Non-homogeneous residual feedstocks to biofuels and chemicals via the methanol route
- 300 Downloads
This paper discusses the thermal conversion of non-homogeneous residual biomass from urban wastes as well as from forest and agricultural operations into an ultrapure syngas used for the thermo-catalytic synthesis of methanol. The latter is a commodity/building block for subsequent synthesis of fuels and chemicals. This paper focuses on the feedstock choices made by Enerkem and on its conversion technology which embraces staged gasification, syngas conditioning and conversion of syngas into methanol and of the latter into ethanol. The fundamental concepts that have led to the development of the technology are the result of a joint R&D experimental effort between the Université de Sherbrooke, Enerkem and the Edmonton Waste Management Center of Excellence. The technology has been scaled up, from 2009 to 2011, and production of biomethanol using 1.5 tonnes/h of feed (dry basis) is ongoing at Enerkem's demonstration plant in Westbury (Québec) since June 2011. The conversion of the produced biomethanol into bioethanol has been proven at bench scale level, and we foresee the latter to be piloted in the first half of 2012. Based on the results of the demonstration, Enerkem is erecting a 100,000-tonne/year commercial plant in Edmonton. It will use secondary recovered fuel from the mechanical biological treatment process already implemented at the Edmonton Waste Management Center. Production of methanol is initially targeted for 2013.
KeywordsBiofuels Biomass Gasification Methanol Ethanol MSW
One of the authors (JML) acknowledges the financial support of the sponsors of the Industrial Chair in Cellulosic Ethanol: Quebec's government (MRNF), Greenfield Ethanol, CRB Innovations and Enerkem Inc. As well, Enerkem acknowledges co-funding from partners in the Edmonton project: the City of Edmonton and Alberta Innovates—Energy and Environment Solutions, as well as from the partners in the Westbury demonstration project: Sustainable Development Technologies Canada and the Bioenergy programme of the Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) du Québec.
- 1.Marie-Rose SC, Perinet AL, Lavoie JM (2011) Conversion of non-homogeneous biomass to ultraclean syngas and catalytic conversion to ethanol. Biofuel's Engineering Process Technology 978-953-307-480-1Google Scholar
- 4.Lavoie JM, Beauchet R, Berberi V, Chornet M (2011) Biorefining lignocellulosic biomass via the feedstock impregnation rapid and sequential steam treatment. Biofuel's Engineering Process Technology 685-714 978-953-307-480-1Google Scholar
- 5.Chornet E, Valsecchi B, Avilla Y, Nguyen B, Lavoie J-M (2009) Production of ethanol from methanol. US Patent Application US 2009/0326080: US 2009/0326080 A1Google Scholar
- 7.Haynes A (2006) Acetic acid synthesis by catalytic carbonylation of methanol. Catalytic Carbonylation Reactions 179-205Google Scholar
- 8.Jones JH (2000) The CativaTM process for the manufacture of acetic acid. Platinum Metals Rev 44:94–105Google Scholar
- 10.Chornet E, Valsecchi B, Drolet G, Gagnon M, Nguyen B (2010) Production and conditioning of synthesis gas obtained from biomass. US patent US 2010/0051875-A1Google Scholar
- 11.Chornet E, Valsecchi B, Rheault S, Gagnon M (2010) Production of synthesis gas through controlled oxidation of biomass. US Patent WO 2010/069068 A1Google Scholar