Exergetic evaluation of 5 biowastes-to-biofuels routes via gasification

A. Sues Caula, M. Jurascik, K.J. Ptasinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the exergy analysis results for the production of several biofuels, i.e., SNG (synthetic natural gas), methanol, Fischer–Tropsch fuels, hydrogen, as well as heat and electricity, from several biowastes generated in the Dutch province of Friesland, selected as one of the typical European regions. Biowastes have been classified in 5 virtual streams according to their ultimate and proximate analysis. All production chains have been modeled in Aspen Plus in order to analyze their technical performance. The common steps for all the production chains are: pre-treatment, gasification, gas cleaning, water–gas-shift reactions, catalytic reactors, final gas separation and upgrading. Optionally a gas turbine and steam turbines are used to produce heat and electricity from unconverted gas and heat removal, respectively. The results show that, in terms of mass conversion, methanol production seems to be the most efficient process for all the biowastes. SNG synthesis is preferred when exergetic efficiency is the objective parameter, but hydrogen process is more efficient when the performance is analyzed by means of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. The main exergy losses account for the gasification section, except in the electricity and heat production chain, where the combined cycle is less efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1007
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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