Biofuels feature for ICIS Chemcial Business

Ah the echoes of my old papery life keep rustling around me. I’m writing a feature for ICIS Chemical Business on Second Generation Biofuels.

I’ve just asked Air Liquide for more details on Bioliq a process developed by its subsidiary Lurgi which converts straw to liquid, and then converts that to synthesis gas and on to liquid fuels.

Here are some of the questions that I’ve just asked the press office.


  1. How is the syn crude made?
  2.  Is it a biological process
    1. If so is it bacteria driven/mould/enzyme driven or some other route (as much detail as possible please) What is the yield and the rate of the process?
    2. Is it a chemical process. How is it catalysed (as much detail as possible please) what is the yield and the rate of the process ?
  3. Refining the biocrude sounds very much like Fischer-Tropshe is that the case what kind of catalysts are you using. What is the yield and the rate. ?
  4. How much gasoline can you generate from a tonne of straw?
  5. What is the energy balance of the process. How does it compare with ethanol fermentation/crude processing.
  6. What distance do you think that you’ll need to take straw from to meet demand. At what distance is it uneconomical?
  7. Does the process regenerate carbon that could be added to the soil to stop it becoming depleted.


I wouldreally appreciate as much data on these points as you can manage by Mondayafternoon (9 Feb 2009). Please let me know if this is going to be possible.


Best wishes

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One Response to Biofuels feature for ICIS Chemcial Business

  1. Pradeep 6 February, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    I would be interested to hear more about this.
    From what I understand, the flow goes as:

    The syngas-fuels conversion (similar to other F-T processes) might have the largest footprint (equipment and plant siting-wise) in the whole process.
    If the entire straw liquid is gasified, I would not expect any carbon by-products.

    BTW, Lurgi is well known for its gasifiers, and I would not be surprised to see similar (hybrid?) processes for other biomass products down the line.

    Did you mention anything about the plant capacity?

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