|The new BTRC process (bottom) is more compact.|
The Biomass Technology Research Center (BTRC) of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has succeeded in continuously synthesizing Fischer-Tropsch diesel from wood via a new compact process.
This marks the first successful continuous production of Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) diesel from wood in Japan, and is intended to bolster the development of small or portable biomass-to-liquids plants (BTL). The ability to take production systems to the biomass rather than the other way around would improve the economics of the BTL system.
The new process removes the need for the compression of the synthesis gas. The process puts high-temperature (800º–900º C) syngas at several Mpa pressure through a cleaning step that uses active carbon rather than the wet method. The effective use of the heat and elimination of the compressor reduces the power requirements, increasing the energy efficiency of the overall process.
|Portable bench test unit.|
On the basis of the successful lab test, the BTRC plans to develop a compact and portable prototype for bench tests in 2007. The bench test system will produce 1.6 liters of F-T diesel per day. BTRC is also at work on developing a catalyst for FT synthesis that would improve the yield and quality of diesel fuel.
The BTRC was formed October 2005 to pursue research into cellulosic ethanol and BTL Fischer-Tropsch diesel.
BTRC announcement (Japanese)