Efficiency Comparison of Large-Scale Standalone, Centralized, and Distributed Thermochemical Biorefineries
Journal article, 2017
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.We present a comparison of three strategies for the introduction of new biorefineries: standalone and centralized drop-in, which are placed within a cluster of chemical industries, and distributed drop-in, which is connected to other plants by a pipeline. The aim was to quantify the efficiencies and the production ranges to support local transition to a circular economy based on biomass usage. The products considered are biomethane (standalone) and hydrogen/biomethane and sustainable town gas (centralized drop-in and distributed drop-in). The analysis is based on a flow-sheet simulation of different process designs at the 100MWbiomass scale and includes the following aspects: advanced drying systems, the coproduction of ethanol, and power-to-gas conversion by direct heating or water electrolysis. For the standalone plant, the chemical efficiency was in the range of 78-82.8% LHVa.r.50% (lower heating value of the as-received biomass with 50% wet basis moisture), with a maximum production of 72MWCH4 , and for the centralized drop-in and distributed drop-in plants, the chemical efficiency was in the range of 82.8-98.5% LHVa.r.50% with maximum production levels of 85.6MWSTG and 22.5MWH2 /51MWCH4 , respectively. It is concluded that standalone plants offer no substantial advantages over distributed drop-in or centralized drop-in plants unless methane is the desired product.