Lignin as a feedstock for renewable marine fuels
It will develop an efficient and low-cost chemical pathway to convert lignocellulosic biomass into a bio heavy fuel oil (bio-HFO) with ultra-low sulfur levels that can be used as drop-in fuel in the existing maritime fleet. The project aims to develop new technologies, solutions and processes, and to demonstrate the performance and compatibility of the bio-HFO in maritime fuel systems and marine engines. The fuel oils that ships usually use can have sulfur content of up to 3.5 % – much higher than the sulfur content of fuels used in trucks, which must not exceed 0.001 %.
The overall goal of IDEALFUEL is to enable the utilization of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass as maritime fuel in a sustainable manner. IDEALFUEL aims to develop an efficient and low-cost chemical pathway to convert lignocellulosic biomass into a Bio Heavy Fuel Oil (Bio-HFO) with ultra-low sulphur levels that can be used as drop-in fuel in the existing maritime fleet.
This will be achieved by the strategy to first extract lignin from lignocellulosic biomass as a Crude Lignin Oil (CLO) and to convert the CLO - in a second chemical step - into a Bio-HFO. The solid cellulose fraction, which will be separated from the CLO via simple filtration, can be used in the pulp and paper industry or converted into ethanol. Hemicellulose will either be separated from the CLO or end up in the Bio-HFO.
IDEALFUEL’s ambition is to develop new technologies, solutions and processes from the current lab-scale (TRL3) via bench-scale (TRL4) to pilot scale (TRL5) and to prove the performance and compatibility of the Bio-HFO over the whole blending range in maritime fuel systems and marine engines. This includes a safety evaluation, which is necessary for the approval by the relevant regulatory bodies.
Further, IDEALFUEL will prove the techno-economic potential to reach a cost level of 700 € per tonne in 2025, 600 € per tonne in 2030 and < 500 € per tonne beyond 2030 resulting from optimisation, scaling effects of larger plant sizes and repetitive installations. This is cost competitive with Ultra-Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) which current, 2019, price level is 450-550 €/ton. IDEALFUEL will also carry out a Well to Propeller impact assessment and Life Cycle Analysis to check and proof the soundness of the environmental, society and sustainability aspects of the to be developed technologies, processes, products and logistics.
More information about the project can be found at the project website.