Liquid biofuel production
Liquid biofuels can be produced from non-food agricultural sources and forest waste, which are renewable and sustainable. ANDRITZ is actively involved in cooperative development work to convert cellulosic biomass waste materials into transportation fuels using both bio-chemical and thermo-chemical processes.
A combination of factors is driving the development of alternatives to fossil fuels to meet our transportation energy needs. The most promising of alternatives are liquid fuels derived from cellulosic biomass. Liquid biofuels can be produced from non-food agricultural sources (straws, rapeseed, sunflowers, etc.) and forest waste (tree trimmings, forest residues, and stumps). These advanced new biofuels have the potential to be clean-burning, carbon-neutral, and renewable. The focus to date has been on the technological challenges of producing high quality biofuels that are sustainable and competitive with gasoline. However, there are important social, economic, and environmental challenges that must be met.
ANDRITZ offers technologies for various process steps in both primary production processes for converting cellulosic biomass to liquid fuels:
- Bio-chemical conversion
- Thermo-chemical conversion
Several fuel types can be manufactured from raw materials derived from sustainable plant resources. These include second-generation ethanol (cellulosic ethanol), biobutanol, biodiesel, Fischer-Tropsch fuels, green gasoline, and others. All biofuels are extracted by chemical processing.
Second generation biofuels, made from non-food sources, hold significant promises as low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel. Here, the development work is underway to convert cellulosic biomass waste materials into transportation fuels. These materials have different chemical structural bonds than food-based crops and are difficult to break down, especially on a large scale.
The bio-chemical route mainly uses enzymatic hydrolysis. Thermo-chemical uses biomass-to-liquid (BTL) technologies and the production of synfuels.
ANDRITZ is actively involved in the development of technologies for feedstock handling, pretreatment, solids/liquids separation, gasification, and other enzymatic and BTL technologies. Much of the current work consists for pilot plant trials and development with specific clients on a confidential basis. The outcome of this research should lead to specific commercially available technologies in the future.