PTG-HEFA hybrid refinery as example of a SynBioPTx concept : results of a feasibility analysis
Limited alternative fuels for a CO₂-neutral aviation sector have already been ASTM certified; synthetic paraffinic kerosene from hydrotreated esters and fatty acids (HEFA-SPK) is one of these-a sustainable aviation fuel. With the hypothesis to improve the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of a HEFA plant by realizing the required hydrogen supply via electrolysis-power to gas (PTG)-an exemplary SynBioPTx approach is investigated in a comprehensive feasibility study, which is, regarding this comparatively new approach, a novelty in its extent. About 10 scenarios are analysed by technical, environmental, and economic aspects. Within the alternative scenarios on feedstocks, electricity supply, necessary hydrogen supply, and different main products are analysed. For different plant designs of the hybrid refinery, mass and energy balances are elaborated, along with the results of the technical assessment. As a result of this environmental assessment, the attainment of at least 50% GHG mitigation might be possible. GHG highly depends on the renewability grade of the hydrogen provision as well as on the used feedstock. One important conclusion of this economic assessment is that total fuel production costs of 1295 to 1800 EUR t⁻¹ are much higher than current market prices for jet fuel. The scenario in which hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of internally produced naphtha proves to be the best combination of highly reduced GHG emissions and low HEFA-SPK production costs.