Flexible Hybrid Process for Combined Production of Heat, Power and Renewable Feedstock for Refineries
A flexible combined heat, power and fuel production concept, FLEXCHX, is being developed for managing the seasonal mismatch between solar energy supply and demand for heat and power that is highly pronounced particularly in the Northern and Central Europe. This process produces heat, power and an intermediate energy carrier (Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbon product), which can be refined to transportation fuels using existing oil refining equipment. The FLEXCHX process can be integrated to various combined heat and power production systems, both industrial CHPs and communal district heating units. In the summer season, renewable fuels are produced from biomass and hydrogen; the hydrogen is produced from water via electrolysis that is driven by low-cost excess electricity from the grid. In the dark winter season, the plant is operated only with biomass in order to maximize the production of the much needed heat, electricity and FT hydrocarbons. Most of the invested plant components are in full use throughout the year, only the electrolysis unit is operated seasonally. © 2019 ETA-Florence Renewable Energies.