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Article

Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar-Driven Steam Gasification of Biomass for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production

1
CEA-LITEN Solar and Thermodynamic Systems Laboratory (L2ST), 38054 Grenoble, France
2
Processes, Materials and Solar Energy Laboratory, PROMES-CNRS, 7 Rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Font-Romeu, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ali Umut Sen, Catarina Pereira Nobre and Terencio Rebello de Aguiar Junior
Processes 2021, 9(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030462
Received: 16 February 2021 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 4 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extraction, Utilization and Conversion of Woody Biomass)
Solar biomass gasification is an attractive pathway to promote biomass valorization while chemically storing intermittent solar energy into solar fuels. The economic feasibility of a solar gasification process at a large scale for centralized H2 production was assessed, based on the discounted cash-flow rate of return method to calculate the minimum H2 production cost. H2 production costs from solar-only, hybrid and conventional autothermal biomass gasification were evaluated under various economic scenarios. Considering a biomass reference cost of 0.1 €/kg, and a land cost of 12.9 €/m2, H2 minimum price was estimated at 2.99 €/kgH2 and 2.48 €/kgH2 for the allothermal and hybrid processes, respectively, against 2.25 €/kgH2 in the conventional process. A sensitivity study showed that a 50% reduction in the heliostats and solar tower costs, combined with a lower land cost of below 0.5 €/m2, allowed reaching an area of competitiveness where the three processes meet. Furthermore, an increase in the biomass feedstock cost by a factor of 2 to 3 significantly undermined the profitability of the autothermal process, in favor of solar hybrid and solar-only gasification. A comparative study involving other solar and non-solar processes led to conclude on the profitability of fossil-based processes. However, reduced CO2 emissions from the solar process and the application of carbon credits are definitely in favor of solar gasification economics, which could become more competitive. The massive deployment of concentrated solar energy across the world in the coming years can significantly reduce the cost of the solar materials and components (heliostats), and thus further alleviate the financial cost of solar gasification. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar gasification; hybridization; hydrogen; biomass/waste conversion; syngas; economics solar gasification; hybridization; hydrogen; biomass/waste conversion; syngas; economics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boujjat, H.; Rodat, S.; Abanades, S. Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar-Driven Steam Gasification of Biomass for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production. Processes 2021, 9, 462. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030462

AMA Style

Boujjat H, Rodat S, Abanades S. Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar-Driven Steam Gasification of Biomass for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production. Processes. 2021; 9(3):462. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030462

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boujjat, Houssame, Sylvain Rodat, and Stéphane Abanades. 2021. "Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar-Driven Steam Gasification of Biomass for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production" Processes 9, no. 3: 462. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030462

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