Sugar Industry Restructuring by Implementing Biorefinery Technology

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Sugar Industry Restructuring by Implementing Biorefinery Technology"


1 Sugar Industry Restructuring by Implementing Biorefinery Technology Dr. Maurizio Cocchi

2 THE BIOREFINERY CONCEPT Biorefinery approach Integration of biomass conversion processes and technologies to produce a wide range of bio-based products (food, feed, materials, chemicals) and energy (fuels for transportation, power, heat)

3 Biorefinery Products Basic Feedstock Composition Ligno-cellulosic biomass; Carbohydrates (starch, sugar) Vegetal oil (lipids) Proteins Several Conversion Routes Source: Biorefineries Industrial Processes and Products Main Biorefinery products Fuels (bioethanol, biodiesel, biomethanol, Bio-H2, biogas, biomethane, gasoline, diesel) Food/feed: grains, DDGs, fodder Energy: heat, power Materials and bio-chemicals: bioethilene, bioplastics, polymers, lignin, aldehyds)

4 Possible Feedstock for Biorefineries Oilseed crops: rapeseed, sunflower, soy, palm, jatropha Sugar crops: sugar beet, sugar cane, sweet sorghum Starch based crops: maize and other cereals, cassava (for tropical climates)

5 Different Biorefinery Systems Due to the complexity and variety of possible feedstock (lignocellulosic, starchy, sugar based etc.) and conversion routes (biochemical conversions, themorchemical conversions etc.) several classification of different biorefinery systems have been identified PLATFORM Sugar platform Thermochemical Platform Biogas Platform SYSTEM Lignocellulosic Feestock Biorefinery (LCF) Whole Crop Biorefinery (WCB) Green Biorefinery (GBR) Two Platform Biorefinery (TPB) A further an easier classification of biorefineries can be developed on the basis of their complexity and commercial viability

6 Biorefineries: First Level of Complexity Combined production of liquid biofuels (fuel ethanol) and CHP with the use of solid biomass from crop residues. Ethanol and CHP from sugarcane (already used esp. in Brasil): Average electric efficiency 25% Ethanol and CHP from sweet sorghum (Grains and DDGs as possible secondary products) Ethanol and CHP from corn grains and corn stalks (DDGs as secondary products) Based on already available commercial technologies fermentation and distillation and dehydration of starch based and sugar based feedstock (widely used) direct combustion of solid biomass in circulating fluidized bed boilers use of modern steam turbines and refined solid biomass (agro-pellet) (electric efficiency up to 30-35%) (widely used)

7 Biorefineries: Second Level of Complexity Production of ethanol from lignocellulosic feedstock (agricultural residues, wood biomass), lignin as a secondary product for multipurpose use, as soil amendment, for biochemicals etc. BASED ON Acid or enzymatic hydrolysis and saccharification of cellulose and hemicellulose, contained in solid biomass and further fermentation of sugars, distillation and dehydration of fuel ethanol Production of, biohydrogen and biomethanol from solid biomass (softwood and agricultural residues) BASED ON Thermochemical conversion (carbonization) of solid biomass into syngas (containing CO and H2 ), reforming of H2 and Biomethanol Many ongoing research and development projects, close to commercial viability (for lignocell ethanol 5-10 years)

8 Biorefineries: Third Level of Complexity Integrated production of chemicals, bio-based materials, Fischer- Tropsch and BTL and BTG fuels etc. from lignocellulosic feedstock through advanced refining and reforming of syngas. SYNGAS OBTAINED BY GASIFICATION Exposure of biomass to high temperatures (900 C) with limited and controlled air or oxygen availability Expensive process Difficulties in gas cleaning from impurities (volatile hydrocarbons, HCl, HF, metals etc.) their concentration depends on nature of biomass and type of reactor Requires complex conversion routes, not commercially viable at present but very promising for the medium term for large scale applications

9 Some new promising technologies applicable to biorefineries ETA EUBIA (European Biomass Industry Association) and (member of Eubia) have been promoting the research and application of the biorefinery concept for many years Some of the most promising technologies identified and actively promoted are: -Sweet sorghum as multifunctional feedstock for combined production of ethanol CHP and DDGs -The refining and stabilization of solid biomass (ex. agricultural residues) through pelletisation (agri-pellets) for advanced power generation or co-firing -Production of BioH2 from agricultural and forestry residues

10 Integrated Sweet Sorghum Complexes Sweet Sorghum is an extraordinarily promising multifunctional crop for several reasons: It requires common soil even with high % of sand and it is also adapted to salty areas; It requires low of water imputs ( ~ 200 m3 /ton), 1/3 of sugar cane requirements, 1/2 of corn; It has a short growing cycle from seeds (4/5 months), 1/3 of sugar cane; Several improved varieties are available Its cultivation technique is similar to that of grain sorghum and can be introduced into European farming systems A high productivity of several components (grains, sugars, lignocellulosic);

11 Diversified Energy Production in a Typical Sweet Sorghum Biorefinery 1 ha sweet Sorghum 90 ton/ha fresh biomass Grains 7,5 ton Sugars 5,675 ton Fresh Residues ~ 42 ton 6.0 m 3 ETOH 21 ton Agropellets (AP) 8,4 TOE 4,8t CO2 ~ 10 t AP 2.25 t DDG (~ 0,7 TOE) 4,2 m3 MTOH Cogeneration (as heat + bio-h 2 input)


13 Which size of Sweet Sorghum Biorefinery to be economically viable? - Minimum plantations size (Decentralised production): 1000 ha/2000 ha. Bioethanol capacity (microdistillery): 6,000/12,000 m 3 / y Power Capacity: 3.3/6.6 MWe. - Large plantations size (Centralised production) : 10,000-50,000 ha (or more) Bioethanol capacity 60, ,000 m 3 / y Power Capacity: 45MWe 225MWe

14 EtOH yield of sweet sorghum Typical productivity from different varieties ETOH (l/ha) Shennong1(China) Shennong1(Italy) Foralco(ITA) Sofra(ITA) Doina(RUM) Carmen(RUM) Doina(India) F-135ST(India) Sweet Sorghum variety

15 Competitiveness of EtOH from Sweet Sorghum Biofuel Production Cost (2007) /m 3 Bioethanol from Corn (USA). ~ 320 /m 3 (477 /TOE). ~ 170 /m 3 (253 /TOE). Bioethanol from sugar-cane (Brasil). Bioethanol from Sweet-S. (EU). ~ /m 3 ( /TOE). Cellulose Bioethanol (2030) ~350 /m 3 (500 /TOE). Vegetal oil (Palm) ~ 680 /m 3 (755 /TOE) Vegetal oil (Soybean) ~ 533 /m 3 (592 /TOE) Natural Gas. ~ 327 /TOE Gasoline ~ 430 /m 3 (505 /TOE). Diesel fuel ~ 546 /m 3 (470 /TOE). Prices: january 2008 Source: Eubia

16 Agro-Pellets for Large Scale supply of Refined Biomass (New technology for the Stabilisation(mechanical drying & compactation) of humid biomass) Advantages and Impact of the new pre-treatment process Stops biological degradation of humid biomass. (CO2 and CH4 emissions) This new commercial technology (1 to 10 t/h can process directly humid biomasses (50% moisture) into high quality agro-pellets (moisture ~10%) ; Mixtures of different humid biomasses (blending) can be pelletised without binding compounds. This offers the possibility to adjust the feedstock and the agro-pellets chemical/microelements element composition within the desired operative limits (i.e, Cl, K ) The total energy requirement for the manufacture of agro-pellets by this new technology is considerable lower than that needed for traditional technologies (~ 10% of the fuel output) Bulk density ~ 0.7 t/m 3 The specific heating value of biomass is increased considerably by this pre-treatment process from ~2.000 Kcal/Kg (humid biomass) to ~4.050 Kcal/Kg agro-pellets with a modest energy consumption of ~600 Kcal/Kg agro-pellets produced. The cost for the manufacture of agro-pellets (~ 80 /t in EU).

17 Agro-Pellets for Large Scale supply of Refined Biomass (New technology for the Stabilisation(mechanical drying & compactation) of humid biomass) The high density of Agro-pellets (bulk 0,65 t/m3) reduce drastically the logistics problems and costs (handling, storage, transport, use); The use of Agro-pellets reduces considerably the investments cost for biomass power (allow for reduced boiler size, better combustion efficiency) With the use of modern steam engines (hypercritic cycles) overall electric efficiency, up to 30-35% instead of 25%) Therefore agropellets can be a valuable feedstock for direct combustion into large boilers for CHP production

18 BIO-H2 Competitive Hydrogen form Agricultural and Forestry Residues INTAS Project where EUBIA and ETA are participating Four steps to arrive from humid biomass to nearly pure hydrogen Biomass pelletisation with low energy consumption. Carbonisation of the pellets at С steam reforming of the carbonised pellets Shift-Conversion Process of bio-syngas to generate additional hydrogen 1 kg agro-pellets Project activities: 60 gr. Bio-H2 Optimisation of the process Construction of a working prototype for about 5 kg/h syngas (corresponding to 0.5 kg/hour of H2); Definition of the technical design for 1ton/h bio-hydrogen reactor.

19 BIO-H2 Bio-H2 produced from solid biomass at reasonable cost? Being: The conversion efficiency trials of the new process sufficiently high (~40%); The Agro-pellets production cost from residues (50 /d.t) reasonable: 80 /t; The estimated commercial Bio-H2 production cost is: Via carbonisation: ~1.800 /t (with carbon credits 200 /th2); present conventional H2 production cost from Natural Gas (7 $/MBTU) via steam-reforming is actully ~1.800 /t Therefore Bio-H2 from Agro-pellets is already on the edge of full competitiveness!

20 First Commercial Sweet Sorghum Biorefinery now under construction Project Developer: Global Green, winner of Eubia prize at 16 th European Biomass Conference Location: Idanha-a-Nova PORTUGAL Initial Investment: 45 M Plantation size: Ha EtOH production: 100 m3/d Power capacity: 5MWe Expected date of completion: 2010 To date: 40 Hectares of field trials with 7 highly productive cv and hybrids of sweet sorghum and sugarcane for temperate climates

21 First Commercial Sweet Sorghum Biorefinery now under construction Sweet Sorghum Sugarcane

22 These concepts and technologies can be applied to different feedstock such as Corn and other cereals: Grains Straw Ethanol and DDGs Agropellets, CHP, BioH2 Sugar beet: Sugar Ethanol Dried Pulp Pelletisation, animal feed

23 Conclusions With rising oil prices in the long term and need to reduce dependency on fossil fuel biomass can be TODAY an important resource for the development of a bio-based economy to produce fuels for transportation, power, heat, biochemicals etc. To really have an impact at large scale for bioenergy and reach the EU targets at 2020 it is important to maximize the efficiency of bioenergy production Biorefinery systems, by integrating different technologies and combining different energy productions can play a fundamental role in the achievement of this goal Commercial technologies are already available or on the edge of economic viability Given the need to reconvert part of the European sugar production, and the availability of large scale industrial structures and technologies that could be partly retrofitted the sugar industry could have a significant advantage in the implementation of biorefinery systems

24 Thanks for Your Attention! For further information: