Reach-Futurology_biorefining - Rob Bevan

Report
Biorefining – Introduction,
Opportunities and Challenges
How biorefineries and green
products will make their mark
Robert Bevan
European Innovation Manager
What are Biorefineries?
•
Biorefineries are facilities that convert biomass feedstocks to
bio-based energy, fuels, materials and chemicals
Biomass Feedstock
Sugar/Starch Crops:
e.g. sugar cane / corn
Oil Crops: e.g.
rapeseed, soybean
Lignocellulosic
Biomass: e.g. forestry
& agricultural wastes
Industrial wastes:
brewers spent grain,
potato pealing's etc…
Conversion
Technologies
Thermal processes:
e.g. pyrolysis,
gasification
Chemical processes:
e.g. classical catalysis
Biotransformation:
e.g. fermentation,
enzymatic catalysis
Product Stream
Energy: e.g. heat,
electricity
Fuels: e.g. biodiesel,
bioethanol, biogas
Chemicals: e.g. bulk,
intermediate, final
Materials: e.g. polymers
Gasification
/ Pyrolysis
Classical
Chemistry
Oils / Syn-Gas
Existing Products
Brewers Spent
Grain
Chemo- /
Bio-Tech
Sugars
Fermentation
Bio-Based
Products
Why are biorefineries important?
• Growing demand for energy, fuel, materials and chemicals
(growing market)
• Finite availability of fossil fuel resources (continued price
rises)
• Overdependence of many countries on imported resources
(national security)
• Reality of climate change and need to reduce greenhouse
gases (societal demand for eco-production)
• Competitiveness within the global economy
• Need to stimulate growth within rural economies
First Generation Biorefineries
• Target production of a single
product stream from the biomass
feedstock
• A number of first generation
biorefineries exist today:
• Rapeseed oil to biodiesel
• Sugar cane to bioethanol
• Corn starch to polylactic acid
• Gasification of biomass to syngas
followed by chemo- / biotransformation to bioethanol (INEOS)
Limitations of First Generation Biorefineries
• Generate high volumes of by-products that have limited
commercial value (e.g. animal feed, energy recovery)
• Poor competitiveness compared to optimised petrochemical
equivalents that derived multiple product streams and utilise
~100% of feedstocks
• Require feedstock crops rich in the target sugar / starch / oil
fraction, typically in competition with food (cereal, oilseed)
First generation biorefineries are largely being
driven through legislative targets and
favourable taxation for biofuels
Second Generation Biorefineries
• Multiple product streams from sustainable biomass
feedstocks – similar to petroleum refineries
• Lignocellulose based biorefineries
HEMICELLULOSE
CELLULOSE
LIGNOCELLULOSE LIGNIN
LIGNOCELLULOSE BIOMASS
CELLULOSE
HEMICELLULOSE
C6 SUGARS
•
•
C5 SUGARS
•
Fuels
Platform & Intermediate
Chemicals
Polymers
OLIGOMERS
•
•
Functional food & feeds
Medicinal / pharma
LIGNIN
MONOMERS
•
Aromatic platform
chemicals (BTX / vanillin)
LIGNIN
MACROMOLECULES
•
•
Bio-resins
Functional additives
BULK
EXTRACTIVES
•
•
Organic / fatty acids
Resins
FINE
EXTRACTIVES
•
•
Essential oils
Phytosterols
LIGNIN
DIRECT
EXTRACTABLES
Advantages of Second Generation Biorefineries
• Complete valorisation of feedstocks, thereby:
• enabling optimal use of available resources
• generating highest value return
• Integration of multiple processes leading to competitiveness
in line with petrochemical refineries
• Enable use of more sustainable feedstocks (agricultural,
forestry & industrial wastes)
• Viability at small to medium scale:
• Flexible configuration (niche markets)
• Rural development capitalising on regional diversity
Hemicellulsoe to
functional
food
ingredients
Lignin to
adhesives
& additives
Brewers Spent
Grain
Cellulose to
biopolymer
Key limitations / Research Challenges (1)
• Cost effective pre-treatment processes enabling recovery of
all three lignocellulose fractions in a form suitable for
subsequent downstream processing
• Methodologies for the valorisation of hemicellulose:
• Hemicellulases for controlled hydrolysis to building block sugars
• Engineering of microorganisms enabling fermentation of C5
sugars
• Methodologies for the controlled and selective
depolymerisation and transformation of lignin to
macromolecular and aromatic platform chemical product
streams
Key limitations / Research Challenges (2)
• Demonstration of potential for scale-up and integration of
new and emerging technologies within existing and future
biorefineries
• End-user knowledge for use of the resulting bio-based
chemicals and materials
Petrochemical:
• Simple-reduced platform
chemicals
• Established processes for
building up complexity
• Strong end-user
knowledge base for use
Bio-Based:
vs
• Complex multifunction oxidised platform chemicals
• Emerging non-optimised
transformation processes
• Limited end-user knowledge
base for use
Potential Global Market By 2020
Case Study 1 - MicroGrass
• Microwave plasma pre-treatment process
for the rapid breakdown of lignocellulose
to sugars for fermentation of ethanol
• Objectives:
• Increased sugar yield = >90% (SOA = <40%)
• Quicker Process = <0.5 days (SOA = ~2 days)
• Reduced energy = <90% of existing
processes
• Result = prototype demonstrator
Case Study 2 - BioSonic
• Ultrasonically assisted organosolv pretreatment of lignocellulose biomass
targeting recovery of minimally degraded
cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin fractions
• Objectives:
• Efficient recovery of all three fractions with
minimal degradation
• Quicker process times
• Reduced energy consumption & cost
• Environmentally friendly / non-toxic solvents
• Result = prototype demonstrator
Case Study 3 - AquaCell
• A novel microbial fuel cell process for
conversion of industrial organic wastewaters
to value product streams (electricity &
hydrogen)
• Objectives:
• Extract value from wastewater
• Reduce energy and sludge disposal costs
• Eliminate micro-pollutants and enable water
re-use (non-potable)
• Result = prototype demonstrator
Vision of the Future
• Companies will adopt biorefineries to valorise
their waste, either directly or via centralised
facilities
• Second and third generation technologies will be
key to success
• Continued growth within biofuels market, but
also those markets where biorefineries are able
to make products better and/or cheaper
• Biorefineries will help to drive global
competitiveness and differentiation
Useful Documents for Further Information
• The Future of Industrial Biorefineries – World Economic
Forum
• European Biorefinery Joint Strategic Research Roadmap –
www.star-colibri.eu/publications
• Bio-based Chemicals: Value Added Products from
Biorefineries – IEA Bioenergy – Task 42 Biorefinery

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