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    Author(s): Peter J. Ince; Ted Bilek; Mark A. Dietenberger
    Date: 2011
    Source: Research paper FPL-RP-660. Madison, WI : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, 2011: 36 p.
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.49 MB)


    Biomass gasification is an approach to producing energy and/or biofuels that could be integrated into existing forest product production facilities, particularly at pulp mills. Existing process heat and power loads tend to favor integration at existing pulp mills. This paper describes a generic modeling system for evaluating integrated biomass gasification business concepts over a range of production scales and process options, including process models and a discounted cash-flow model, all of which are contained in a Microsoft® (Redmond, Washington) Office Excel workbook (available from the authors). The process models encompass biomass preparation, gasification, heat recovery, and syngas cleanup, along with the options of converting syngas to biofuel feedstocks via a Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquid (GTL) process, the use of syngas or GTL tail gas for process heat energy, and the option of added process energy equipment, including turbines and generators. The cash-flow model computes measures of financial performance for incremental investment in gasification business concepts, including net present value and internal rate of return. We also describe stochastic simulation methods for financial risk assessment, and we present results of sensitivity analysis and stochastic simulation for investment in a biomass-to-liquid-fuel concept at an existing pulp mill, based on plausible but hypothetical process data and stochastic price projections. The results, as reinforced by the sensitivity analysis and risk assessment, suggest an investment may be attractive from a financial standpoint.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Ince, Peter J.; Bilek, Edward M. (Ted); Dietenberger, Mark A. 2011. Modeling integrated biomass gasification business concepts. Research paper FPL-RP-660. Madison, WI : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, 2011: 36 p.


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    Biomass gasification, economic aspects, computer simulation, biomass, gasification, simulation models, biofuels, computer simulation, heat recovery, stochastic models, feasibility studies, statistical analysis, pulp mills, return on investment, ROI, forest biorefinery model

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