Mobile Plant Produces Liquid Fuel From Waste Wood

Twelve research groups from seven countries have developed a sustainable method for producing biofuel from wood waste. The process takes place in a mobile unit that has the potential to decentralize fuel production. Wood waste and tree bark are ideal raw materials as they don’t need to be specially cultivated and don’t compete with food […]

Twelve research groups from seven countries have developed a sustainable method for producing biofuel from wood waste. The process takes place in a mobile unit that has the potential to decentralize fuel production.

Wood waste and tree bark are ideal raw materials as they don’t need to be specially cultivated and don’t compete with food production. Wood waste is also available in large quantities, for example in Germany around 12m t/y is available, compared to a gasoline consumption of 16m t/y. When it is combusted, it only releases the CO2 that was absorbed by the trees as they grew, making it carbon neutral.

The aim of the EU-funded project BIOGO was to develop a biomass-to-liquid plant capable of producing sustainable synthetic fuel. The plant is transportable and has a modular infrastructure that contains catalytic reactors for each process step.

“The goal of the BIOGO project was to develop a plant that could fit in a container with standard dimensions of 12 x 3 x 3 m, and that could accommodate all the procedural and processing steps,” said Gunther Kolb from Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems, who coordinated the project. “At the same time, we had to make the manufacturing process as environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient as possible.”

Wood waste is first converted into pyrolysis oil, which is the liquid fraction produced by fast, thermal decomposition of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. The pyrolysis oil is then converted into syngas by adding heat, air, and steam. In the next step, methanol is produced from the syngas, and finally gasoline is produced from the methanol by extracting oxygen.

Read more on this from The Chemical Engineer at https://www.thechemicalengineer.com/news/mobile-plant-produces-fuel-from-waste-wood/.

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