Combining expansion in pulp capacity with production of sustainable biofuels

Techno-economic and greenhouse gas emissions assessment of drop-in fuels from black liquor part-streams

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75785
Access full text here:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115879
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Maskinteknik, Energiteknik, Biofuels, Pulp, Black liquor, Lignin, Gasification, Hydrotreatment
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai

Abstract:

Drop-in biofuels from forest by-products such as black liquor can help deliver deep reductions in transport greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil fuels in our vehicle fleet. Black liquor is produced at pulp mills that can increase their pulping capacity by upgrading some of it to drop-in biofuels but this is not well-studied. We evaluate the techno-economic and greenhouse gas performance of five drop-in biofuel pathways based on BL lignin separation with hydrotreatment or black liquor gasification with catalytic synthesis. We also assess how integrated biofuel production impacts different types of pulp mills and a petroleum refinery by using energy and material balances assembled from experimental data supplemented by expert input. Our results indicate that drop-in biofuels from black liquor part-streams can be produced for ~80 EUR2017/MWh, which puts black liquor on the same footing (or better) as comparable forest residue-based alternatives. The best pathways in both production routes have comparable costs and their principal biofuel products (petrol for black liquor gasification and diesel for lignin hydrotreatment) complement each other. All pathways surpass European Union’s sustainability criteria for greenhouse gas savings from new plants. Supplementing black liquor with pyrolysis oil or electrolysis hydrogen can improve biofuel production potentials and feedstock diversity, but better economic performance does not accompany these benefits. Fossil hydrogen represents the cheaper option for lignin hydrotreatment by some margin, but greenhouse gas savings from renewable hydrogen are nearly twice as great. Research on lignin upgrading in industrial conditions is recommended for reducing the presently significant performance uncertainties.

Authors

Yawer Jafri

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap
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Elisabeth Wetterlund

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
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Sennai Mesfun

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, P.O. Box 5604, 114 86 Stockholm, Sweden
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Henrik Rådberg

Preem AB, 112 80 Stockholm, Sweden
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Johanna Mossberg

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap; RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, P.O. Box 5604, 114 86 Stockholm, Sweden
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Christian Hulteberg

Lund University, Department of Chemical Engineering, 221 00 Lund, Sweden. SunCarbon AB, 218 73 Tygelsjö, Sweden
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Erik Furusjö

Luleå tekniska universitet; Energivetenskap; RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, P.O. Box 5604, 114 86 Stockholm, Sweden
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