Recently, the final report from the ATM project (“Assessment of likely Technology Maturation Pathways for biojet production from forest residues”) funded by the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) and Boeing was released. The final report concludes on a set of studies that set out to assess the potential of producing biojet fuels using a number of thermochemical liquefaction technologies (such as gasification, pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, etc.). In total three technologies were selected and all used a woody biomass as feedstock due to Canada’s vast forest resources that available in large enough quantities for value-added biojet fuel production.
In general, the project shows a bight future for production of biojet fuels using all these technologies, as the produced biocrudes proved capable of being upgraded into biojet fuel with low oxygen contents. The biojet fuel fraction met some and could most likely meet all specifications for the ASTM D7566 standard.
With our specific interest in hydrothermal liquefaction, we could not help to notice that HTL achieved the lowest minimum fuel selling price compared to the other technologies and with a more optimal setup it was capable of generating a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions upwards of 81%, which used to produce biojet fuel.
Overall, the project concluded that biocrudes produced through thermochemical liquefaction technologies, including HTL, can be used to produce a significant volume of biojet fuel. Thereby showing a bright future for HTL and its end product biocrude.
The project was carried out by a conglomerate of partners, including Boeing, GARDN, Westjet, SkyNRG, Bombardier, NORAM and University of British Columbia. It is one of the first integrated studies that compare technical, life cycle and techno-economic parameters of three thermochemical liquefaction technologies and upgrading into finished fuels.