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Sustainable Fuel for the Transportation Sector

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE USA

"Sustainable Fuel for the Transportation Sector"

Rakesh Agrawal, Navneet R. Singh, Fabio H. Ribeiro, W. Nicholas Delgass
School of Chemical Engineering and
Energy Center at Discovery Park, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN 47907

March 2007

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0609921104v1


A hybrid hydrogen-carbon (H2CAR) process for the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels is proposed wherein biomass is the carbon source and hydrogen is supplied from carbon-free energy...... For coal to liquids, the advantage of H2CAR is that there is no additional CO2 release to the atmosphere due to the replacement of petroleum with coal, thus eliminating the need to sequester CO2.


Proposed Process Schematic

Unlike biomass gasifiers, coal gasifiers are much more advanced. FT processes in conjunction with WGS reaction to convert synthesis gas (syngas) to diesel are also fairly well developed. Therefore, it is relatively easy to assess the benefit of the H2CAR process in the context of coal to liquid fuel. For calculations with coal as the carbon source, we used the coal and the associated gasifier data available in the NRC report (National Research Council, "The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs," 2004). The NRC's "current case" with gasifier efficiency of 75% was considered.

Proposed Process Configuration

U.S. estimated coal reserves is expected to last for 244 years if used at the current consumption rate. However, if coal is used to produce liquid fuels by conventional process, this coal will last for about 89 years. The use of the H2CAR process to make liquid fuels will increase the life of coal to 144 years.



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