The integration of biomass fractionation and catalytic upgrading is studied.
Alternative upgrading strategies are synthesized based on experimental data.
The relationship between process complexity and economic feasibility is explored.
Major cost drivers of the integrated processes are identified.
Multi-stage thermal biomass decomposition coupled with catalytic upgrading has a number of advantages over conventional single-stage pyrolysis with hydrotreating. However, significant gaps still exist in our understanding of the design of such processes. In this paper, we synthesize alternative catalytic upgrading strategies through integration of different chemistries. Using experimental data, we develop a process model for all strategies and conduct heat integration to minimize utility requirements. Then, using a wide range of technoeconomic analyses, we identify (1) the relationship between process complexity and the resulting fuel-range carbon yields and economic feasibility, (2) the economic advantage of integrating different thermal decomposition fractions, and (3) the key cost drivers of the integrated processes.
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