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Techno-economic assessment of anaerobic digestion in a typical Kraft pulp mill to produce biomethane for the road transport sector
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8871-2085
Innventia, Sweden.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3315-4201
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0635-7372
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 104, 460-467 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Renewable waste-based fuels may decrease the resource use and environmental impact of the road transport sector; one of the options is biogas produced via anaerobic digestion of waste streams from pulp and paper mills. This paper describes process simulation and economic assessments for two options for integrating anaerobic digestion and production of liquid biogas in a typical Nordic Kraft pulp mill: (1) a high-rate anaerobic reactor in the wastewater treatment, and (2) an external anaerobic stirred tank reactor for the treatment of primary and secondary sludge as well as Kraft evaporator methanol condensate. The results revealed an annual production potential of 26-27 GWh biogas in an average Nordic Kraft pulp mill, which is equivalent to a daily production of 7600 L of diesel in terms of energy, and the production cost was estimated to (sic)0.47-0.82 per litre diesel equivalent, comparable with the Swedish price of (sic)0.68 per litre diesel.

However, for the cases with liquid biogas (LBG), a discounted payback period of about 8 years may not be considered profitable by the industry. Other pre-requisites may, however, improve the profitability: a larger mill; production of compressed biogas instead of liquid biogas; or, for case 1, a comparison with the alternative cost for expanding the wastewater treatment capacity with more process equipment for activated sludge treatment. The results reveal that anaerobic digestion at pulp mills may both expand the production of renewable vehicle fuel but also enable increased efficiency and revenue at Kraft pulp mills.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 104, 460-467 p.
Keyword [en]
Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Biomethane, Kraft pulp, Pulp and paper
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158133DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.05.054ISI: 000357552900045ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84931563943OAI: diva2:774726
Swedish Energy Agency

QC 20150817

Available from: 2014-12-29 Created: 2014-12-29 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil-free Swedish transport sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil-free Swedish transport sector
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are required to limit the severe risks associated with a changing climate. One measure is to disrupt the fossil-fuel dependency in the transport sector, but it appears difficult and costly in comparison to other measures.

Vehicles and fuels are available, but no single alternative can replace petrol and diesel in all parts of the transport system. None of them are ideal regarding all of the following aspects: vehicle performance, fuel production potential, sustainability, infrastructure, technology development and economy. Instead, several fuels are needed.

In this thesis, the aim is to investigate the role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil- free vehicle fleet in Sweden, and compare them with other fuels in terms of well-to-wheel energy efficiency and economy. Processes for producing methane from biomass, waste streams from pulp mills and electricity are studied with techno-economic methods. Furthermore, well-to-wheel studies and scenarios are used to investigate the fuel chains and the interaction with the energy and transport systems.

Effects of policy instruments on the development of biogas in the Swedish transport sector are also analysed and policy instruments are suggested to increase the use of methane and to introduce hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. The results reveal that tax exemptions and investment support have been and will continue to be important policy instruments, but that effective policy instruments are needed to develop fuelling infrastructure and to support alternative vehicles.

Electricity will be an important transport fuel for several reasons; the electric powertrain enables high energy efficiency and electricity can be produced from various renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, other fuels will be needed as complements to electricity. The results reveal that methane and hydrogen and associated vehicles may be necessary to reach a fossil-free vehicle fleet in Sweden. These fuels have several advantages:

-        The function of the vehicles resembles conventional vehicles but with lower local and global emissions.

-        Methane is a well proven as a transport fuel and hydrogen infrastructure and FCEVs, are commercial or close to commercialisation.

-        They enable high well-to-wheel energy efficiency.

-        They can be produced from renewable electricity and act as energy storage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 93 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 55
renewable transport fuels, biogas, methane, hydrogen, electrofuels, pyrolysis, well to wheel, transport policy, energy policy
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174018 (URN)978-91-7595-706-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-23, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (Swedish)
Energy Systems Programme

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved

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