Size: px
Start display at page:



1 Questions EU-India Conference on Advanced Biofuels New Delhi, 7 th 8 th March, 2018 A TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE ON 2G BIOFUELS AND THE WAY FORWARD Sriganesh Gandham Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, HP Green R&D Centre, Bengaluru

2 CONTENTS Questions Renewable Energy Drivers Policies and Initiatives 2G Technologies for Adoption Technological / Process Challenges Way Forward Bioethanol Technology Assessment Biofuels Research at HPCL


4 NATIONAL BIOFUEL Questions POLICY (2015) FEATURES GOI permitted Ethanol blending in petrol up to 10%, to achieve 5% ethanol blending across the country as a whole. Further advised OMCs to target 10% blending in as many States as possible.. Ethanol produced from non-food feedstocks besides molasses like cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials and including petro-chemical route, may be allowed to be processed subject to meeting the relevant BIS standard. OMC s to purchase bio-ethanol at Minimum Purchase Price (MPP) based on the actual cost of production and import price of bio-ethanol.

5 NATIONAL BIOFUEL Questions POLICY (2015) FEATURES Thrust for innovation, (multi-institutional, indigenous and time bound) R&D. Thrust for utilization of indigenous biomass feedstock included for production of 2G biofuels. Biofuel technologies and projects would be allowed 100% foreign equity through automatic approval to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), provided the biofuel is for domestic use only.

6 OTHER INITIATIVES Questions AND CURRENT STATUS Policy decisions: Fixed pricing mechanism for fuel ethanol procurement for OMCs. Excise duty exemptions. Surplus ethanol availability helped achieve 3.3% blending on PAN India basis. A Steering Committee and a Working Group on Biofuels both have been established by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG). Setting-up of commercial scale ligno-cellulosic ethanol plants by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in different locations of India.

7 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ADOPTION Questions CURRENT STATUS Over years, several companies have setup Demo-scale 2G plants with technologies based upon unit operations for thermochemical pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Some of the companies closed down operations due to higher OPEX. For these companies, the cost of biomass conversion remains higher compared to the cost of feedstock. Source:

8 2G ETHANOL TECHNOLOGY Questions CHALLENGES Lignocellulosic biofuels and systems are projected from pilot plant data and need to be assessed from data from operating commercial plants. Development & commercialization of technologies is moving at slower pace than anticipated by governments or by private sector, mainly due to : Inherent process difficulties. Higher OPEX and CAPEX. Challenges in establishing supply chain for biomass collection, storage, delivery. Available options for setting-up of 2G-Ethanol plants are: Adopting available technologies. Developing Indigenous technologies.

9 CHALLENGES IN PROCESS Questions DEVELOPMENT BIOMASS HARVESTING Machinery for Biomass Harvesting Biomass contamination with Soil Moisture Content Biomass pre-processing /Transport Centralized/Decentralized Biomass Pre-processing BIOMASS PRETREATMENT Recalcitrance of lignocellulosic feedstock to chemicals or enzymes Delignification and impact of residual lignin on enzymatic hydrolysis Lower sugar yields C5 fermentation Generation of inhibitors ENZYME PRODUCTION AND HYDROLYSIS Cost of enzymes Enzyme recycle Hydrolysis time Lignin Binding Effect of solid loading FERMENTATION Co-fermentation Rates of Sugar uptake Effects of Inhibitors Recycle

10 WAY FORWARD INDIGENOUS Questions 2G TECHNOLOGIES A need for multidisciplinary scientific breakthroughs and engineering advances in all areas of biomass conversion process. Developmental work to be simultaneously carried out at various levels on individual components / unit operations, prior to integration into a process. Focus on biocatalyst (microbial strain and enzymes) in synergy with existing commercial processes for producing biofuels. The developed strains can be easily tested at larger scales. Improvising use of C-5 sugars for fermentation or upgrading to value added co-products. Oil industry expertise to be simultaneously used for developing, testing, and commercializing biofuels for road, aviation, and chemical co-products.

11 OTHER ASPECTS FOR Questions PROCESS SCALE-UP Alterations for improvements in scaled-up processes may call for refinement at the pilot scale. (E.g. changing the chemical dosage during pretreatment). Direct alterations / improvisations to existing processes may require regulatory clearances. (E.g. introducing GMO s). Retrofitting the developed processes in existing plant infrastructure can reduce CAPEX. Critical factors for scale-up: Feedstock type / availability, Storage, Economics of biomass transportability.

12 Biofuel Questions Technology Development At HPGRDC, process development activities being carried out with following objectives: 1)BIOMASS PRETREATMENT: To develop a less severe, single step process that is suitable for multiple feedstock. 1)ENZYME HYDROLYSIS: Maximizing cellulose hydrolysis with minimum enzyme usage. 1)ETHANOL FERMENTATION: Production of ethanol and value added products with indigenous biocatalysts. 1)ENZYME PRODUCTION: Microbial isolation and process development for enzyme production.

13 BIOETHANOL TECHNOLOGY Questions ASSESSMENT Tech. A Tech. B Tech. C Tech. D HPCL Pretreatment Acid steam explosion Caustic cooking Acid treatment Acid + Alkali treatment Single Stage Acid treatment Feed Size mm No size reduction mm mm Pilot Plant 1 50 TPD Biomass 1 TPD of Biomass Yes 1 10 TPD Biomass 1 TPD Biomass (Implementation in progress) Commercial Demo Scale Yes Yes Demo Scale - Enzymes Commercial / Imported Commercial / Imported Commercial / Imported Commercial / Imported Commercial / Indigenous Time 120 hrs 120 hrs 7 days 24 hrs 80 hrs Ethanol yield per dry Biomass 19 wt% on rice straw 17 wt% on any feed 13 wt% on rice straw 21 wt% on rice straw 17 wt% on rice straw

14 Questions KEY FEATURES 1) BIOMASS PRETREATMENT: a) Development of 2G AS AP (Assisted single step acid pretreatment) process. b) Single step, less severe process that results in higher removal of lignin (40%). 1) ENZYME HYDROLYSIS: a) Enzymatic hydrolysis process standardized for ASAP treated biomass. b) Tested with commercial and in-house enzymes. c) Reduced enzyme dosage to about 50%. 1) ETHANOL FERMENTATION (C5 & C6): a) Fermentative ethanol yields of about 75% were obtained. b) Process scale-up is ongoing. 1) ENZYME PRODUCTION: a) Isolation of enzyme producing strains. b) Scaling-up of enzyme production at Bioreactor scale in progress.

15 Questions