Software drives renewable fuel development

Paul Boughton

Invensys Process Systems has won a major contract to supply a new version of its PRO/II simulation software to a German synthetic biofuel manufacturer.

The five-year simulation software contract was awarded by UET, the process engineering division of Freiberg-based CHOREN Industries.

UET's activities include technology development, process optimisation, engineering, materials testing and customer advisory services. Much of this work is based around the Carbo-V process, CHOREN's three-stage gasification process. This process converts biomass such as waste lumber and agricultural waste into a raw gas that can then be used either as a combustion gas to produce electricity and heat, or as synthesis gas for producing renewable, synthetic automotive fuels. The latter is typically accomplished in combination with a traditional Fisher-Tropsch synthesis. Due to the use of biomass in the Carbo-V process, the generated electrical energy, as well as the produced fuels are largely CO2 neutral.

One of the key projects in which SimSci-Esscor's simulation technology is now involved is the first industrial plant for the manufacture of SunDiesel fuel from wood. The plant is located in Freiberg/Saxony and has an annual fuel output of up to 15,000 tons. Developed in conjunction with DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen, this is CHOREN's latest automotive fuel.

SunDiesel has a higher cetane number and therefore much better ignition properties than conventional diesel. In addition, it is odour-free and sulphur-free, leading to a significant reduction in the emission of pollutants.

The fuel can be used without any need to adjust a car's existing infrastructure or drive systems and is largely neutral in terms of carbon dioxide.

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