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Energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions of kelp cultivation for biogas and fertilizer recovery in Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology. Currently at Sweco Environment AB, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1949-4891
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3419-8847
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2016 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 573, p. 347-355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cultivation of seaweed as a feedstock for third generation biofuels is gathering interest in Europe, however, many questions remain unanswered in practise, notably regarding scales of operation, energy returns on investment (EROI) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, all of which are crucial to determine commercial viability. This study performed an energy and GHG emissions analysis, using EROI and GHG savings potential respectively, as indicators of commercial viability for two systems: the Swedish Seafarm project's seaweed cultivation (0.5 ha), biogas and fertilizer biorefinery, and an estimation of the same system scaled up and adjusted to a cultivation of 10 ha. Based on a conservative estimate of biogas yield, neither the 0.5 ha case nor the up-scaled 10 ha estimates met the (commercial viability) target EROI of 3, nor the European Union Renewable Energy Directive GHG savings target of 60% for biofuels, however the potential for commercial viability was substantially improved by scaling up operations: GHG emissions and energy demand, per unit of biogas, was almost halved by scaling operations up by a factor of twenty, thereby approaching the EROI and GHG savings targets set, under beneficial biogas production conditions. Further analysis identified processes whose optimisations would have a large impact on energy use and emissions (such as anaerobic digestion) as well as others embodying potential for further economies of scale (such as harvesting), both of which would be of interest for future developments of kelp to biogas and fertilizer biorefineries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 573, p. 347-355
Keywords [en]
Biorefinery, Economy of scale, Energy return on investment (EROI), EURED GHG savings, Saccharina latissima, Swedish macroalgae cultivation, Anaerobic digestion, Biofuels, Biogas, Economics, Fertilizers, Gas emissions, Investments, Refining, Seaweed, Biorefineries, Energy return on investments, Macro-algae, Greenhouse gases
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-195182DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.220ISI: 000390071000032Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84983638479OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-195182DiVA, id: diva2:1047743
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-11209-24630-54
Note

QC 20161118

Available from: 2016-11-18 Created: 2016-11-02 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nutrient Recovery as an Added Benefit to Harvests of Photosynthetic Marine Biomass: A Holistic Systems Perspective on Harvesting Marine Microalgae, Cyanobacteria, and Macroalgae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nutrient Recovery as an Added Benefit to Harvests of Photosynthetic Marine Biomass: A Holistic Systems Perspective on Harvesting Marine Microalgae, Cyanobacteria, and Macroalgae
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As a result of increasing environmental burdens from anthropogenic activities andresource scarcity, interest for the development of solutions utilizing photosyntheticmarine biomass has also been increasing in both academia and industries. Medium tolarge scale production and harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass have beenpracticed to achieve numerous services, including improving tourism industries,production of biofuels, and production of food/feed. However, few studies haveevaluated the potential for nutrient recovery as an added benefit to the aforementionedservices and the potential environmental burdens of such solutions from a holisticsystems perspective. This thesis, therefore, sought to determine the nutrient recoverypotential of harvesting photosynthetic marine biomass at industrial scales whileassessing the environmental burdens from a holistic systems perspective. Techniquesinvolving life cycle inventory and analysis, input-output analysis, growth modellingand experimentation, energy analysis, and assessment of greenhouse gas emissionsfrom a life cycle perspective were used to assess the potential environmental burdensof large scale harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass.This study employed five real world case studies of five different photosynthetic marinebiomass species at various geographical locations across the globe. Each case wasassessed to determine the potential to recover nutrients while evaluating the potentialenvironmental burdens from an energy and greenhouse gas perspective. Each casecontains unique specific details and therefore methods applied were case specific.Results showed that nutrient recovery potential existed in most cases with the exceptionof one case. Cases evaluated for their potential environmental burdens showed thatlarge scale harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass is resource intensive regardless ofspecies but showed mixed results from an energy perspective. The key findings of thisthesis were that a) the potential for nutrient recovery was estimated in both large scalecultivation and large scale wild harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass, b) from anenergy and biomass harvesting perspective, the viability of industrial harvests ofphotosynthetic marine biomass were found for both large scale cultivations and wildharvesting of biomass blooms, and c) scale of operations is an important factor towardsevaluating the environmental performance of photosynthetic marine biomassproduction systems.

Abstract [sv]

Som ett resultat av en ökande miljöbelastning från antropogenaktivitet och knapphet på resurser, så har intresset för utveckling av lösningar medfotosyntetisk marin biomassa också ökat i både akademi och industri. Produktion ochskörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa i medelstor till stor skala har praktiserats för attuppnå många tjänster, inklusive förbättring av turistnäringar, produktion avbiodrivmedel och livsmedels- och foderproduktion. Men få studier har utvärderatpotentialen för näringsåtervinning som en extra fördel för de nämnda tjänsterna och denpotentiella miljöbelastningen för sådana lösningar ur ett holistiskt systemperspektiv.Denna avhandling försökte därför fastställa näringsåtervinningspotentialen för skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa på industriell skala, samtidigt som miljöbelastningenbedömdes ur ett systemperspektiv. Tekniker som involverar livscykelinventering ochanalys, input-output-analys, tillväxtmodellering och experiment, energianalys ochutvärdering av växthusgasutsläpp ur ett livscykelperspektiv användes för att bedömaden potentiella miljöbelastningen för storskalig skörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa.I denna studie användes fem verkliga fallstudier av fem olika fotosyntetiska marinaarter som kan producerar biomassa på olika geografiska platser över hela världen. Varjefall bedömdes för att bestämma potentialen för att återvinna näringsämnen samtidigtsom den potentiella miljöbelastningen utvärderades ur ett energi- ochväxthusgasperspektiv. Varje fall innehåller unika specifika detaljer och därför användesmetoder som var specifika för varje fallstudie. Resultaten visade att potentialen föråterhämtning av näringsämnen fanns i de flesta fall med undantag för ett fall. Fall somutvärderades för deras potentiella miljöbelastningar visade att storskalig skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa är resurskrävande oavsett art men visade blandaderesultat ur energiperspektiv. De viktigaste resultaten från denna avhandling var att a)potentialen för näringsåtervinning uppskattades i både storskalig odling och storskaligvild skörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa, b) möjligheten för industriell skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa hittades för både storskalig odling och vild skörd avbiomassa, och c) skalan är en viktig faktor för att utvärdera miljöprestanda förfotosyntetiska marina system för biomassaproduktion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. p. 43
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261367 (URN)978-91-7873-254-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-10-28, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

QC 20191008

Available from: 2019-10-08 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Pechsiri, Joseph SanthiRisén, EmmaRibeiro, Mauricio S.Malmström, Maria E.Gröndahl, Fredrik

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