Upgrading of C1 Building Blocks

Research output: NRELPresentation


This project is developing the centerpiece technology for a market-responsive, integrated biorefinery concept based on the conversion of renewable C1 intermediates (e.g., syngas, CO2, methanol) to a suite of fuels and co-products with improved carbon efficiency, reduced capital expense, and control of the product distribution to meet market demand. Advanced upgrading technologies of syngas are critically needed for the successful commercialization of fuel production at a scale relevant for biomass gasification. Research tasks within this project leverage complementary catalyst and process design for the conversion of CO2-rich syngas (15-20% CO2 in syngas) to achieve high carbon yields of gasoline and jet fuels as the major products. The conversion pathways generate high quality fuels (e.g., high octane gasoline with low aromatics, desirable jet-range hydrocarbons), and potential to achieve favorable cost targets by 2022. Research progress is compared against the Mobil Olefin to Gasoline and Distillate (MOGD) process, which also offers control over the gasoline and distillate products, as an industrial benchmark. The pathway for direct conversion of CO2-rich syngas to hydrocarbon fuels seeks to exceed the carbon efficiency of biomass-sourced MOGD (31.8%). Recent catalyst and process development achievements are highlighted by improvements in carbon-selectivity to fuels and carbon yields, along with evidence of incorporation of carbon from CO2 into the hydrocarbon products.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-79306


  • bioenergy
  • biorefinery


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