg, W.: 2003, ‘Exploration of the ranges of the global potential of biomass for energy’, Biomass and Bioenergy 25(2), 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoogwijk, M., Faaij, A., Eickhout, B., de Vries, B. and Turkenburg, W.: 2005, ‘Global potential of biomass for energy from energy crops under four GHG emission scenarios Part A: The geographical potential’ (accepted for publication in the Journal: Biomass & Bioenergy, 2005).Google Scholar
  26. Hoogwijk, M., Faaij, A., de Vries, B. and Turkenburg, W.: ‘Global potential of biomass for energy from energy crops under four GHG emission scenarios Part B: The economic potential’ (submitted for publication in the Journal: Global Environmental Change).Google Scholar
  27. Hillring, B.: 2002, ‘Rural development and bioenergy – experiences from 20 years of development in Sweden’, Biomass and Bioenergy 23(6), 443–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. International Energy Agency: 1994, ‘Biofuels’, Energy and Environment Policy Analysis Series, OECD/IEA, Paris.Google Scholar
  29. International Energy Agency: 2004, ‘Biofuels for transport – an international perspective’, Office of Energy Efficiency, Technology and R&D, OECD/IEA, Paris.Google Scholar
  30. IEA Task 40: 2005, Sustainable International Bio-energy Trade, under the IEA Bio-energy Agreement: www.fairbiotrade.org.Google Scholar
  31. De Jager, Faaij, A. and Troelstra, W.P.: 1998, ‘Cost-effectiveness of transportation fuels from biomass’, ECOFYS, Dept. Of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University, Innas B.V., Report prepared for NOVEM (EWAB rapport 9830).Google Scholar
  32. Kaltschmitt, M., Reinhardt, G.A. and Stelzer, T.: 1996, ‘LCA of biofuels under different environmental aspects’, Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Rationelle Energieanwendung (IER) Universität Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  33. Kaltschmitt, M., Rosch, C. and Dinkelbach, L. (eds.): 1998, ‘Biomass Gasification in Europe’, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy (IER), University of Stuttgart. Report prepared for the European Commission, DG XII, EUR 18224.Google Scholar
  34. Loo, van, S. and Koppjan, J. (eds.): 2002, Handbook Biomass Combustion and Co-firing, Twente University Press, Enschede, the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  35. Lynd, L.R.: 1996, ‘Overview and evaluation of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass: Technology, economics, the environment and policy’, Annual review Energy Environment 21, 403-465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marrison, C.I. and Larson, E.D.: 1995, Cost versus scale for advanced plantation-based biomass energy systems in the US; EOA Symposium on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Research, Washington D.C., 27–29.Google Scholar
  37. Meuleman, B. and Faaij, A.: 1999, ‘Overview of Co-combustion options for coal fired power plants’, report prepared within the framework of the JOULEIII COBIOCOWA project Dept. of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University.Google Scholar
  38. Kenneth Möllersten, Jinyue Yan and Jose R. Moreira: 2003, ‘Potential market niches for biomass energy with CO2 capture and storage – Opportunities for energy supply with negative CO2 emissions’, Biomass and Bioenergy 25(3), 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Möllersten, K., Yan, J. and Westermark, M.: 2003, ‘Potential and cost-effectiveness of CO2 reductions through energy measures in Swedish pulp and paper mills’, Energy 28(7), 691–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Morris, M., Waldheim, L., Faaij, A. and Stahl, K.: 2005, ‘Status of large-scale biomass gasification and prospects’, in Handbook Biomass Gasification, Kurkela, Bridgewater, Knoef (eds.), (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  41. Naber, J.E., Goudriaan, F. and Louter, A.S.: 1997, ‘Further development and commercialisation of the small scale Hydro-Thermal Upgrading Process for Biomass Liquefaction’, in Proceedings of the Thrid Biomass Conference of the America's. Montreal.Google Scholar
  42. Nikolaisen, L. (ed.) et al.: 1998, ‘Straw for Energy Production’, Centre for Biomass Technology, Denmark, (available at: http://www.videncenter.dk).Google Scholar
  43. Ogden, J.M., Steinbugler, M.M. and Kreutz, T.G.: 1999, ‘A comparison of hydrogen, methanol and gasoline as fuels for fuel cell vehicles: Implications for vehicle design and infrastructure development’, Journal of Power Sources 79, 143–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rosillo-Calle, F. and Cortez, L.A.B.: 1998, ‘Towards Pro-Alcool II – a review of the Brazilian bioethanol programme’, Biomass and Bioenergy 14(2), 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rodriguez, M., Faaij, A. and Walter, A.: 2003, ‘Techno-economic analysis of co-fired Biomass Integrated Gasification/Combined Cycle systems with inclusion of economies of scale’, Energy, The International Journal 28(12), 1229–1258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Serup, H. (ed.) et al.: 1999, ‘Wood for Energy production’, Centre for Biomass Technology, Denmark (available at: http://www.videncenter.dk).Google Scholar
  47. Smeets, E., Faaij, A. and Lewandowski, I.: 2004, ‘A quickscan of global bio-energy potentials to 2050 – an analysis of the regional availability of biomass resources for export in relation to underlying factors’, Report prepared for NOVEM and Essent, Copernicus Institute – Utrecht University, NWS-E-2004-109, p.67 + Appendices.Google Scholar
  48. Solantausta, Y., Bridgewater, T. and Beckman, D.: 1996, ‘Electricity production by advanced biomass power systems’, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland (report no. 1729).Google Scholar
  49. Stassen, H.E.: 1995, ‘Small scale biomass gasification for heat and power production: A global review’, World Bank Technical paper number 296, Energy Series, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  50. Turkenburg, W.C. (Convening Lead Author), Faaij, A. (Lead Author), et al.: 2000, ‘Renewable Energy Technologies’, Chapter 7 of the World Energy Assessment of the United Nations, UNDP, UNDESA/WEC, Published by: UNDP, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Tijmensen, M.J.A., Faaij, A.P.C., Hamelinck, C.N. and van Hardeveld, M.R.M.: 2002, ‘Exploration of the possibilities for production of Fischer Tropsch liquids via biomass gasification’, Biomass & Bioenergy 23(2), 129–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. US Department of Energy, Office of Utility Technologies: 1998, Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations, Washington DC, USA.Google Scholar
  53. Williams, R.H. and Larson, E.D.: 1996, ‘Biomass gasifier gas turbine power generating technology’, Biomass and Bioenergy 10, 149–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Williams, R.H., Larson, E.D., Katofsky, R.E. and Chen, J.: 1995, ‘Methanol and hydrogen from biomass for transportation, with comparisons to methanol and hydrogen from natural gas and coal’, Centre for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton University, reportno. 292.Google Scholar
  55. Wyman, C.E., Bain, R.L., Hinman, N.D. and Stevens, D.J.: 1993, ‘Ethanol and methanol from cellulosic biomass’, in Renewable Energy, Source for Fuels and Electricity, Island Press, Washington DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Copernicus InstituteUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations