Assessing integrated gasification-based biorefinery concepts for decarbonisation of the basic chemicals industry
Conference contribution, 2016
This paper presents a system-oriented approach for investigating energy efficient decarbonisation options for the chemical industry. The methodology involves systematic comparisons of different integrated biomass gasification-based routes for production of drop-in chemicals for an existing chemical complex, with respect to their impact on site energy balances, greenhouse gas (GHG) balances, and costs. Drop-in bio-chemicals can achieve considerable GHG emission reductions, mainly through “storage” of biogenic-carbon in the targeted products. The drop-in point to the existing value chain significantly affects the host site material, steam, and fuel gas balances. Co-located production enables steam export, whereby it is possible to completely eliminate or significantly reduce natural gas firing in the existing utility boilers. The heat recovery option (and location) and the reference grid electricity generation technology affect the ranking of the options. Under specific energy market conditions, switching to gasification-based production of bio-chemicals can be economically competitive with conventional means of production.