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Novel technology could produce biofuel for around €0.50 a liter ($2.49 a gallon)
Date:1/29/2009

ulate the cost of producing fuel at a bioliq plant with an annual production capacity of around 1 million tonnes. This is around a tenth of the size of a modern oil refinery, but is a similar size to refineries that produce liquid fuel from oil and gas.

Dahmen and his colleagues quickly realised that incorporating both the pyrolysis and gasification steps at this central plant wouldn't work, because of the problems and expense involved in transporting sufficient quantities of bulky straw and wood to the plant. They estimated that if sufficient plant material was transported on trucks, it would quickly bring the road network around the plant to a halt.

So they came up with an alternative set-up. "Biomass is pre-treated in around 50 regionally distributed pyrolysis plants to produce the biosyncrude," explains Dahmen. "This can then be transported economically over long distances to supply a central fuel production plant with a high capacity."

The advantage of this set-up is that it is much cheaper and more convenient to transport liquid biosyncrude than bulky wood and straw. This is especially the case if the biosyncrude is transported by rail, which is the most cost effective way to transport material over long distances.

So Dahmen and his colleagues produced an economic model based on this set-up, which suggests that the bioliq technology can potentially produce liquid fuels for 0.56𔂿.04 a litre. This would still make the fuel more expensive than conventional petrol or diesel, but this difference could be greatly reduced if different levels of tax were applied to the fuels.


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Contact: Jennifer Beal
wbnewseurope@wiley.com
44-012-437-70633
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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