Exergetic evaluation of renewable light olefins production from biomass via synthetic methanol

Exergetic evaluation of renewable light olefins production from biomass via synthetic methanol

About the author

Yangyang Xiang, Ph.D. candidate, State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, China

Lead author of the paper, Yangyang Xiang received his bachelor degree from North China Electric Power University, China in 2011. Currently, he is working as a PhD student at Zhejiang University. His research focuses on developing efficient biomass conversion technologies for energy utilization.

About the author

Jinsong Zhou, Ph.D., Professor

Institute for Thermal Power Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, China

Prof. Zhou is a professor in Department of Energy Engineering, Zhejiang University, China. Prior to joining the faculty at Zhejiang University, he got his Ph.D. degree in Engineering Thermophysics at the Zhejiang University, in 1996. Since 1996 he is responsible for and significant contributions to several research & development projects in the field of biomass energy utilization and mercury emission and its control during coal utilization. In 2012, Dr. Zhou was appointed as a chief scientist in a biomass 973 program by Ministry of Science and Technology. He has authored or co-authored 90 papers and presentations in his research.

About the author

Bowen Lin, Ph.D. candidate

State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, China

He obtained his Bachelor degree in Thermal Power Engineering from the same school in 2013, and currently works in energy optimization of biomass conversion process.  

About the author

Xiaoao Xue, master degree candidate for Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics. His current research involves thermochemical conversion of biomass and fundamental understanding of catalytic pyrolysis.

About the author

Xingtao Tian, Master student

Zhejiang University, China

His research focuses on the utilization of biomass and the evaluation of bio-energy conversion system.  

About the author

Zhongyang Luo, Ph.D., Professor

Institute for Thermal Power Engineering-  State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, China

Zhongyang Luo, National Outstanding Young Scientist Award, Chair Professors of “Cheung Kong Scholars Program”, Premium expert of Zhejiang Province, and he is also the Director of State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Dean of College of Energy Engineering in Zhejiang University. He is also the member of Chinese Society of Power Engineering and Science & Technology Commission of Ministry of Education. His personal research areas are focus on Utilization of clean energy technology, new energy technology and energy-saving environmental protection technology.

Journal Reference

Applied Energy, Volume 157, 2015, Pages 499-507.

Yangyang Xiang, Jingsong Zhou, Bowen Lin, Xiaoao Xue, Xingtao Tian, Zhongyang Luo

State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Abstract

In this paper, an exergetic evaluation was conducted on a two-step biomass-derived light olefins system established using ASPEN PLUS. This system linked methanol synthesis via entrained-flow gasification to a methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process. The mass yield of the system was 0.248 kg light olefins per kg biomass, which is relatively higher than the literature results. The energetic and exergetic efficiencies of this system were 54.66% and 47.65%, respectively. The results of an exergetic analysis indicate that the biomass gasification, steam cycle, methanol separation, CO2 removal and olefins separation produce most of the system inefficiencies. By identifying the occurrence mechanism of the exergy losses, the potential for improvement can be obtained. A further increase of exergetic performance can be obtained from (1) improvement of gasification process via combining biomass torrefaction, and (2) enhancement of energy integration processes via heat network optimization and power generation from the produced steam.

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