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Implications of system expansion for the assessment of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from biomass-based transportation
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
2010 (English)In: International journal of energy research (Print), ISSN 0363-907X, E-ISSN 1099-114X, Vol. 34, no 13, 1136-1154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper we show the effects of expanding the system when evaluating well-to-wheel (WTW) CO2 emissions for biomass-based transportation, to include the systems surrounding the biomass conversion system. Four different cases are considered: DME via black liquor gasification (BLG), methanol via gasification of solid biomass, lignocellulosic ethanol and electricity from a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) used in a battery-powered electric vehicle (BPEV). All four cases are considered with as well as without carbon capture and storage (CCS). System expansion is used consistently for all flows. The results are compared with results from a conventional WTW study that only uses system expansion for certain co-product flows. It is shown that when expanding the system, biomass-based transportation does not necessarily contribute to decreased CO2 emissions and the results from this study in general indicate considerably lower CO2 mitigation potential than do the results from the conventional study used for comparison. It is shown that of particular importance are assumptions regarding future biomass use, as by expanding the system, future competition for biomass feedstock can be taken into account by assuming an alternative biomass usage. Assumptions regarding other surrounding systems, such as the transportation and the electricity systems are also shown to be of significance. Of the four studied cases without CCS, BIGCC with the electricity used in a BPEV is the only case that consistently shows a potential for CO2 reduction when alternative use of biomass is considered. Inclusion of CCS is not a guarantee for achieving CO2 reduction, and in general the system effects are equivalent or larger than the effects of CCS. DME from BLG generally shows the highest CO2 emission reduction potential for the biofuel cases. However, neither of these options for biomass-based transportation can alone meet the needs of the transport sector. Therefore, a broader palette of solutions, including different production routes, different fuels and possibly also CCS, will be needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 34, no 13, 1136-1154 p.
Keyword [en]
second generation biofuels, lignocellulosic biofuels, system expansion, well-to-wheel, CO2 emissions, CCS
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26661DOI: 10.1002/er.1633ISI: 000282298800003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-78049451508OAI: diva2:373908
QC 20101202Available from: 2010-12-02 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Energy systems studied of biogas: Generation aspects of renewable vehicle fuels in the transport system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy systems studied of biogas: Generation aspects of renewable vehicle fuels in the transport system
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The transport sector is seen as particularly problematic when concerns about climate change and dependency on fossil energy are discussed. Because of this, bioenergy is strongly promoted for use in the transport sector, both on a European level and nationally in Sweden. Even though bioenergy is considered one of the key solutions, it is generally agreed that both supply- and demand-side measures will be needed to achieve a change to a more sustainable transport system. One of the reasons for this is the limited availability of biomass, especially agricultural feedstocks competing with food or feed production. Woody biomass, however more abundant, is also exposed to tough competition from other sectors. In this thesis, the role of biogas as a vehicle fuel in a future sustainable transport system is discussed together with the prerequisites needed to realise such a transport system. Biogas is a biofuel that could be produced in several different ways: by anaerobic digestion, which is a first-generation production route, by gasification, which is a second-generation process, and by catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide, a third-generation technology. The main focus in this thesis is on biogas produced by anaerobic digestion and the results show that there is a significant potential for an increase compared to today’s production. Biogas from anaerobic digestion, however, will only be able to cover a minor part of the demand in the Swedish transport sector. Considering biogas of the second and third generations, the potential for production is more uncertain in a mid-term future, mainly due to competition for feedstock, the possibility to produce other fuels by these processes, and the present immaturity of the technology. The limited potential for replacing fossil vehicle fuels, either by biogas or other renewable fuels, clearly shows the need for demand-side measures in the transport system as well. This thesis shows the importance of technical and non-technical means to decrease the demand for transport and to make the transport as efficient as possible. The results show that both energy-efficient vehicles and behavioural and infrastructural changes will be required. Policies and economic incentives set by governments and decision-making bodies have a prominent role to play, in order to bring about a shift to a more sustainable transport system, however, measures taken on individual level will also have a great impact to contribute to a more sustainable transport system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xiii, 67 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:54
Anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomass, energy system, first-generation biofuels, renewable vehicle fuels, second-generation biofuels, supply- and demand-side measures, third-generation biofuels, transport system
National Category
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105120 (URN)978-91-7501-516-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20121116

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-16 Last updated: 2012-12-18Bibliographically approved

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