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Advanced Steam Reforming of Bio-Oil with Carbon Capture: A Techno-Economic and CO2 Emissions Analysis


A techno-economic analysis has been used to evaluate three processes for hydrogen production from advanced steam reforming (SR) of bio-oil, as an alternative route to hydrogen with BECCS: conventional steam reforming (C-SR), C-SR with CO2 capture (C-SR-CCS), and sorption-enhanced chemical looping (SE-CLSR). The impacts of feed molar steam to carbon ratio (S/C), temperature, pressure, the use of hydrodesulphurisation pretreatment, and plant production capacity were examined in an economic evaluation and direct CO2 emissions analysis. Bio-oil C-SR-CC or SE-CLSR may be feasible routes to hydrogen production, with potential to provide negative emissions. SE-CLSR can improve process thermal efficiency compared to C-SR-CCS. At the feed molar steam to carbon ratio (S/C) of 2, the levelised cost of hydrogen (USD 3.8 to 4.6 per kg) and cost of carbon avoided are less than those of a C-SR process with amine-based CCS. However, at higher S/C ratios, SE-CLSR does not have a strong economic advantage, and there is a need to better understand the viability of operating SE-CLSR of bio-oil at high temperatures (>850 ◦C) with a low S/C ratio (e.g., 2), and whether the SE-CLSR cycle can sustain low carbon deposition levels over a long operating period.

Funding source: This research was funded by EPSRC Bioenergy Centre for Doctoral Training, grant number EP/L014912/1, and KCCSRC EPSRC consortium Call 2 grant “Novel Materials and Reforming Process Route for the Production of Ready-Separated CO2/N2/H2 from Natural Gas Feedstocks”, grant number EP/K000446/1.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: United Kingdom

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