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Life Cycle Assessment of Coal Derived Products
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the objective of meeting the growing energy demand in the most sustainable way, TOTAL Gas & Power launched a series of development studies in order to investigate the potential for coal conversion projects (Coal to Y) for the production of fuels and primary products for the petrochemical industry where crucial role is played by the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. Based on these studies, a methodology and a model for life cycle analysis (LCA) were developed in order to understand the environmental impacts associated with Coal to Y conversion routes, namely Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), Methanol (MeOH), Fischer-Tropsch (FT) products (Diesel and Naphtha) and Dimethyl Ether (DME) via direct and indirect production. The model was designed around the need for adaptability to the geographic location of the coal mine and conversion plant, the final products and their respective markets. The goal of the study was to produce The LCA was performed within the scope of a coal-to-product life cycle. The final energy content of each product was chosen as a base for comparison. The impacts taken into account are Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, primary energy consumption and fresh water use. A Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) was made by utilizing original data and in-house expert advices, as well as generic data provided by recognized databases. The impacts were evaluated, giving valuable insights especially into the critical elements of the CO2 management system, fresh water resource depletion potential and primary energy consumptions. In order to interpret the obtained results, benchmarks were performed with other internal and external studies for verification and a comparison table was developed, including normalization and weighting of the different impacts, providing an appropriate result for comparison of the overall environmental impact of each route. It appeared that FT diesel had the highest overall environmental impact due to important GHG emissions and energy consumption, despite the fact that the corresponding water consumption is the lowest. MeOH presented the lowest overall environmental impact. Afterward, the energy base used in the LCA was discussed, and a monetary based comparison was developed, which evaluates the different impacts per unit of benefit. This second comparison provides more advantages to the FT Diesel against the others. A similar methodology could be used by coal process investors in order to select the product allowing the highest benefit and the lowest overall environmental impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
LCA, coal derived products, Life Cycle Assessment
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-43414OAI: diva2:451136
2011-06-17, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2011-10-25 Created: 2011-10-16 Last updated: 2011-10-25Bibliographically approved

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