DME As An Alternative Fuel Produced From CO2-enhanced Gasification Of Biomass

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and diesel are commonly used fuels, however renewable Dimethyl Ether (DME) has drawn attention in recent years as it could be used as an alternative fuel to LNG and diesel. DME may also prove to be more efficient than diesel since DME has a higher combustion quality due to its high cetane number, thus achieving a higher efficiency.

On a commercial level, DME is typically produced through a two-step process, first, a synthetic gas (syngas) is converted to methanol, it then goes through methanol hydration, which produces DME. However, single-step synthesis of DME may prove to be a better option economically as they have a low investment and production costs. Some single step synthesis technologies include JFE technology and a process that adopts the hydrogen (H2) /carbon monoxide (CO) ratio of 1/1.

Carbon dioxide is a detrimental greenhouse gas (GHG); however, it is possible to mitigate the emissions where it can be converted into valuable chemicals or fuels. The use of COas a gasifying agent in biomass gasification has gained interest over the past few decades. One advantage to using COis that by adjusting its levels the H2/CO ratio will also change which therefore allows for the water gas shift reaction to being avoided. Another benefit to the process is the avoidance of using an oxygen separation unit, this helps to reduce energy consumption. A drawback, however, is the endothermic nature of the gasification reaction, meaning a constant heat source is needed.

This work focuses on the simulation of conventional DME synthesis system as well as DME production based on CO2-enhanced gasification of biomass. The conventional process uses oxygen and steam as the gasifying agent while the CO2-enhanced process utilizes COwith steam. As COis one of the main products of the single-step DME synthesis, in the CO2-enhanced biomass gasification based DME production system, a portion of the emitted COis recycled in the gasifier as the oxidizing agent that helps reduce the net CO2 emission of the system. This study also assesses the exergetic and environmental performance of bio-DME using COas a gasifying agent (CO2-enhanced system). Thus, the respective energy, exergetic and environmental analyses of the two processes were compared. An effort was also made to learn more about process unit inefficiencies.

The novel CO2-enhanced process produced 0.59 kg of DME per kg of gumwood feedstock which was 28% higher than the conventional system. The results revealed that the plant energy efficiency and plant exergetic efficiency were higher for a CO2-enhanced system than for a conventional system. In both systems, the largest exergetic loss occurred in the gasification unit; however, the enhanced system had a reduced loss.

The life cycle analysis (LCA) of the investigated systems showed that using COas a gasifying agent results in less environmental impact as compared to conventional systems. This subsequently made the enhanced system a more promising option for DME synthesis. These findings could assist in the development and commercialization of CO2-enhanced DME production.

These novel findings are described in the article entitled Bio-DME production based on conventional and CO2 -enhanced gasification of biomass: A comparative study on exergy and environmental impacts, recently published in Biomass and Bioenergy. This work was conducted by Ashak Mahmud Parvez, Tao Wu, Sannia Mareta from University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Nick Miles from University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK, Sheng Li from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China and Iqbal M Mujtaba from University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

About The Author

AMP
Ashak Mahmud Parvez

Ashak is a research scientist at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Speak Your Mind!

READ THIS NEXT

A Smart Stochastic Model For Predicting Soil Moisture Under Changing Climate

Soil sustains life by the virtue of the nutrients and moisture it holds. Predicting the dynamics of soil moisture is of great importance for agricultural or water resource management. However, predicting soil moisture is a challenging task given the requirement of large-scale, complex numerical models, which are based on dataset like initial conditions, soil texture, […]

We Now Have An Idea About What Jupiter’s Interior Looks Like And It’s Incredible

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, that has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, has sent us back some incredible information. The interior of Jupiter has been a mystery to us since we first started studying Jupiter in the 1600’s, but now we actually have an idea about what Jupiter’s interior is like. The results of the study were […]

College Drinking Culture In Spain, Argentina, And The USA: An Examination Of Impulsivity, College Alcohol Beliefs, And Alcohol Outcomes

Across many countries and cultures, college students drink heavily. Students who drink heavily are at risk for a wide range of problems ranging from a hangover to unsafe and unplanned sex, and from poor academic performance to developing an alcohol-use disorder. Decades of research has found college student drinking culture to be a barrier towards […]

Obstacles To Renewable Energy Adoption In Colombia

Colombia is one of the main emerging economies of the South American continent and that means an ever-growing energy demand. In particular, electricity consumption is not only increasing but also changing from a matrix almost completely based on Hydropower, to a mix, where fossil fuels are ever more prevalent. Furthermore, there is a large portion […]

Chemical And Biological Characterization Spot The Faith Of Nanoparticles

Graphene has transformed material research worldwide. Graphene is considered an innovative material that could impact a wide variety of fields. The electronic, chemical, and structural aspects of graphene are responsible for its widespread application possibilities. Graphene, an attention-grabbing allotrope of carbon, belongs to the two-dimensional (2D) class of materials. Recognition of the application scope of […]

The Use Of Metamaterials For New Information Systems

Metamaterial has gradually cemented its place in the past 20 years as an area of exciting research and drawn broad attention from the physics and engineering communities, owing to its exotic electromagnetic (EM) behaviors. However, metamaterials have conventionally been described by effective medium parameters and governed by physical principles. They can be compared to, in […]

Detecting Fetuin-A In Saliva

Human Fetuin-A (also known as α2-HS-glycoprotein) is a plasma protein synthesized by the liver and secreted into the serum. It plays a role as a physiological inhibitor of insulin receptor tyrosine kinase associated with insulin resistance. It is a negative acute-phase reactant involved in the inflammation processes. High serum concentrations have been observed in patients […]