2009 Awards

Biomass Gasification Tar Cracking Catalyst Development for Biofuels Synthesis - Research Triangle Institute

Funding recipient:  RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC

Award amount:  $184,891

RTI, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biomass Program, is developing syngas clean up technologies necessary for the technical success of biomass-to-liquids (BTL) processes that have the potential to convert abundant biomass resources, such as forest thinnings and other woody biomass found in North Carolina, into liquid transportation fuels.

Currently, the most technically defined thermochemical route for producing alternative fuels from lignocellulosic biomass involves gasification/reforming of biomass to produce syngas (carbon monoxide [CO] + hydrogen [H2]), followed by syngas cleaning, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) or alcohol synthesis, and some product upgrading via hydroprocessing or separation.

Excessive tar levels in biomass-derived syngas potentially threaten the successful development of thermochemical biofuels production processes. Overcoming the technical challenges of removing tars and other impurities in biomass-derived syngas will speed the development of robust, thermochemical conversion process for converting North Carolina’s abundant biomass resources into economically viable renewable liquid transportation fuels.

North Carolina counties benefiting from this project: Durham

For additional information about the impact of Biofuels Center funding and a brief explanation of award recipient reporting requirements, click here.