This project will determine the feasibility of a Coal-Biomass to Liquids (CBTL) facility in southern West Virginia. The study will include economic, technical, and financial feasibility along with a market analysis for CBTL fuel. For the analysis, three production scenarios will be used to determine the best technology, while multi-objective programming will be used to identify the best strategies for feedstock management, facility operations, and locating sites.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to supporting research focused on making use of the nation's coal and biomass resources. The Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids (C&CBTL) Technology Program at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is developing advanced technologies to remove technical barriers that will foster the commercial adoption of coal and coal/biomass gasification technologies for the production of affordable hydrogen and liquid fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, aviation, and military fuels). The hydrogen can be used in advanced systems for efficient power generation produced with near-zero emissions and with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The synthesis gas (syngas) produced by the gasification of coal and coal/biomass mixtures can be converted by chemical processes to generate clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels. To successfully complete the development of C&CBTL technologies from the present state to the point of commercial readiness, the C&CBTL Program efforts are focused on two Key Technologies: (1) Coal/Biomass Feed and Gasification, and (2) Advanced Fuels Synthesis. The Advanced Fuels Synthesis Key Technology is focused on catalyst and reactor optimization for producing liquid hydrocarbon fuels from coal/biomass mixtures, supports the development and demonstration of advanced separation technologies, and sponsors research on novel technologies to convert coal/biomass to liquid fuels. Also included are detailed life cycle analyses to quantify the technical, economic, and environmental feasibility of producing liquid fuels from coal/biomass feedstock. This project, a partnership between NETL and the West Virginia University Research Corporation, will enable an assessment of the benefits, costs, and risks of building a coal-to-biomass liquid fuel facility in Southern West Virginia. Liquids fuels derived from coal/biomass feedstocks are cleaner burning than comparable petroleum-derived fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while reducing dependence on imported oil. Furthermore, a CBTL facility in southern West Virginia would promote rural development in the region with associated economic benefits.
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