Oxygen content a challenge in biomass displacement of crude

18 June 2013 05:29  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTREAL, Canada (ICIS)--High oxygen content in biomass can create a challenge for the US Department of Energy (DOE) as it forms a strategy to displace crude oil, a technical manager said on Monday.

Oxygen content in biomass is 41-50%, whereas it is only 0.05-1.5% in crude oil, said Joyce Yang from the DOE’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) office.

“That is fine when you look at a strategy for cellulosic ethanol because ethanol is 35% by weight in oxygen, she said at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference.

“But when you pursue hydrocarbon fuels, there’s almost no oxygen so the strategic consequence is [that] there is potentially a significant loss of yield, up to 50%,” Yang added.

As a result, hydrogen would needed to supplement the lack of oxygen content in the biomass product, she said.

“So that means a lot to us in terms of our coming strategy [to displace oil] and how we deal with this program and process to still make it economically viable without subsidies,” she said.

The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference runs through 19 June.

Follow Tracy on Twitter

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index