Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion
Generate fungible hydrocarbon fuels from virtually any non-food biomass including (ligno)cellulosidc fractions from municipal waste, agricultural residue, and most types of plastic. Integration options are flexible and many industries can profit from the technology.
Waste to Fuels Technology
The IH² (Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion) technology is a continuous catalytic thermochemical process estimated to provide a cost-effective route, from a broad spectrum of organic wastes to fungible liquid hydrocarbon transportation fuels.
Useful feedstocks include virtually any type of non-food biomass — such as forestry and agricultural residues, algae, aquatic plants and cellulosic fractions of municipal waste, including most types of plastic — to gasoline, jet and diesel range hydrocarbon fuels and/or blend stocks. This process was invented by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) of Des Plaines, IL in 2009 and further developed with Shell from 2010. GTI has licensed the IH² technology to Shell for exclusive worldwide deployment.
Based on the laboratory studies with more than 10,000 hours on stream data, capital estimations have been completed for full-scale design feed rates up to 2,000 tonnes/day. Economics for the 2,000 tonnes/day woody biomass feed and 60.9 million gallon/year facility were conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the capital which has been validated by a global engineering and construction company. Based on the NREL economic estimate, the minimum fuel selling price (MFSP), inflated to 2012 dollars, would be ~$2.00/gallon. Using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a simplified average breakeven crude price estimate of $60/bbl was generated for the NREL techno-economic analysis.
IH² technology integration is flexible and accommodates operations ranging from paper mills and ethanol plants to recycling operations and hydrocarbon refineries.
The IH² process has four primary elements. The first is biomass conditioning, sizing and drying waste to moisture. The second element involves hydrodeoxygenation of the biomass to produce a raw hydrocarbon product. This serves both to remove oxygen and remove highly reactive and corrosive components to provide a stable hydrocarbon product. The third element is a fixed-bed hydrotreater, which uses other proprietary Shell to polish the first-stage product and transform it into a finished hydrocarbon fuel or blend stock. The fourth element is a Hydrogen Manufacturing Unit (HMU), which converts light gases generated in the first-stage to renewable hydrogen.
The individual elements are all commercial, which minimises design risk and allows for rapid implementation of the IH² technology.
Shell Catalysts & Technologies partners with a number of companies in the upstream & renewables market with IH² technology.
More than 30 process and catalyst patents have resulted from efforts at Shell Technology Centre Bangalore in collaboration with GTI.