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Strategies for a road transport system based on renewable resources: The case of an import-independent Sweden in 2025
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
2010 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 87, no 6, 1836-1845 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When discussing how society can decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the transport sector is often seen as posing one of the most difficult problems. In addition, the transport sector faces problems related to security of supply. The aim of this paper is to present possible strategies for a road transport system based on renewable energy sources and to illustrate how such a system could be designed to avoid dependency on imports, using Sweden as an example. The demand-side strategies considered include measures for decreasing the demand for transport, as well as various technical and non-technical means of improving vehicle fuel economy. On the supply side, biofuels and synthetic fuels produced from renewable electricity are discussed. Calculations are performed to ascertain the possible impact of these measures on the future Swedish road transport sector. The results underline the importance of powerful demand-side measures and show that although biofuels can certainly contribute significantly to an import-independent road transport sector, they are far from enough even in a biomass-rich country like Sweden. Instead, according to this study, fuels based on renewable electricity will have to cover more than half of the road transport sector's energy demand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 87, no 6, 1836-1845 p.
Keyword [en]
Road transport; Import-independent; Biofuel; Synthetic fuel; Demand-side strategies
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9252DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.02.011ISI: 000278306300005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77951091042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9252DiVA: diva2:37760
Note
QC 20100823. Uppdaterad från submitted till published (20100823). Tidigare titel: Strategies for a road transport system based on renewable resources: the case of a self-sufficient Sweden in 2025Available from: 2008-10-13 Created: 2008-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bringing fuel cells to reality and reality to fuel cells: A systems perspective on the use of fuel cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bringing fuel cells to reality and reality to fuel cells: A systems perspective on the use of fuel cells
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

With growing awareness of global warming and fear of political instability caused by oil depletion, the need for a society with a sustainable energy system has been brought to the fore. A promising technology often mentioned as a key component in such a system is the fuel cell technology, i.e. the energy conversion technology in focus in this thesis. The hopes and expectations on fuel cells are high and sometimes unrealistically positive. However, as an emerging technology, much remains to be proven and the proper use of the technology in terms of suitable applications, integration with society and extent of use is still under debate. This thesis is a contribution to the debate, presenting results from two fuel cell demonstration projects, looking into the introduction of fuel cells on the market, discussing the prospects and concerns for the near-term future and commenting on the potential use in a future sustainable energy system.

Bringing fuel cells to reality implies finding near-term niche applications and markets where fuel cell systems may be competitive. In a sense fuel cells are already a reality as they have been demonstrated in various applications world-wide. However, in many of the envisioned applications fuel cells are far from being competitive and sometimes also the environmental benefit of using fuel cells in a given application may be questioned. Bringing reality to fuel cells implies emphasising the need for realistic expectations and pointing out that the first markets have to be based on the currently available technology and not the visions of what fuel cells could be in the future.

The results from the demonstration projects show that further development and research on especially the durability for fuel cell systems is crucial and a general recommendation is to design the systems for high reliability and durability rather than striving towards higher energy efficiencies. When reliability and durability are achieved fuel cell systems may be introduced in niche markets where the added values presented by the technology compensate for the initial high cost.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. viii, 70 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2008:61
Keyword
Assessment, CUTE, Demonstration projects, Emerging technology, Evaluation, Fuel cell buses, Fuel cell systems, Fuel cells, Hype, Interdisciplinary, Niche markets, PEM, Radical technologies, SOFC, Strategic niche markets, Sustainability
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9192 (URN)978-91-7415-108-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-24, F3 (Flodissalen), Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Energy Systems ProgrammeClean Urban Transport for EuropeGlashusEtt
Note
QC 20100909Available from: 2008-10-13 Created: 2008-10-02 Last updated: 2010-09-09Bibliographically approved
2. A trinity of sense: Using biomass in the transport sector for climate change mitigation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A trinity of sense: Using biomass in the transport sector for climate change mitigation
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis analyses two strategies for decreasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: to capture and store CO2, and to increase the use of biomass. First, two concepts for CO2 capture with low capture penalties are evaluated. The concepts are an integrated gasification combined cycle where the oxygen is supplied by a membrane reactor, and a hybrid cycle where the CO2 is captured at elevated pressure. Although the cycles have comparatively high efficiencies and low penalties, they illustrate the inevitable fact that capturing CO2 will always induce significant efficiency penalties. Other strategies are also needed if CO2 emissions are to be forcefully decreased. An alternative is increased use of biomass, which partially could be used for production of motor fuels (biofuels). This work examines arguments for directing biomass to the transport sector, analyses how biofuels (and also some other means) may be used to reduce CO2 emissions and increase security of motor fuel supply. The thesis also explores the possibility of reducing CO2 emissions by comparatively easy and cost-efficient CO2 capture from concentrated CO2 streams available in some types of biofuel plants. Many conclusions of the thesis could be associated with either of three meanings of the word sense: First, there is reason in biofuel production – since it e.g. reduces oil dependence. From a climate change mitigation perspective, however, motor fuel production is often a CO2-inefficient use of biomass, but the thesis explores how biofuels’ climate change mitigation effects may be increased by introducing low-cost CO2 capture. Second, the Swedish promotion of biofuels appears to have been governed more by a feeling for attaining other goals than striving for curbing climate change. Third, it seems to have been the prevalent opinion among politicians that the advantages of biofuels – among them their climate change mitigation benefits – are far greater than the disadvantages and that they should be promoted. Another conclusion of the thesis is that biofuels alone are not enough to drastically decrease transport CO2 emissions; a variety of measures are needed such as fuels from renewable electricity and improvements of vehicle fuel economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. 68 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2008:62
Keyword
Biofuel, biomass, carbon dioxide capture and storage, energy systems, ethanol, hybrid cycle, mixed conducting membrane reactor, pressurized fluidized bed combustion, Sweden, transport
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9292 (URN)978-91-7415-107-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-07, F3, KTKH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100823Available from: 2008-10-22 Created: 2008-10-16 Last updated: 2010-08-23Bibliographically approved
3. 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.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:54
Keyword
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
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20121116

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-16 Last updated: 2012-12-18Bibliographically approved
4. Power to gas: Bridging renewable electricity to the transport sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Power to gas: Bridging renewable electricity to the transport sector
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Globally, transport accounts for a significant part of the total energy utilization and is heavily dominated by fossil fuels. The main challenge is how the greenhouse gas emissions in road transport can be addressed. Moreover, the use of fossil fuels in road transport makes most countries or regions dependent on those with oil and/or gas assets. With that said, the question arises of what can be done to reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions and furthermore reduce dependency on oil? One angle is to study what source of energy is used.

Biomass is considered to be an important energy contributor in future transport and has been a reliable energy source for a long time. However, it is commonly known that biomass alone cannot sustain the energy needs in the transport sector by far.

This work presents an alternative where renewable electricity could play a significant role in road transport within a relatively short time period. Today the amount of electricity used in road transport is negligible but has a potential to contribute substantially. It is suggested that the electricity should be stored, or “packaged” in a chemical manner, as a way of conserving the electrical energy. One way of doing so is to chemically synthesize fuels. It has been investigated how a fossil free transport system could be designed, to reach high levels of self-sufficiency. According to the studies, renewable electricity could have the single most important role in such a system.   

Among the synthetic fuels, synthetic methane (also called synthetic biogas) is the main focus of the thesis. Hydrogen is obtained through water electrolysis, driven by electricity (preferable renewable), and reacted with carbon dioxide to produce synthetic methane. The concept of the mentioned process goes under the name Power to Gas. The electricity to fuel efficiency of such a process reaches about 50 %, but if utilizing excess heat produced during the electrolysis and the reaction, the total process efficiency can reach much higher levels.

The economics of the process is as important as the technology itself in terms of large scale implementation. The price of electricity and biogas are the most important influences on the economic viability. The minimum “spread” between purchase and selling price can be determined to obtain a general perception of the economic feasibility. In this case biogas must be sold about 2.6 times higher than purchased electricity per kWh.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. v, 50 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2013:2
Keyword
transport, renewable electricity, synthetic fuels, energy, power to gas
National Category
Chemical Engineering Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-111457 (URN)978-91-7501-597-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-01-14, Biblioteket/Seminarierummet, Teknikringen 42, plan 6, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas
Note

QC 20130111

Available from: 2013-01-11 Created: 2013-01-11 Last updated: 2013-01-11Bibliographically approved

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  • harvard1
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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