TITLE: Second-Year Project Analysis of the Arizona State University Process to Convert Cellulosic Wastes into Light Fuel Oil. Final Report.

INST.  AUTHOR: Energetics, Inc., Columbia, MD.

SPONSOR: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.


PUB.  TYPE: Technical Report

PUB.  COUNTRY: United States

SOURCE: Department of Energy [DE],  30 Jun 81,  71p.



An indirect liquefaction process is being developed by Arizona State University (ASU) for the conversion of cellulosic wastes into light fuel oil. In this process the cellulosic waste feedstock is first gasified, by catalytic flash pyrolysis, then liquefied in a modified Fischer-Tropsch catalytic reactor. The liquid-fuel product is similar to petroleum refinery-produced diesel oil and No. 2 fuel oil. Depending upon the liquid-fuel conversion yield and feedstock moisture content, a high-quality by-product gas is available for sale or supplementary gaseous fuel is needed to sustain the process. The existing research-scale process development unit has an approximate feedstock capacity of 25 pounds per hour. Arizona State University proposes to construct a pilot-scale unit with a feedstock capacity of 10 tons per day. The smallest commercial scale for conversion plants of this type is about 500 tons per day.  Product yield in the research-scale process development unit is currently about 10 gallons per ton of feedstock. The immediate research goal is to demonstrate a product yield of 40 gallons per ton, principally through improvement in the choice of liquefaction-reactor catalyst. The optimum product yield is reported to be approximately 100 gallons per ton. A previous economic analysis of the projected commercial-scale process assumed a yield of 80 gallons per ton of zero-moisture feedstock at a factor of 90 percent. This study examines the projected process costs at the commercial scale over the range of expected variation and uncertainty in product yield, plant factor, feedstock capacity, feedstock moisture content, and future fuel prices. The quantities of cellulosic waste feedstocks economically available over these parameter ranges are estimated. The study results allow straightforward interpretation of the national energy-conservation significance of technical progress as the R and D project continues. (ERA citation 08:033266)