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Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Integration of an Electrolysis Unit for Producer Gas Conditioning in a Bio-Synthetic Natural Gas Plant

[+] Author and Article Information
Sennai Mesfun

Ecosystems Services and Management Program,
International Institute for Applied Systems
Analysis (IIASA),
Schlossplatz 1,
Laxenburg A-2361, Austria
e-mail: mesfun@iiasa.ac.at

Joakim Lundgren

Energy Engineering, Division of Energy Science,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
e-mail: joakim.lundgren@ltu.se

Andrea Toffolo

Energy Engineering, Division of Energy Science,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
e-mail: andrea.toffolo@ltu.se

Göran Lindbergh

School of Chemical Science and Engineering,
KTH,
Teknikringen 42,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: gnli@kth.se

Carina Lagergren

School of Chemical Science and Engineering,
KTH,
Teknikringen 42,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: carinal@kth.se

Klas Engvall

School of Chemical Science and Engineering,
KTH,
Teknikringen 42,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: kengvall@kth.se

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 28, 2017; final manuscript received July 18, 2018; published online August 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Asfaw Beyene.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(1), 012002 (Aug 09, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1741; doi: 10.1115/1.4040942 History: Received December 28, 2017; Revised July 18, 2018

Producer gas from biomass gasification contains impurities like tars, particles, alkali salts, and sulfur/nitrogen compounds. As a result, a number of process steps are required to condition the producer gas before utilization as a syngas and further upgrading to final chemicals and fuels. Here, we study the concept of using molten carbonate electrolysis cells (MCEC) both to clean and to condition the composition of a raw syngas stream, from biomass gasification, for further upgrading into synthetic natural gas (SNG). A mathematical MCEC model is used to analyze the impact of operational parameters, such as current density, pressure and temperature, on the quality and amount of syngas produced. Internal rate of return (IRR) is evaluated as an economic indicator of the processes considered. Results indicate that, depending on process configuration, the production of SNG can be boosted by approximately 50–60% without the need of an additional carbon source, i.e., for the same biomass input as in standalone operation of the GoBiGas plant.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematics of the actual GoBiGas configuration (via the processes inside the dotted-box) and with an integrated conceptual MCEC process (via the processes inside the dashed-box)

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Fig. 2

System boundaries for energy performance analysis

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Fig. 3

Capital investment and share of subprocesses under different configurations

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Fig. 4

Cathode outlet gas composition as function of MCEC operating temperature at 1.013 bar (a) and MCEC operating pressure at 650 °C (b)

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Fig. 5

Integrated grand composite curve for the reference scenario I

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Fig. 6

Integrated grand composite curve for scenarios without internal reforming scenario II (a) and scenario III (b)

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Fig. 7

Integrated grand composite curve for scenarios with internal reforming scenario IV (a) and scenario V (b)

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Fig. 8

Internal rate of return as function RE cost with (a) and without (b) incentive for DH

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Fig. 9

Sensitivity of the IRR to biomass, RE and NG price (negative IRR values grayed-out on the heatmap)

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Fig. 10

Sensitivity of the IRR to biomass, RE and NG price at 50% higher investment (negative IRR values grayed-out on the heatmap)

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