The oil refining industry is facing harder policies on renewable content in its products. One way to meet this is to produce diesel and gasoline from gasification of biomass via a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis. In this paper, heat integrating a biomass-to-FT syncrude process with a refinery is compared to a stand-alone biomass-to-FT syncrude process, in terms of the consequences for GHG emissions and energy balances. The upgrading of the FT syncrude is in both cases accomplished at the refinery, in the existing units or in new units. The studied system includes a circulating fluidised-bed biomass gasifier with a biomass input of 500 MW (50% moisture content) and a complex refinery with a crude oil capacity of 11.4 Mt/y. The integrated FT syncrude production shows the greatest potential for reductions in GHG emissions. Still, the GHG emission mitigation potential of using biomass for FT fuel production is smaller than co-firing biomass with coal in coal power plants.
Keywords: Fischer-Tropsch fuel, FT fuel, FT diesel, heat integration, system analysis, oil refinery, GHG emissions