The objective of the NextGenRoadFuels project is to apply advanced hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology and subsequent upgrading to a selected range of low value/cost, concentrated biogenic residues from urban activity, in order to obtain cost competitive, sustainable drop-in quality synthetic gasoline and diesel fuels.
From a highly efficient and validated baseline HTL process chain designed for lignocellulosics, new innovative process steps will be designed and existing steps optimised to address the additional challenges encompassed by such feedstocks, exemplified by sewage sludge, food waste and construction wood waste (termed urban feedstocks), with the objective to reach similar performance as for lignocellulosics.
The main optimisation targets are:
- to establish fundamental pretreatment process and parameters to provide the highest possible organic dry matter content in feedstock slurry and efficiently remove valuable inorganics that can have added value as organic fertilisers and/or soil improvers
- to establish HTL processing parameters giving highest possible carbon and energy yields to oil phase
- to establish efficient upgrading schemes to bring the HTL intermediate bio-crude to drop-in gasoline and diesel fuels
- to close material and energy streams to and from the individual process steps in order to obtain maximum internal utilisation and minimal environmental impact
- to establish minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) scenarios demonstrating cost-competitiveness, socio-economic benefits and superior LCA and GHG reduction effects in a pan-European as well as global perspective.
Specific targets of the NextGenRoadFuels project are to demonstrate the potential to convert more than 100M tons of urban feedstock per year into almost 500,000 barrels per day of drop-in diesel and gasoline fuels (more than 10% of the current use in the EU), at a cost of approximately 50-60 Euro-cent per litre. This will generate 50,000 direct and 300,000 indirect jobs within the EU, and reduce GHG emissions by more than 70%.