Biogas reforming as a precursor for integrated algae biorefineries: Simulation and techno-economic analysis

Philipp Kenkel*, Timo Wassermann, Edwin Zondervan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Biogas is a significant by-product produced in algae processing and may be used for many different applications, not only as a renewable energy carrier but also as a chemical intermediate in integrated algae-based biorefineries. In this work, the reforming of biogas to H2/CO2 mixtures (re-ferred to as SynFeed) as feed for the direct hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol is investigated. Two conventional processes, namely steam methane and autothermal reforming, with upstream CO2 separation from raw biogas are compared to novel concepts of direct biogas bi-and tri-reforming. In addition, downstream CO2 separation from SynFeed using the commercial Selexol process to produce pure H2 and CO2 is considered. The results show that upstream CO2 separation with sub-sequent steam methane reforming is the most economic process, costing 142.48 €/tSynFeed, and taking into consideration the revenue from excess hydrogen. Bi-reforming is the most expensive process, with a cost of 413.44 €/tSynFeed, due to the high demand of raw biogas input. Overall, SynFeed from biogas is more economical than SynFeed from CO2 capture and water electrolysis (464 €/tSynFeed), but is slightly more expensive than using natural gas as an input (107 €/SynFeed). Carbon capture using Selexol comes with costs of 22.58–27.19 €/tCO2, where approximately 50% of the costs are derived from the final CO2 compression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1348
JournalProcesses
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Aspen plus
  • Biogas reforming
  • FAME
  • HEFA
  • Methanol
  • Techno-economic analysis

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