Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 2745–2760 | Cite as

A Techno-Economic Assessment of Renewable Diesel and Gasoline Production from Aspen Hardwood

  • Madhumita Patel
  • Adetoyese Olajire Oyedun
  • Amit KumarEmail author
  • Rajender Gupta
Original Paper


In this study, we developed a techno-economic model to estimate the production cost of renewable diesel and gasoline from aspen woodchips through fast pyrolysis-based bio-oil and its subsequent hydroprocessing. The whole pathway includes the conversion of woodchip biomass to bio-oil through fast pyrolysis followed by upgrading to transportation fuels via hydroprocessing. Experiments were carried out to develop for the process model. This detailed process and techno-economic study was done based on 2000 dry t day−1 aspen woodchips (base case capacity), from which we estimated the cost to produce renewable diesel and gasoline. For this base case, using the present method, 148.81 ML year−1 of renewable diesel and 99.21 ML year−1 of gasoline using merchant hydrogen can be produced. The production costs of renewable diesel and gasoline for 2000 t day−1 are 1.09 and 1.04$ L−1, respectively. We also studied the effect of changing the scale of the facility from 500 to 5000 t day−1 on the production costs of renewable diesel and gasoline. The economic optimum plant size (the capacity at which fuel production cost is lowest) was determined to be 3000 t day−1. Finally, we carried out sensitivity and uncertainty analyses for the base case and determined that production cost is most sensitive to bio-oil yield and internal rate of return (IRR).


Aspen woodchip Techno-economic model Fast pyrolysis Hydroprocessing Renewable diesel Gasoline 



The authors are grateful to North West Upgrading, Inc. (NWRP-Kumar RES0015306) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (Grant No.: IRCPJ 436795 & 436794—2011) (NSERC CRDPJ 434956-12 KUMAR) for providing financial support to do this research. Astrid Blodgett is thanked for her editorial assistance. The funding was supported by Cenvous Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering.

Supplementary material

12649_2018_359_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, 10-263 Donadeo Innovation Centre for EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, Donadeo Innovation Centre for EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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