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Demonstration for a wood-to-fuel via DME route

By Gerald Ondrey |

Haldor Topsøe (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com) will demonstrate a new technology that converts wood to liquid fuels, as part of a $25-million project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.; www.energy.gov). Among the partners in the project are the pulp-and-paper company UPM-Kymmene, which will supply the wood, and ConocoPhillips, which will show that the new fuel can be used within existing infrastructures. The demonstration plant, which will take place at the Gas Technology Institute (Des Plaines; www.gastechnology.org), will convert 25 ton/d of wood into fuels using Topsøe’s integrated gasoline synthesis (Tigas) process. The demonstration will be the final step toward commercializing Tigas. First developed in the 1980s for converting natural gas into fuel, Tigas converts gasification-based synthesis gas (syngas) into high-octane gasoline through dimethyl ether (DME) as the key intermediate. The demonstration plant will use a multistage gasifier to convert wood into syngas, which is then used to make DME and methanol — the precursors for gasoline. Topsøe says that process integration becomes particularly attractive, because the low H2-to-CO ratio characteristic of gasification-derived…
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