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Combining biomass gasification and solid oxid fuel cell for heat and power generation : an early-stage life cycle assessment

  • Biomass-fueled combined heat and power systems (CHPs) can potentially offer environmental benefits compared to conventional separate production technologies. This study presents the first environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of a novel high-efficiency bio-based power (HBP) technology, which combines biomass gasification with a 199 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) to produce heat and electricity. The aim is to identify the main sources of environmental impacts and to assess the potential environmental performance compared to benchmark technologies. The use of various biomass fuels and alternative allocation methods were scrutinized. The LCA results reveal that most of the environmental impacts of the energy supplied with the HBPBiomass-fueled combined heat and power systems (CHPs) can potentially offer environmental benefits compared to conventional separate production technologies. This study presents the first environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of a novel high-efficiency bio-based power (HBP) technology, which combines biomass gasification with a 199 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) to produce heat and electricity. The aim is to identify the main sources of environmental impacts and to assess the potential environmental performance compared to benchmark technologies. The use of various biomass fuels and alternative allocation methods were scrutinized. The LCA results reveal that most of the environmental impacts of the energy supplied with the HBP technology are caused by the production of the biomass fuel. This contribution is higher for pelletized than for chipped biomass. Overall, HBP technology shows better environmental performance than heat from natural gas and electricity from the German/European grid. When comparing the HBP technology with the biomass-fueled ORC technology, the former offers significant benefits in terms of particulate matter (about 22 times lower), photochemical ozone formation (11 times lower), acidification (8 times lower) and terrestrial eutrophication (about 26 times lower). The environmental performance was not affected by the allocation parameter (exergy or economic) used. However, the tested substitution approaches showed to be inadequate to model multiple environmental impacts of CHP plants under the investigated context and goal.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Christian Moretti, Blanca Corona, Viola Rühlin, Thomas Götz, Martin Junginger, Thomas Brunner, Ingwald Obernberger, Li Shen
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-75263
Year of Publication:2020
Language:English
Source Title (English):Energies
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112773
Volume:13
Issue:11
Article Number:2773
Divisions:Energie-, Verkehrs- und Klimapolitik
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
OpenAIRE:OpenAIRE
Licence:License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International