Biomass-derived oxymethylene ethers as diesel additives: A techno-economic assessment

A. Olajire Oyedun, X. Zhang, A. Kumar, D. Oestreich, U. Arnold, J. Sauer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Conversion of agricultural biomass such as wood chips, wheat straw and forest residue for the production of fuels can help in reducing GHG emissions since they are considered as nearly carbon neutral. Around the world there is a significant amount of forest and agricultural-biomass available which could be used for the production of liquid fuels that can be blended with the petroleum-based diesel. Oxymethylene ethers (OMEs) can be derived from biomass via gasification, water-gas shift reaction and methanol production. The addition of OMEs to conventional diesel fuel has great potential to reduce soot formation during the combustion in diesel engines. Unlike methanol and dimethyl ether (DMM) which can also reduce soot formation, the physical properties of OMEs allow the use in modern diesel engines without significant change of the engines infrastructure. In this study, a detailed and data intensive process simulation model was developed to simulate all the unit operations involved in the production of OMEs from biomass. The unit operation considered include biomass drying, gasification, gas cleaning, water gas shift reaction, methanol production and OMEs synthesis. The simulation results were then utilized to conduct a detailed techno-economic assessment study of the whole biomass conversion chain to determine the most attractive pathways for OMEs production. Our recent study shows that the key parameters affecting the OMEs production are equivalence ratio, H2/CO ratio and optimal air flow. Overall, the cost of production ($/liter) of OMEs from different biomass feedstock in Alberta will be determined
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2015
EventCSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference - Edmonton, Canada
Duration: 05 Jul 201508 Jul 2015


ConferenceCSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference


  • Biomass gasification
  • Oxymethylene ethers


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