From the Process Engineering To the Biorefinery

Area of biomass-to-liquid (BTL)

As illustrated in figure 1, several thermochemical biomass conversion process are used and being developed. More specifically, one of the most interesting thermal conversion processes for biomass is gasification. The elements of gasification are:

  • Biomass pre-conditioning
  • Gasification into syngas (H2/CO)
  • Products:
    • Clean electricity
    • Gazogene or water gas: for cars
    • Synthesis Fischer-Tropsch:
      • Iron-based catalysts: fuel synthesis
      • Cobalt-based catalysts : gazole and kerosene

A simplified illustration of gasification is given in figure 9.

Figure 10 show a gasification facility in Philadelphia.

Figure 11 : installation steps for the first Sasol gasification reactor designed for Fisher-Tropsch processes. It has the following specifications:

  • Weight = 2200 tons
  • Height = 60 m
  • Nominal External Diameter = 10 m

Figure no.9 : Process Flow Diagram (PFD) : Little Falls, Minnesota, (Source: About Pyrolysis & Gasification,


Figure no. 10 : Gasification facility in Philadelphia (2005).

Skid de réacteurs de fermentation

Figure no. 10 bis, Fermentation skid.


Figure no. 11a : Sasol "slurry" Reactor - Fischer-Tropsch Gasification. (source, CSFB Global Oil & Gas Conference, 8th June 2005, Enrico Ganter, Sasol Limited)

Figure no. 11b

Figure no. 11c

3rd generation [+...]