From the Process Engineering To the Biorefinery

3rd generation biorefinery

Third generation biorefineries have the advantage of utilizing agricultural residue, as well as forestry, petrochemical, and urban waste.

3rd generation biorefineries facilitate achieving the following goals:

  • Production of many forms of clean energy
  • Wide array of bio-based products
  • Value-added waste biomass
  • Technical resolution of waste treatment issues
  • No competition with traditional uses of 1st and 2nd generation biomass

An illustration of products of 3rd generation biorefinery is given in table 7. This table also summarizes the different processes which are employed to convert biomass in 3rd generation biorefinery and the resulting products.

Since such 3rd generation residues and biomass waste do not have the same economic potential, it is very well suited for processing in a global biomass conversion chain, as seen in table 8.Since such 3rd generation residues and biomass waste do not have the same economic potential, it is very well suited for processing in a global biomass conversion chain, as seen in table 8.

Table no.7 : List of different resources and products of 3rd generation biomass conversion

Figure 12 presents the various modes of thermochemical conversion of 3rd generation biomass. Thermochemical processing (pyrolysis, gasification, and/or combustion) is preceded by biomass pre-conditioning and drying. Various biorefinery products including chemicals, electricity, steam, bioethanol/biodiesel are also presented. 3rd generation biorefining is a principal research axis for the following CRIP-Biorefinery members:

  • Professor Jamal Chaouki
  • Professor Grégory Patience

conversion thermochimique

Figure no. 12 : Various processes of thermochemical conversion of 3rd generation biomass.

Value-added solid waste versus biomass

Municipal solid waste (MSW) constitutes and alternative biomass source:

  • MSW biomass could be composted after natural drying
  • MSW dry fraction represents 50% while moisture content is around 20%
  • Typical MSW dry fraction is composed of:
    • 15 – 20 % of inorganic products
    • 15 – 20 % of plastic products
    • 60 – 70 % of biomass

It is interesting to note that a population of about 130,000 generates approximately:

  • 50,000 tonnes MSW/year, containing around 60% dry matter
  • A similar quantity of MSW is produced by industrial and institutional sectors and contains higher levels of dry matter

Table 8 presents an analysis of economic value of various biomass sources:

Table no.8: Economic value of various biomass sources

3rd generation biorefinery by means of Gasification and/or Combustion

As illustrated in figure 15, 3rd generation biomass could be processed by gasification or combustion to generate various products:

  • Energy
  • Heat
  • Clean synthesis gas

Figure no. 15: 3rd generation biomass processes and products.

Biomass gasification process yield example

Figure 16 shows a sample evaluation of a biomass gasification process. The average efficiency is around 40%. Alternatives for optimization of energy cycles by heat pumps and installation of heat exchangers will improve process efficiency.

Figure no. 16 : Biomass gasification process yield example.

Processes integration [+...]