Opendata, web and dolomites


Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COMSYN (Compact Gasification and Synthesis process for Transport Fuels)


The global CO2 emissions have been in steady increase for more than 50 years inducing global warming. Today, more than 80% of total primary energy is produced globally by fossil fuels. In order to cut down CO2 emissions, the fossil resources have to be at least partially...


The global CO2 emissions have been in steady increase for more than 50 years inducing global warming. Today, more than 80% of total primary energy is produced globally by fossil fuels. In order to cut down CO2 emissions, the fossil resources have to be at least partially replaced by renewable alternatives.

The renewable resources are diverse and often subject to seasonal and local availability changes. Therefore, a wide range of flexible technologies are needed for the renewable energy production. The major bottleneck in many of the new biofuel technologies is the investment and production cost. The COMSYN project combines the latest technological innovations for a feasible biofuel production concept.

Key objectives of the COMSYN project are:
Use diverse raw materials for biomass gasification. > Cuts down raw material costs.
Increase the filtration temperature of biomass gasification gas. > Improves process thermal efficiency.
Use membrane technology for oxygen feed. > Expensive oxygen plant is not needed.
Remove sulfur from product gas by sorbents. > Expensive chemical processing is not needed.
Use intensified, modular Fischer-Tropsch technology for the liquid fuel production. > Decreased investment costs.
Take advantage of the economics of scale by upgrading the Fischer-Tropsch products in an existing oil refinery. > Decreased production costs.
Screen the most advantageous process integration, concept design and business possibilities. > Concept ready for commercialization.

Work performed

During the second period of the project, the focus of the work has been in the pilot scale validation tests for the production of biofuels. A lot of efforts have been focused on setting up and testing of the pilot process units. Also laboratory scale test runs has been performed in the cleaning and utilization of the biomass gasification gas. All of the work carried out is directly connected to the above mentioned key objectives.

In order to increase the filtration temperature of biomass gasification gas, new metal filters made from iron-chromium-aluminum alloy by GKN have been successfully tested. VTT has modified the metal filters provided by GKN with nano-scale nickel and aluminum layers and tested these samples in laboratory equipment.

Sulfur in the biomass gasification gas is a catalyst poison and especially harmful in the Fischer-Tropsch process. A pilot scale gas clean-up line was designed, constructed and tested in the Bioruukki pilot plant. The current solution is to do the bulk sulfur removal with activated carbon and the fine polishing of the gas with ZnO.

For the development of intensified, modular Fischer-Tropsch technology, INERATEC has performed laboratory-scale FT synthesis experiments both in one-stage and two-stage mode. A bench-scale FT setup was also constructed and commissioned at INERATEC in Q3/2019. A proof-of-concept experiment in once-through two-stage operation was successfully performed. Furthermore, experimental work on improving paraffin output by optimizing operation conditions was carried out.

Two successful week-long test campaigns were conducted in September 2019 where the integrated operation of the gasification island and the FT synthesis unit was validated. The gasifier was operated under gasification conditions for appr. 190 hours in total. Stable operation was achieved and good-quality gas with a H2/CO molar ratio of around 1.8 was delivered for the FT synthesis. During the two validation test campaigns, the once-through Fischer-Tropsch unit, utilizing INERATEC’s novel microstructured reactor, was successfully validated with real biomass-based syngas. FT waxes and oils were produced at high conversion rates (CO conversion 65-75%) and high chain growth probability (0.91).

In the COMSYN concept the Fischer-Tropsch product is transported to a central oil refinery where it is upgraded to customer products as part of the existing process. This research work is done by UniCRE, the research institute of UniPETROL oil refinery. The first results of the fractionation and quality tests of the products have been highly encouraging.

In order to obtain the lowest production cost for the biofuel, the process economics have to be optimized. The COMSYN project has a multifaceted approach to the concept optimization, with three project partners, Wood, DLR and Ã…F Consult, concentrating on this topic. During the second reporting period, market assessments were conducted through a literature survey and stakeholder interviews in order to identify the policy drivers and market barriers of the biofuels and bioproducts, especially in Northern Europe and Middle Europe. Detailed case studies, where the industrial-scale plant is geographically fixed to a specific production environment, will be performed both in the Nordic and Central European market conditions - taking into account the regional characteristics, such as biomass cost, electricity price etc. This work was initiated in the second reporting period by screening the biomass potential in Central Europe. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was also initiated in the second reporting period.

The COMSYN project has an ambitious plan for the dissemination of the project results and increasing the awareness of the stakeholders for the biofuels. Among the achievements of the second project period was the second thematic workshop on the Future of BTL Products in Europe by UniCRE held in Czech Republic in may 2019. This event was attended by over 50 particip

Final results

COMSYN aims to develop a production concept for competitive bio-based fuels by means of a compact gasification and synthesis process. This is achieved with new technical solutions on biomass gasification gas treatment (filtration, reforming, oxygen supply, and sulfur removal), new intensified Fischer-Tropsch synthesis technology, and with full utilization of the Fischer-Tropsch liquid and wax products at central oil refineries. The major benefits from these technical advances are higher energy efficiency, and lower investment costs than in the current biofuel concepts. Therefore, the target reduction of the biofuel production cost is set to 35% compared to alternative routes, which would translate to less than 0.80 €/l production cost for biodiesel.

The COMSYN concept is estimated to have significant green-house-gas saving up to 80% compared to fossil fuels. A favorable balance is achieved as the concept 1) utilizes diversified low cost feedstocks which will lower the GHG impact of the production, 2) produces drop in, 2nd generation renewable bioproducts (bio-diesel, bio-gasoline, bio-kerosene and biopolypropylene), and 3) utilizes process intensification and modular synthesis approach which will allow flexible biofuel production patterns with significantly high energy efficiency of the process.

The COMSYN project involves industry, SME and research institutes. This combination will allow the widespread exploitation of the project results on many frontiers and increase the social impact of the project by increasing the competitiveness of the new European technologies, providing job opportunities in the research and production, and creating trainee and thesis opportunities for young people.

Website & more info

More info: