BtL demonstration projects in Europe

The BioTfuel BtL demonstration project

BioTfueL is a joint project launched by five French partners and Uhde. BioTfueL aims to integrate all the stages of the BTL process chain and bring them to market. This involves the drying and crushing of the biomass, torrefaction, gasification, purification of the synthesis gas and its ultimate conversion to second generation biofuels using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.

The project will use Uhde's proprietary PRENFLOTM™ gasification process with direct quench (PDQ). The procees can utilise a wide range of feedstocks, allows high energy efficiency and enables very pure synthesis gas to be produced.

The overall budget for the BioTfueL project is 112.7 million euro. The project includes the construction and operation of two pilot plants in France to produce biodiesel and biokerosene based on biomass gasification.The plants was initially scheduled to go into operation in 2012 [Source: Uhde GmbH]. By the end of 2016 two demonstraters were set according to the Biofuels Barometer 2017.

Bioliq Pilot Plant at Karlsrhue

The bioliq® pilot plant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is running successfully along the complete process chain. All stages of the process have now been interconnected: Flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained flow gasification, hot gas cleaning, and synthesis. In March 2015, Air Liquide announced it has provided key technologies for the pyrolysis of biomass and gas synthesis as well as the oxygen supply needed for the gasification process.

CEA / Air Liquide - SYNDIÈSE-BtS project, Bure-Saudron

Air Liquide and CEA, France, are developing an innovative process for converting biomass into synthesis gas - the SYNDIÈSE-BtS project, Bure-Saudron. CEA is developing a novel mechanical pretreatment processes for biomass, which will reduce energy consumption compared to thermochemical pretreatments. Air Liquide is developing techniques to convert the pretreated biomass to syngas in an oxy-burner at 1300-1400° C. In May 2013, the began development of a pilot plant to test the concept at 1 tonne per hour.

In 2009, CEA announced a BtL pilot plant in Bure Saudron using 75000 tonnes of foresty and agricultural residues to produce ~23000 tonnes/year of biofuel (diesel, kerosene and naptha). This project added hydrogen during the synthesis stage to optimise the ratio with carbon monoxide [Source CEA].

UPM Stracel BTL

A final decision on whether or not the UPM Stracel BtL facility will proceed is reportedly pending, due to ongoing uncertainty over the regulatory environment for advanced biofuels in Europe.

On 18 December 2012 it was announced that the UPM Stracel BTL project, France, had been selected to receive counterpart funding of €170m under the first call for proposals of the NER300 funding programme for innovative low-carbon technologies. The Project concerns the construction and operation of a second generation Biomass-to-Liquid (BtL) plant on the Strasbourg site of the UPM Group, which already owns and operates a paper mill on the same site (Stracel). The Project is based on a prototype developed in cooperation with the technology provider using a gasification process. The Project is based on the application of novel pressurized oxygen blown biomass gasification technology. The BtL plant will be integrated into the paper & pulp production line, enabling exchanges of energy and products. The plant will use about 1 million tonnes of woody biomass and will have an annual output of 105 000 tons of biofuel. Using mainly wood feedstock, the Project aims to produce and sell biodiesel (80%) and bionaphtha (20%). The proposed technical solution is based on the following main components: feedstock handling, gasification, raw gas cleaning, gas-to-liquid conversion, liquid treatment and storage, and power generation.