The future of lignocellulose processing


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This paper was presented on the 8th November 2012 at an SCI conference on Processing Lignocellulosic Biomass. The conference was held at the UK's Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) at the Wilton Centre, Redcar, UK. The main focus of the event was on the UK role for biomass conversion, and the business and commericial implications of the technologies being developed.

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The future of lignocellulose processing

  1. 1. NNFCCFuture of Lignocellulose processing Dr Adrian Higson November 2012
  2. 2. NNFCC A specialist bio-based economy consultancy based in York, UK. Company Vision We view bio-based technologies as key components of the low carbon economy delivering economic, social and environmental benefits. We believe the bioeconomy will create sustainable business opportunities for feedstock suppliers, technology and project developers, manufacturers and investors. Company Mission To provide clients with a holistic view of feedstock, technology, policy and market development across the bioeconomy, enabling them to make informed business decisions and develop sustainable business strategies.© NNFCC
  3. 3. NNFCC The value of lignocellulose Increasing value Decreasing volume© NNFCC
  4. 4. NNFCC Biomass – A love hate relationship! • Available on demand Strengths • Carbon source • Cost Weaknesses • Physical nature • Energy generation (heat and power) Opportunities • Liquid transport fuels • Chemicals and materials • Competition for land Threats • Environmental pressure© NNFCC
  5. 5. NNFCC Development options© NNFCC Source IEA Task 42, NNFCC
  6. 6. NNFCCDrivers of market development  Technology Push of crude oil, food basics and agricultural materials have The relative costs (enabling technologies)  Market Pull (new function or brand opportunities)15 years. moved significantly over the last  Political Intervention (market failures)  Feedstock Economics (end prices increasingly linked to energy All raw material of cheap oil)
  7. 7. NNFCC Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. Niels Bohr© NNFCC
  8. 8. NNFCCPerspective Amera’s Law "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." Thoughts on 2020  Timeframes for commercial deployment generally under estimated  Financing, construction, commissioning and achieving capacity take time  Expansion of current technologies  Technologies currently in demonstration move to commercial
  9. 9. NNFCCLonger term perspectives • Feedstock constraints Power • Increasing technology competition • Difficult to add value • Feedstock constraints • Increasing technology competition Fuel (electrification) • Difficult to add value • Technology opportunities (aviation fuels) • Limited market opportunities Materials • Considerable added value • No feedstock constraints • Less feedstock constraints • Potential to add significant value Chemicals • Technology opportunities • Specific market opportunities
  10. 10. NNFCC A high value market for lignocellulose? 1967 – There’s a great future in plastics 2012 - There’s a great future in bio- based plastics The Graduate (1967), Plastics production: projected growth 2000 1600 Plastic production: medium growth Million tonnes 1200 Medium 2020 339 million tonnes Low 2030 434 million tonnes 800 High 2050 712 million tonnes 400 0 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050© NNFCC
  11. 11. NNFCC Ethylene value chain 60% Ethanol Ethylene Polyethylenes 7% Styrene Polymers/Rubbers Monomer Ethanol production ~ 70 million tonnes Ethylene 14% Polyester Oxide/Glycol Ethylene production ~ 110 million tonnes 12% EDC PVC 7% Other Alpha Olefins PVA PET Collaborative© NNFCC
  12. 12. NNFCC The developing bio-based chemical industry • Ethylene glycol  Opportunities for bio-based • Epichlorohydrin C3 and C4 intermediates Today • Lactic acid • Propanediol  Niche opportunities in compostable packaging • Succinic acid • Butanol Near term • Butanediol  Value adding opportunities • Propylene in co-polymer development • Isoprene Medium • Butadiene term • Acrylic acid • Terephthalic acid© NNFCC
  13. 13. NNFCC Market expansion and development activity Currently over 50 companies actively developing and commercialising over 50 bulk chemicals Gr ee Ca Re nc Gl th ol ve yc ay Co Ta rd Go Ea M os Gl In lb Companies working on bio-based chemicals i iw a( od et stm ob Am ol Bi du Gl an Gr DS ab tT ye ot al st o an yr In ee ol Co Na M ec ba ar ec ri Bi Ge is/ di al ic nB Ch An /R /G hn rp oe hn lB tu Ve Bi Bi aG M Re no Ex Bi Bu No Ze Br Vi oq or em el en Bi M OP ol ne re io oA oc io ol rd Du ich o m nn Dr pl So lyc n ac as ta lo oM og at ve lo yr Vi ch wo ue og te Pu en al rg X e m DO yt ica Ge or at AD TM P eli he te DS ov at ke m gic io re lva ian zy ie do em ch ol ph ie t te Bi ies ha on be ra co rk ica CN er ch hs ax n ls n vo m nt W ia ne s s m M M s o O s l y a c t s r t r i ) Methanol Formic Acid Ethanol Ethylene Ethylene Oxide Ethylene Glycol (MEG) Acetic Acid Ethyl acetate Epichlorohydrin Bio-based chemicals Acetone isoPropanol Propylene Propylene Glycol 1,3-Propanediol Lactic acid Acrylic Acid n-Butanol iso-Butanol iso-Butylene Butadiene Succinic acid 2,3-Butanediol 1,4-Butanediol Tetrahydrofuran Isoprene Adipic acid HMDA Benzene Toluene Paraxylene Terephthalic acid Styrene© NNFCC Source: NNFCC
  14. 14. NNFCC Succinic acid value chain Polybutylene Succinic Acid 1,4-Butanediol Terephthalate Tetrahydrofuran Copolyester Ethers Deicers/Coolent Polytetramethylene Ether Glycol Solvent Thermoplastic Plasticisers Polyurethanes g-Butyrolactone Spandex Fibres Fuel Additives Fine & Speciality Chemicals N-Methyl -2- N-Vinyl-2- Pyrrolidone 2-Pyrrolidone Pyrrolidone Fine & Speciality Fine & Speciality Polyvinyl Chemicals Chemicals Pyrrolidone© NNFCC
  15. 15. NNFCC Bio-based polymer industry Industry demonstrating double digit growth. Near term growth dominated by expansion of the bio-based ethylene value chain Growth in novel bio-based plastics as polymer blend applications expand New monomers entering the market© NNFCC
  16. 16. NNFCC Implications on land requirements 2050 Land demand for bioplastics production 50 40 Non arable land Arable Land Plastics market growth 2.5% p.a. Million ha 30 Bioplastics market share 20% 20 10 0 Development ScenarioUnder a high growth scenario, market penetration of 40% and 5% YoY growth, the landdemand for bioplastics may approach sustainable limits, without the use of residues.© NNFCC Source: NNFCC
  17. 17. NNFCC Land requirements – the bigger picture© NNFCC Source: NNFCC
  18. 18. NNFCCThe challenges Technology Strategic Sustainability• Biomass crop • Integration into • Direct land use yields existing value change• Biomass chains • Indirect land use composition • Financing change• Logistics • Policy robustness • Biodiversity• Enzyme • Standards & • Emission (land, development labels air, water)• Fermentation • Public • Social impacts yields procurement• Novel products
  19. 19. NNFCCChallenges for industrial biotechnology  Chemical production  How to process lignin  Understand and control lignin biochemisty  Integration of chemistry and biotechnology  Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology  Increase cellular productivity - how to handle toxic products  Continuous extraction  Cellular compartmentalisation  Working in dilute aqueous environments  Product isolation and purification – in situ processing  Process intensification
  20. 20. NNFCCPre-treat or fractionate? The lowest cost process versus the highest value product slate Option A – Clean fractionation of three streams - requires value adding outlets for 2 or more streams Option B – Pre-treat to allow carbohydrate processing – requires high conversion yields if fuel is target product Option C – Convert to homogeneous intermediate
  21. 21. NNFCCLignocellulose gasification Gasification technology at demonstration / early commercial Potential for cost savings through innovation. Higher process efficiencies than combustion, therefore increasing the relative GHG emission savings. Carbon efficient power production facilitates the migration of the car and taxi fleet towards electric vehicles. Gasification is a unifying technology for the efficient production of power, heat and transport fuels (cars, light/heavy road vehicles and aviation).
  22. 22. NNFCCSynthesis gas based fermentation Aug. 13, 2012 - Joint Development Agreement for Bio-Based Butadiene
  23. 23. NNFCCBio-based economy Chemical Cellulosewill depend on co- Transformationdevelopment Hemicellulose Fermentation Chemicals Fractionation Lignin Liquid FuelsLignocellulose Drying Gasification Power Heat Pyrolysis Pretreatment Combustion
  24. 24. NNFCCRequirements  Development with environmental caution  Public investment to support and mitigate financial risks  More consideration of development pathways  Push policies towards sectors with limited alternatives
  25. 25. NNFCCDevelopment should maximising resource use raw material Material Cycle Energy Cycle
  26. 26. NNFCC The NNFCC provides high quality, industry leading consultancy for more information contact us Email - +44 (0) 1904 435182 Follow us on Twitter @NNFCC• Future Market Analysis • Technology evaluation & associated• Feedstock Logistics Planning due diligence• Sustainability Strategy • Project feasibility assessment Development • Policy and regulatory support