THE ROLE THAT BIOMASS will play in future energy and biochemical applications is increasing at an accelerated rate. Biofuels, carbon based energy sources based on organic or plant feedstocks, look to fill in the gap due to declining fossil fuel sources. Biomass energy has long been used in many industries for steam and power generation using combustion technology to dispose of otherwise waste feedstocks. Increasingly, the conversion of biomass into transportable, usable liquid fuels is seen as a solution to combat global warming and to supplement the world's energy sources with a renewable alternative to petroleum based fuels.
KSH, a leader in the planning, design and construction of world class facilities, is ideally suited to meet the needs of the biofuels industry. Biofuel production employs almost all of the same process steps as pulp & paper installations, including material handling and pre-processing of biomass feedstocks, chemical conversion of biomass into saleable products, efficient water and energy management, site infrastructure, and environmental abatement systems.
KSH provides consulting, engineering and design/build services in the following biofuel markets:
“FIRST GENERATION” BIOFUELS: Full capabilities for the production of grain-based ethanol and biodiesel from plant oils. These fuels, derived from food based plants (corn, wheat, soy, canola, etc.) are processed through enzymatic systems, fermentation, and distillation. All the while, waste biomass is converted to power and process water and energy management is optimized.
“SECOND GENERATION” BIOFUELS: Similar to first generation biofuels, these are derived from cellulosic / hemicellulosic feedstocks (corn stover, bagasse, woodwaste, grasses, straw, etc.). These feedstocks employ much of the same expertise as in pulp & paper and involve enzymatic conversion of cellulose into sugars that can be made into ethanol, fast pyrolysis of biomass to produce bio-oil and charcoal, conversion of biomass-to-liquid through high temperature gasification and catalytic conversion into synthetic diesel, and many others.
BIOGAS: Unlike liquid fuels, biogas is usually consumed on or near the production site to produce combustible methane gas for power or process uses. Methane is produced through anaerobic digestion of wastewaters and bio-sludges or extracted as landfill gas.
BIOREFINERY CONCEPT: Integration of biofuel production with existing pulp and paper facilities utilizes common infrastructure and systems to produce alternate products. Gasification of biomass or lignin can produce steam and power onsite for a mill; methanol and other wood chemicals can be extracted in conjunction with chemical pulping processes.
KSH brings a host of capabilities to such industrial facilities, including:
- Biomass selection and supply assessments
- Process analysis for new technologies
- Project scenario analysis and market assessment, including consideration of available incentives
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon balance of existing and future operations
- Site and biomass transport logistics, including material handling design
- Environmental systems for water, air and solid waste handling
- Advanced mechanical, electrical and instrumentation design techniques
- Process expertise including equipment selection and process modeling for;
- Enzymatic fermentation
- Gas/liquid fermentation / Acid hydrolysis
- Distillation and purification technologies
- Gasification / Pyrolysis
- Biomass to Liquid (BTL) capabilities including Syngas production and Fischer-Tropsch catalytic conversion to biofuel
- Thermal depolymerization
- Anaerobic biogas production and handling