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Review of Technologies for Gasification of Biomass and Wastes, NNFCC 09-008

This detailed one hundred and twenty-six page report reviews current and emerging gasifier technologies that are suitable for liquid fuel production from syngas, including their type, characteristics, status, prospects and costs, together with their suitability for the UK, in terms of suitable feedstocks and scales.

Author E4Tech
Published 12 Jun 2009
Industry Bioenergy Biorefining
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This project provides a comprehensive and consistent comparison of gasification technologies suitable for liquid fuels production in the UK. This was achieved by:

  • Assessing the needs of syngas using technologies
  • Providing a review of current and emerging specific gasifier technologies
  • Comparing generic types of gasifier to assess their status, feedstock requirements, scale and costs
  • Drawing conclusions on which generic types might be most suitable for fuel production in the UK

The report concludes that there remains a clear need for the biomass to liquids sector to reduce technical risk through demonstration and develop a better understanding of the economics of biomass to liquids systems. This will be crucial to attracting project developer and investment interest.

Given that the majority of the biomass gasification activity described in the report is outside the UK, in terms of developer location and announced plants, it is likely that the next few years of development will not be UK based.

During this time, it is likely that some developers and technologies will prove more successful than others, narrowing the range of technologies available, and giving more information about economics and performance in operation. This will make it easier for UK developers to see which technologies have proved successful, and are best suited to the particular requirements of their project.

Nevertheless, the UK may be an influential player in the future development of the area because of activities of companies such as Oxford Catalysts (Velocys) and INEOS Bio, and pyrolysis activity, for example through the Carbon Trust Pyrolysis Challenge. The gasification and pyrolysis pilots would provide general project development related skills that might be applicable to biomass to liquids, and bring to bear UK strengths in engineering and petro-chemicals.

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