An Assessment of Gasification-Based Biorefining at Kraft Pulp and Paper Mills in the United States, Part A: Background and Assumptions, TAPPI JOURNAL November 2008

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ABSTRACT: Commercialization of black liquor and biomass gasification technologies is anticipated in the 2010–2015 time frame, and synthesis gas from gasifiers can be converted into liquid fuels using catalytic synthesis technologies that are already commercially established in the gas-to-liquids or coal-to-liquids industries. This set of two papers describes key results from a major assessment of the prospective energy, environmental, and financial performance of commercial gasification-based biorefineries integrated with kraft pulp and paper mills [1]. Seven detailed biorefinery designs were developed for a reference mill in the southeastern United States, together with the associated mass/energy balances, air emissions estimates, and capital investment requirements. The biorefineries provide chemical recovery services and co-produce process steam for the mill, some electricity, and one of three liquid fuels: a Fischer-Tropsch synthetic crude oil (which could be refined to vehicle fuels at an existing petroleum refinery), dimethyl ether (a diesel engine fuel or propane substitute), or an ethanol-rich mixed-alcohol product. This paper describes the key assumptions that underlie the biorefinery designs. Part B will present analytical results.

Application: This two-part paper will quantify prospective performance, costs, and industry impacts of gasification-based biorefineries at kraft pulp and paper mills in the United States.

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