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Hydrogen production from biomass gasification in the oil refining industry – A system analysis

Johansson, Daniella, Franck, Per-Åke, Berntsson, Thore
Energy 2012 v.38 no.1 pp. 212-227
biomass, carbon dioxide, fluidized beds, fossil fuels, gasification, greenhouse gas emissions, hydrogen, hydrogen production, industry, oil refining, oils, primary energy, society, steam
In this paper, the global CO₂ effect of integrating different biomass gasification concepts to meet an increasing demand of hydrogen in an oil refinery is examined and presented in comparison with a conventional steam reformer. The studied refinery is a hydro skimming refinery with a future hydrogen deficit of 16,000 Nm³/h. Three gasification concepts are considered: Entrained Flow (EF), Circulated Fluidised Bed (CFB) and Double Bed (DB). The system analysis is made with respect to global CO₂ emissions and primary energy use. The results show that if biomass is considered as an unlimited resource (i.e. sufficient biomass is considered to be available to substitute for all fossil fuels in society), biomass gasification concepts have a potential to reduce CO₂ emissions. The EF case shows the largest reduction potential. However, if biomass is considered as a limited resource (i.e. increased use of biomass at the refinery will lead to increased use of fossil fuel elsewhere in society), all concepts show an increase of CO₂ emissions. Here, the CFB gasifier shows lowest increase of CO₂ emission. The CO₂ effect of the different alternatives shows sensitivity to assumptions regarding alternative biomass user.