On 28 June 2019, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn paid a visit to Bioliq pilot plant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany. Dr. Somvong Tragoonrung, Executive Director of BIOTEC and Dr. Kuakoon Piyachomkwan, Deputy Executive Director of BIOTEC, also joined The Princess to visit the Bioliq pilot plant’s facility and learn about its production.
Bioliq pilot plant is located at KIT, a public research university and a Europe’s leading energy research institute in Karlsruhe, Germany. Initially, the project to build the facility was started in 2005. Partners across the industry had been collaborating to construct and optimize the plant. In 2015, the development and commercialization of the plant have finally come to light.
The plant produces synthetic fuels from biomass that can replace part of fossil energy sources and will contribute to an efficient mix of renewable energies. This technology is also known as Biomass-to-Liquid (BtL) in which various kind of biomass, such as dry, straw, and residual wood, from agriculture, forestry and landscaping, are used as raw material for production of the synthetic fuels. Additionally, the plant’s BtL biofuels are capable of reducing carbon dioxide as most of energy needed in running the fuels’ production are from heat and electrical power of the BtL biomass conversion process.
The Pilot Plant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
How does the Bioliq pilot plant perform Biomass-to-Liquid?
According to www.bioliq.de, the production process at the Bioliq pilot plant is a complete process chain to produce customized fuels from residual biomass. For energy densification of the biomass, fast pyrolysis is applied. The liquid pyrolysis oil and solid char obtained can be processed into intermediate fuels of high energy density. Fuel and chemicals production from syngas requires high pressures. Therefore, syngas production is already performed at pressures up to 80 bar by entrained flow gasification. Gas cleaning and conditioning are conducted at the same pressure at high temperatures allowing for optimal heat recovery and thus improved energy efficiency. In the plant, the purified syngas is firstly converted into dimethyl ether and then further to gasoline. The plant at KIT is also view as a platform for research in the field of sustainable fuels from biomass with aim to continually examine high-quality fuel for modern engines and future sustainable mobility concepts.
What the Bioliq pilot plant can do for Thailand?
The technology is beneficial to Thailand. 900,000 barrel/year of crude oil is imported to Thailand on average, accounting for 900,000 million baht of the country’s annual expenditure. The number continues to rise each year. As the synthetic fuels from biomass resources could replace their fossil-based counterparts, Bioliq technology can help to decrease the amount of crude oil imported. Thailand has vast biomass materials which can be used to generate synthetic fuels.
Posted on 18 July 2019.