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Thermochemical biomass conversion laboratories

SINTEF Industry performs experimental research on thermochemical biomass conversion using laboratory units in the range from bench- to semi-pilot scale.

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Photo: SINTEF / Thor Nielsen
Semi-pilot unit for upgrading of bio-oils

This includes:

  • Reaction and kinetic studies
  • Benchmarking, screening and process development of catalysts and processes
  • Product analysis and characterization

We offer experimental and theoretical expertise along the value chain from conversion of raw materials to upgrading to final products

Process technology

  • Process design and Techno-Economics
  • Process development
  • Reactor modelling
  • Catalysis and kinetics
  • Piloting and up-scaling

Conversion and up-grading

  • Biogas upgrading
  • Catalytic synthesis to fuels and chemicals
  • Pyrolysis
  • Catalytic stabilization and upgrading of bio-oils

Description of lab facilities and equipment

Gasification route

Kinetics and Catalysis research group has extensive experience in hydrogen and synthesis gas production, adjustment steps like water-gas-shift, and catalytic synthesis to fuels and chemicals. SINTEF offers expertise and infrastructure in the following areas:

  • Biogas upgrading
  • Production of hydrogen and syngas
  • Gas conditioning
  • Removal of poisons
  • Reforming of tars and hydrocarbons
  • Water-gas shift
  • Catalytic synthesis of fuels and chemicals
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
  • Hydrogen production
  • Olefins production
  • DME synthesis
  • Methanol synthesis

Recent and ongoing projects:

  • Advanced biofuels via syngas (2013-2016)
  • GAFT (2015-2018),
  • Chemical looping desulphurization (2017-2020),
  • BioFT (2018-2021)
  • Pulp and fuel (2018 – 2022)

Biogas upgrading by pressure-swing adsorption (PSA)

A multicolumn pressure swing process utilizing porous adsorbents (active carbons, zeolites, metal-organic frameworks)

Production of high purity hydrogen >99.99% or,
Recovery of hydrogen for power generation in the pre-combustion scheme
SINTEF expertise:

  • Development of novel shaped high surface area adsorbents with increased cyclic capacity and selectivity
  • Development and simulation of novel cycle schemes for continuous multicolumn operation

Recent and ongoing projects:

Pyrolysis route

  • Fast and slow pyrolysis of dry biomass into bio-oils and biochar
  • In-situ and ex-situ upgrading of pyrolysis vapors
  • Fractionation and purification of products by physical methods
  • Crude oil stabilization by physical and chemical methods
  • High resolution equipment for detailed compositional analysis of oil components

Recent and on-going projects:

  • CAPTURE+ (2013-2015)
  • BIOGREEN (2017-2018)

Upgrading of bio oils

SINTEF has for more than 30 years collaborated with the industry on oil refining processes, including hydrogenation of bio-oils, and offer:

  • Bench- and semi-pilot scale testing of catalysts
  • Process conditions optimization
  • Catalytic stabilization and upgrading of bio-oils and pyrolysis vapours
  • Catalyst development and optimization
  • Analysis of feed and products
    • Physical: Density, elemental analysis, – O – S – N, SimDist
    • Chemical: GC, MS, NMR

Recent and ongoing projects:

Chemical biomass conversion to high value products

  • Conversion of polysaccharides and lignin at mild conditios
  • Kinetics and mass transfer studies of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis
  • High pressure catalysis
  • Process integration of conversion and separation
  • Integration of biochemical and chemical conversion

Recent and ongoing projects:

  • Enzymes4Fuels (2017-2021)
  • AERTOs Bioeconomy (2014-2015)

Contact information