The overall objective of BIOGO is to develop advanced nanocatalysts with enhanced properties, in combination with highly intensified reactor systems to enable us to realise and demonstrate an integrated process for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels. Within this overall objective there are a number of critical technical objectives that are targeted in the project such as
(a) Objectives related to nanocatalyst design and development for biogas and pyrolysis oil reforming
The main objectives in catalyst design are to
(1) To develop highly stable catalysts with resistance to coking for bio-gas and pyrolysis oil transformation into syngas, based on the use of nanocomposite components and reforming over bi-functional catalysts.
(2) To decrease the content of rare-earth and Pt-group metals in catalysts without deteriorating their performance.
(3) To carry out co-reforming of bio-oil and biogas using membrane reactors
(b) Objectives related to catalysts for the conversion of synthesis gas to methanol and DME
Main objective is the development of catalysts by various routes mentioned, which are suited for a reduced operating pressure of the process at higher tolerance to poisoning through impurities such as oxygenates by following different routes:
(c) Objectives related to zeolitic catalysts
Our objective is to develop new methods of catalyst preparation in an effort to obtain much more stable and active catalysts for the conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons (MTH), and to assess the feasibility of novel structured reactor configurations under different process conditions, so as to provide a potential edge over existing and conventional MTH technologies.
(d) Objectives related to in-situ Analysis
Our objectives are to apply inâ€“situ spectroscopic methods to study the genesis of the real/atomic structure of nanocomposite/nanocrystalline catalysts under reaction conditions and relate it to the evolution of catalytic performance (activation/degradation).
(e) Objectives related to catalyst development for the conversion of syngas to higher alcohols
Main objectives are to develop nanocatalysts for improved conversion of syngas to higher alcohols, to determine catalyst formulations and process conditions for controlling the chain length and to produce a narrow range of chain length in order to allow direct use of the product as fuel additives.
(f) Objectives related to catalyst development for the conversion of pyrolysis oil to higher alcohols
Main objectives are to develop catalysts for higher alcohol synthesis applying advanced predictive modelling tools, to develop intensified reactor designs using coated catalysts to effectively control the reactor temperatures during processing of bio-oils by hydrogenation. Staged hydrogen dosing into microchannel plates will be applied to improve the process performance.
(g) Objectives related to process development and Demonstration
Our objective is to carry out a holistic analysis of the process by analysing the energy consumption/efficiency, capital expenditure (CAPEX), operating expenditure (OPEX), both combined to NPV cash flow as well as the environmental impacts (life cycle assessment will be used). By these means the optimum size of a future production plant will be determined. However our integration also includes a physical integration, involving a demonstration of the overall process from biogas and pyrolysis oil to gasoline using a miniplant operated with the nanocatalysts developed in the scope of the project. It will include syngas production, clean up, adjustment of H2/CO ratio, methanol/DME production, followed by conversion to gasoline.
(h) Objectives related to improved reactor designs and catalyst coatings
Our aim is to convert as much as possible of the carbon and chemical energy available in biomass derived feedstocks into sustainable fuels. Value will be achieved by optimising the fuel quality as well as process efficiency. Process intensification and process integration will be used to achieve these aims at the same time as matching the scale of production to the feedstock streams anticipated. Apart from the catalyst development work addressed above, another innovative aspect of BIOGO is to develop new, highly compact and integrated reactor systems that will completely transform the efficiency and economics of the catalytic processing steps.
(i) Objectives related to scaled up (nano-) catalyst production
The goal is to develop an economic process for manufacturing of a selected nanocatalyst and establish a small scale pilot plant to demonstrate this process. With this demonstration line in place we will be able to produce nanocatalysts at the tens of kg-scale, over an extended campaign for 6 months continuous production.