US-based research organization Southern Research Institute (SRI) has signed a co-operative agreement worth $950,000 with the Department of Energy to liquefy bio-mass.
As per the agreement, SRI will develop economical liquefaction process to convert biomass to petroleum refinery-ready bio-oils.
The produced bio-oils will be processed with hydrotreater and cracker input streams in a petroleum refinery to produce transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbons.
SRI principal investigator Santosh K. Gangwal remarked that its project demonstrates cost-effective process over other liquefaction methods the use severe conditions and expensive catalyst.
"We will also evaluate the suitability and process economics of directly blending our bio-oils with refinery hydrotreater and cracker streams for co-production of diesel and gasoline," added Gangwal.
The association is set to construct a lab-scale reactor to test hydrotreating and cracking of bio-oils to produce gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbons.
Meanwhile, it is also seeking a refinery partner to provide it with bio-oil quality specifications that meet requirements for direct insertion at various points in the petroleum refining process.
Gangwal also added that the co-processing of bio-oil with petroleum refinery streams could help refineries comply with new renewable fuels standards.