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Posts tagged “pyrolysis oil”

By Robert Rapier on May 7, 2012 with 55 responses

Current and Projected Costs for Biofuels from Algae and Pyrolysis

A reader recently called my attention to a new and very interesting presentation from the Department of Energy’s Biomass Program:

Biofuels Design Cases

The presentation explored the question of whether the U.S. government is spending money on the right technology pathways. Costs were presented for biofuel produced from pyrolysis, algae, Fischer-Tropsch (FT), and methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) routes.

I want to share several slides from the presentation to give an idea of what the DOE thinks about the costs for producing biofuels via the various pathways. The first slide below shows the projected cost of production of biofuels via MTG, pyrolysis, and FT for the “Nth Biorefinery Plant” — which is defined as the projected fuel cost after a number of plants have been built and the learning curve has been mastered.

 Figure 1. DOE projections of costs for biofuel from MTG, pyrolysis, and FT routes.


By Robert Rapier on May 3, 2012 with 14 responses

Rare Earth Elements and Pyrolysis Oil — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 20

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I talk about the significance of China’s dominance of rare earth element production, and the conversion of pyrolysis oil into fuel.

The questions answered this week are:

1. Can you discuss the uses of ‘rare earth’ elements in the production of renewable energies (i.e., wind and solar)? Furthermore, can you comment on the supply of rare earth elements? I recently watched this video from Real Clear Energy. Is it accurate that China controls 97% of the current supplies? What implications does this have on growth of hybrid transportation, the wind and the solar industry in the USA?

2. I was watching your reports and was wondering your opinion about the feasibility of pyrolysis. I’ve seen a lot of companies advertising that they have take plastic or tires and produce 80+% and 45% pyrolysis oil respectively. Is that accurate? You also mention upgrading of pyrolysis oil, are there any companies out there who can do it on a commercially viable process? If so could you point me in the right direction?


By Robert Rapier on Sep 5, 2010 with 56 responses

Crude Oil From Biomass: Evaluating KiOR

Cracking Biomass Back when I worked in a refinery, I used to spend a lot of time thinking about how biomass would behave in certain refining processes. A fluidized catalytic cracker (FCC), for instance, takes oil and subjects it to heat and a catalyst to fracture larger hydrocarbons into smaller ones that can serve as gasoline blending feedstock (among other things). Another refining unit is a delayed coker. Very heavy oil is subjected to even higher temperatures than in the cracker, and once again the hydrocarbon chains are cracked into smaller molecules useful for further processing into gasoline and diesel. Petroleum coke, similar in appearance to coal, is also produced. Given the extreme conditions of these units, either of them… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 3, 2009 with no responses

Biofuel Contenders

Introduction I got quite a few interesting e-mails and comments following my previous essay: Biofuel Pretenders. I probably should have mentioned – but I thought it went without saying – that pretenders usually don’t think they are pretenders and will therefore protest mightily at the characterization. A number of people who e-mailed assured me that they have really cracked the code to affordable biofuels, and that we would be hearing more about them soon. Another person who wrote to me about algae said that he has been following algae since 1973, and he wrote “In spite of all the hype and non-stop press releases, no one to my knowledge is producing algae on a commercial basis for biofuel production.” Ultimately,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 6, 2007 with no responses

BioOil Gains Traction

BioOil, also known as pyrolysis oil, is not quite renewable petroleum, but it is a renewable liquid fuel made from the destructive distillation of biomass. A Canadian company has announced that they will build a plant in Missouri: Canadian Company to Convert Wood to Fuel KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Canadian biofuels developer said Wednesday it plans to build a $24 million plant in southeast Missouri that would convert wood scraps into fuel to operate factories and heat office buildings. Dynamotive Energy Systems Corp. said the plant, to be built 180 miles south of St. Louis in Willow Springs, could generate up to 12 million gallons of fuel per year, consuming up to 73,000 tons of wood byproducts and… Continue»