Title : The opportunities of biofuels in times of E-Fuel and hydrogen "hopium"
Hydrogen is the great “hopium”, and some call it the last frantic attempt of the oil industry to stay in the driver’s seat of the energy supply. Almost no day passes that a new multibillion-dollar project is announced - if it makes sense or not. Most project developers have no clear image and only limited knowledge of the limitations of hydrogen in terms of thermodynamic and physical rules. The results are sometimes flabbergasting.
Hydrogen is suggested as a replacement for natural gas and to be transported in existing gas pipelines, though it is clear that the material of these pipes becomes brittle from the hydrogen, and none of the appliances that are currently powered with natural gas are prepared for hydrogen.
Ammonia is suggested as the ideal medium to safely transport hydrogen over long distances and a propulsion medium for vessels and trucks. However, the lifecycle assessment shows that in the production, transport, and reconversion processes 90% (!) of the electric energy is wasted - which is energy we don’t even have. Last but not least, ammonia is not burning by itself in ICEs and needs a pilot fuel. Guess what that is? Diesel. So how we turn it, biofuel will continue to play a role.
The presentation will clarify where the application of hydrogen makes sense and where we can do a better job with biofuels.
As introduced at last year’s conference, can our bio-oil conversion system (BOC) crack with the help of catalysts, heat, and mechanical stress the long hydrocarbon chains of lignocellulosic biomass into shorter
chains in the diesel fuel range. We have meanwhile acquired a company in Europe with an existing mini refinery that is perfectly suited for our demonstration purposes. The plant is capable to convert 16,000 - 24,000 tons of bonedry biomass into 8000 tons of marine gas oil MGO.
I will introduce initial results for various feedstock types like wheat straw, wood shavings, miscanthus, corn straw, and other available biomass. Another part will outline existing and potential problems like changing Hydro carbon compositions and aging behavior.