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Synthetic fuels from biomass using concentrated solar energy – A review
- Nzihou, Ange, Flamant, Gilles, Stanmore, Brian
- Energy 2012 v.42 no.1 pp. 121-131
- biomass, carbon dioxide, fuels, gasification, heat, hydrogen, solar energy, synthesis gas, temperature, zero emissions
- Biomass represents a renewable source for transport fuels when processed by gasification, followed by catalytic conversion of the syngas to liquids. The efficiency of biomass gasification can be improved by supplying process heat from concentrated solar systems, which can attain the required temperature of 900 °C. Various chemical routes and contacting configurations are reviewed. The challenges related to biomass-based processes are discussed. Heat and material balances are then deduced. The area of land required for growing biomass can be reduced using the application of thermal solar to one half of that needed for a standard gasification system. If hydrogen is generated by solar means in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero, the figure becomes one third. Examples of the land requirements for three different biomass materials are presented.