Monday, May 17th Mini-Conference (11:30 am - 5: 00 pm)

When: Monday, May 17th Where: NYIT's Gallery 61, Manhattan

• 1:30 - 2:15 pm - Distributed Production of Advanced Biofuels from Biomass Waste

Prof. Niyi Lawal, Stevens Institute of Technology Bio

We have demonstrated a transformative technology which combines innovative reactor concepts with fundamental catalytic studies and catalyst development for the distributed production of biofuel from various forms of biomass waste. Our approach comprises two key steps: (1) thermochemical conversion of biomass by fast pyrolysis to pyrolysis oil, (PO), followed by (2) upgrading of the PO to biofuel.

A number of approaches are currently being investigated for the upgrading of the PO including:
(i) hydrodeoxygenation, (ii) (hydro)cracking and (iii) autothermal reforming (ATR) of PO to synthesis gas (H2/CO mixture), followed by Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) conversion of synthesis gas to fuel.

The economic viability of biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass can only be achieved in part through efficient distributed processing, because of the prohibitive transportation cost associated with centralized processing of low bulk density lignocellulose sourced from vast geographical areas. The new paradigm we envision, involves an on-site distributed production platform for biomass pyrolysis to PO. The PO from various producers within the same geographical region will then be transported using existing infrastructure to a gathering point where the PO will undergo chemical upgrading to biofuel using one of the three approaches described above, e.g., ATR followed by subsequent F-T conversion to desired fuel.

The centralized nature of our power plants, oil production and refining facilities renders them vulnerable to attack. A flexible, robust and distributed energy production system will reduce susceptibility of our energy sources to hostile attacks. A compelling and distinguishing attribute of our process is the flexibility of (1) converting biomass of different compositions derived from multiple sources to PO and syngas and (2) using this syngas to produce any transportation fuel: ethanol, gasoline, or diesel. Reliance on foreign oil for energy will be significantly diminished.

Back to Biomass Conference webpage