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Technoeconomic Feasibility of a Sunflower Husk Fast Pyrolysis Value Chain for the Production of Advanced Biofuels

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posted on 2022-10-12, 16:05 authored by Mieke Nieder-Heitmann, Sadaf S. Savadkouhi, Robbie Venderbosch, Evert Leijenhorst, Evert van der Pol, Hank Vleeming
Biofuels are required to reach the target set out by the European Commission’s Transport mandate in the RED II (Renewable Energy Directive) for 2020–2030. To avoid indirect land use change, waste biomass resources such as sunflower husks can be used for advanced biofuel production. A process simulation and technoeconomic assessment of three fast pyrolysis plant scenarios were conducted. The nature of the waste feedstock has an effect on the value chain configuration, fast pyrolysis, and upgrading process design. Considering the difficulties with the transport and storage of biogenic waste due to low bulk density or hazardous and pathogenic content in case of transporting untreated sunflower husks, it is recommended to use a hub-and-spoke type of decentralized value chain configuration. The fast pyrolysis plants are located close to the feedstock, and the fast pyrolysis bio-oil (FPBO) is transported to a single upgrading facility, colocated at an existing refinery. The upgraded FPBO is then cofed into an FCC (fluidized catalyst cracker), where partially green biofuels such as gasoline and diesel are produced. For the fast pyrolysis process design, Scenario 2, treating 10 t/h of dry biomass with electricity and steam as coproducts, has the most favorable economic results with a total capital investment (TCI) of 78 million Euro and operating expenses (OPEX) of 6 million Euro.

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