End of the project

And the technical concept worked!

The ABC salt project aimed to effectively convert waste biomass streams to middle distillates using molten salt pyrolysis in combination with catalytic hydrotreatment at a TRL level of 3-4. The ultimate technical objective was to operate a continuous  lab scale unit for extended times on stream producing liters of hydrocarbons preferably in the middle distillate range and with an emphasis on aviation fuels. The two steps were indeed successfully validated in the unit with overall yields far above expectations and project objectives set at forehand. For Kraft lignin as the feed, a staggering overall yield of 78%C based on lignin intake was achieved. A picture of the final product is given in the Figure below.
The economic potential of the conversion from Kraft lignin to MD’s integrated in a pulp and paper mill was assesses using a techno-economic evaluation. The base case ABC-Salt net production cost is calculated to 1.81 €/kgProduct at a derived lignin price of 362 €/t. Lignin is the main cost contributor. Further theoretical process optimization yields 1.56 €/kgProduct which is still a little higher than the latest jet fuel price development (1.24 €/kgjet fuel). A life cycle assessment was carried out to determine the environmental impacts of the ABC-Salt process, especially the global warming potential, and the identification of key impact drivers. Lignin, molten salts and hydrogen production were shown to be  key impact drivers in all investigated impact categories. The global warming potential of the base case ABC-Salt product is 16.8 gCO2-eq./MJproduct, which is equivalent to an 82% reduction compared with fossil fuel.
All in all we are very proud with the outcomes of the project and are looking forward to further scale up the concept to a higher TRL level (4-5) in the future!