Biofuels production from Syngas
FERmentation for Aviation and maritime use

Full value chain evaluation

The BioSFerA project will undertake a full value chain evaluation that will result in a final analysis to define a pathway for the market introduction of the project concept. Some crosscutting evaluations carried out on all tested and validated processes will complete the results of the project from an economic, environmental and social point of view.

The proposed innovative BioSFerA value chain is modelled in Aspen Plus to investigate steady and dynamic conditions. Building upon the knowledge of reaction mechanisms and reactor’s performance from the lab and pilot activities, CERTH develops a reliable model for each process step, which supports the upscaling of the concept to industrial level. A well-structured integrated model is built and validated with data from the lab/pilot runs. Several parametric investigations identifya set of key specifications, to optimize the overall system’s performance. During the dynamic process simulation runs, a number of scenarios at different operating conditions are assessed for effectiveness in the different units of the control systems. The aim is to develop a methodology for a robust control of the overall plant. Such a complex system with several different components and different interacting operational principles requires a well-structured Advanced Process Control (APC) application.

The techno-economic assessment (TEA) evaluates the economic feasibility and sustainability of the concept. It should identify the conditions under which the investment becomes profitable in different regions in Europe, where different feedstock and blends (co-gasification) are handled. As a starting point, the capital and operational cost of the industrial plant, basing on advanced cost estimation methodologies, are defined and optimized according to the different specific parameters (location, market needs, feedstocks, logistics, socioeconomic aspects) in selected regions. In addition, an LCC analysis assesses the cost effectiveness of each process stage up to the overall cost.

CERTH calculates environmental performance indicators for each individual process units part of the chain using a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology. Compliance of BioSFerA technology against the sustainability requirements of the RED II Directive is evaluated. Main indicators included in the assessment are: primary energy and GHG balances for biomass supply, pre-treatment, gasification, fermentation and fractionation of hydrogenated TAGs. Environmental benefits in terms of GHG emissions reduction generated in the production of biofuels are calculated.

In the context of a Social Life Cycle Analysis (S-LCA), the impact of the new fuels is analysed. The criteria for the SLCA that BioSFerA adopt are based on insights in the whole value chain of aviation and marine fuel from academia, social/environmental organizations, and governmental agencies with relevance to fuels. For this purpose, several semi-quantitive and qualitative indicators are taken into consideration.

Risk management is the term used to cover the whole process of identifying and assessing risks andachieved technological and environmental targets  and creating and operating systems for their control. There is a lack of specific Health and Safety Executive(HSE) Biofuel regulation and it is recognised that the biofuel manufacturing facility often does not come under Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations. However, it is prudent that the risk from the biofuel industry is assessed and managed considering the nature of hazards and the stakeholders involved. Effective risk management can assist the biofuel industry in the prevention of catastrophic events. In BioSFerA project, the generic approach for process risk management is adopted for the biofuel industry where hazards are identified, assessed and analysed systematically using appropriate tools and methods by suitably trained persons.

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