Biofuels High Pressure Entrained Flow Gasification for Second Generation Biofuel Process

Editor: Dominik Stephan

The food vs. fuel debate has cast a dark shadow over the potentials of biofuels - now second generation processes aim to untap to huge heaps of biogenic residues that forestry and agriculture produce. One of them, the Bioliq process of KIT and Air Liquide, announces anew milestone; The start up of the second stage of its pilot plant...

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The Bioliq plant at the KIT: in a multi-stage process, high-grade synthetic fuels are produced from straw and other biogenic residues.
The Bioliq plant at the KIT: in a multi-stage process, high-grade synthetic fuels are produced from straw and other biogenic residues.
(Photo: Markus Breig)

On the way to the production of environment-friendly fuels from biomass residue, the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, or KIT for short, in cooperation with the technology partner Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions has realized another important milestone: the second process stage of the Bioliq pilot plant is ready – today, the complex high-pressure entrained flow gasifier Bioliq II was handed over for operation.

The four-step process designed at the KIT allows producing valuable and engine-compatible design fuels für diesel and Otto engines. The entrained flow gasifier in step II converts the liquid intermediate product Bioliq Syncrude obtained in the first process step into a tarfree synthesis gas. In pilot mode, it may optionally be operated at two pressure levels (40 bar and 80 bar) which provides maximal flexibility, depending on the requirements of the downstream process steps. With the completion of Bioliq II, an important milestone on the way to the operation of the complete process chain from biomass to motor fuels has been reached.

Processing of Various Biomass Types Possible

The entrained flow gasifier was provided with a special plant design. It offers the advantage that a variety of biomass containing even high ash concentrations can be processed. The applied materials of constructionare able to withstand the corrosive effects caused by biomass components and allow for operation at high pressures. This ensures operation of the entrained flow gasifier at conditions that are close to commercial-scale operation – consequently, the pilot plant functions as an important research platform at the KIT.

“The entire Bioliq process is exemplary for the sustainable utilization of biomass and is making a vital contribution to the substitution of fossil energy resources and to curbing CO2 emissions in the transport sector”, stressed the KIT Vice President Research and Innovation, Dr. Peter Fritz.

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