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CHRISGAS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 502587
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Sweden

Renewable automotive fuels for the transport sector

A group of scientists made headway in studies of energy-efficient fuel production from renewable sources. The initiative turned challenges to opportunities for the transport sector, by helping to reduce the use of environmentally threatening products.
Renewable automotive fuels for the transport sector
There is increasing pressure to reduce the transport sector's dependence on oil. One way to realise this, in line with Kyoto Protocol obligations, is for vehicles to be powered by fuels produced from renewable energy sources. Biomass is one such source. A higher yield of motor fuel from cellulose biomass can be achieved through gasification/synthesis gas, as all carbon can be converted to fuel. This translates to lower expected costs compared to other viable production means such as fermentation.

The 'Clean hydrogen-rich synthesis gas' (Chrisgas) project aimed to demonstrate a cost-effective and energy-efficient method of producing biomass-derived hydrogen-rich gases that could then be transformed into renewable automotive fuels. The latter include Fischer-Tropsch diesel, dimethyl ether (DME) and hydrogen. The project's original intentions to realise this objective in a demonstration plant at Sweden's Växjö Värnamo Biomass Gasification Centre (VVBGC) could not be achieved. Reasons included a delay in the rebuilding, testing and funding of the plant, which would have been the world's first complete integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) demonstration plant for biomass.

The project's scope was thus refocused with basic engineering work and successful gasification test runs performed at the VVBGC's existing IGCC plant. Chrisgas used experimental results to conduct various desktop studies, including production of automotive fuels from various biofuels. These were carried out at a specific scale and were cost representative of typical biomass fuel chains in various EU regions. Project partners also investigated potential socioeconomic impacts, such as job creation, of the introduction of biomass-to-liquids (BtL) production plants.

Accomplishments in research and development (R&D) led, among others, to the development and commercialisation of a new piston feeder for biomass to a gasifier and the successful pilot testing of a modified hot gas filter with new features. Team members also succeeded in advancing knowledge in key areas of the thermo-chemical conversion process.

Project outcomes have the potential to increase the transport sector's use of renewable energy and thus reduce greenhouse gases and pollutant emissions when the studied technologies are ready for commercial introduction.

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