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bioliq® concept: production of energy carriers from organic residues

Biomass to Liquid – The Karlsruhe bioliq® Process

Fuels from biomass have a great potential: In the short term, they will replace part of our fossil energy sources and will contribute to an efficient mix of renewable energies. Covering a wide range of different fuels such as kerosene, diesel, and gasoline, BTL (biomass-to-liquid) fuels of the second generation offer various advantages over bioethanol or biodiesel. Almost any kind of biomass whose origin and needs should not collide with those of plants grown for the food industry can be used for biofuel production. Dry, cellulose-rich residual biomass from agriculture, forestry production, and landscaping is particularly suited.

An innovative approach for BTL is the bioliq® concept developed at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. On the occasion of their last transnational managing group meeting, hosted by KIT-ITAS, the project members of BioenNW had a visit to the Bioliq® pilot plant. Its aim is to cover the whole process chain required for producing customized fuels from residual biomass. Being mainly synthesized from dry straw or wood, the BTL fuels offer environmental and climatic benefits through clean combustion. The integrative process chain, moreover, enables production of synthesis gas and chemicals.

bioliq® intends to mainly convert large local quantities of residual biomass by densifying energy. To save carbon dioxide and reduce transport distances to refineries, the Karlsruhe BTL concept combines decentralized production of energy-rich bioliqSynCrude® by means of rapid pyrolysis and central processing with final industrial-scale refinement. Since the energy density of bioliqSynCrude® is by more than one order of magnitude higher compared to dry straw, it is evident that the method’s efficiency is enhanced by decentralized energy densification.

Words by Dr Martin Knapp
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology