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Dr. Niels Jungbluth ESU-services Ltd., Uster, Switzerland Life Cycle Assessment of BTL-fuels, Conversion Concepts and Comparison with Fossil Fuels 16 th.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Niels Jungbluth ESU-services Ltd., Uster, Switzerland Life Cycle Assessment of BTL-fuels, Conversion Concepts and Comparison with Fossil Fuels 16 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Niels Jungbluth ESU-services Ltd., Uster, Switzerland Life Cycle Assessment of BTL-fuels, Conversion Concepts and Comparison with Fossil Fuels 16 th European Biomass Conference + Exhibition 2-6 June 2008 Valencia

2 2 Overview Life cycle assessment of conversion concepts for BTL production LCA of BTL-fuel use and comparison with fossil diesel Conclusions

3 3 Questions addressed for BTL production Which production route developed within the RENEW project is the one with the lowest environmental impacts for a certain impact category ? Improvement options of production routes, e.g. biomass inputs Priorities for process development Scenarios for technology development for BtL-production plants and influence on results

4 4 Total system boundaries

5 5 System boundaries No modelling of intermediate flows between conversion stages Emissions of power plant are allocated to heat and electricity based on exergy production No allocation of biomass input to by-products, like electricity No agreement on assessment of pesticides and heavy metals in the project

6 6 General assumptions necessary Data provided had to be completed with general assumptions Emission profile of conversion based mainly on gas or wood power plants Waste and effluent composition available only from model calculation Catalyst use assessed based on literature

7 7 Key data of modelling for the year 2020

8 8 Contribution of sub-processes

9 9 Well to tank comparison Starting Point

10 10 Interpretation - Wood BLEF-DME lower than cEF-D for CED, abiotic depletion, global warming, eutrophication, acidification, water and land use BLEF-DME higher impacts than cEF-D for photochemical oxidation CFB-D 3rd rank for all category indicators ICFB-D has highest impacts in all categories because of low conversion efficiency to fuel (but by-product electricity)

11 11 Interpretation - Straw cEF-D lowest impacts for the conversion of straw followed by the dEF-D and the CFB-D process No clear recommendation comparing wood and straw Only one conversion process using miscanthus (ICFB-D)

12 12 General improvement options Increase of FT-fuel yield Reduce emissions (CH 4, NMVOC, NO x, particles) with off-gases and from the power plant Improve biomass provision and production Recycling of nutrients in slag and ashes

13 13 Life cycle assessment of using BTL What are the environmental impacts of using BTL-fuels compared to fossil diesel? Importance of fuel combustion for total environmental impacts? GWP reduction potential Comparison of BTL with first generation biofuels? Yields per hectare compared to first generation?  Follow-up study commissioned by Swiss authorities

14 14 Importance of process stages (Eco-indicator 99)  The environmental impacts of roads and cars are assumed to be the same for all fuels

15 Global warming potential  GWP reduction between 28% and 69% is lower than what has been assumed so far

16 16 Comparison with other biofuels  No clear advantage nor disadvantage compared to other biofuels  Type of biomass resource is most important for each type of fuel

17 Mileage per hectare

18 18 Main observations Low emissions of GHG during combustion outweigh the higher impacts of fuel production for GWP Reduction potential for GWP and non-renewable energy is about 30%-69% if the full life cycle is taken into account Other environmental impacts of BTL-fuel from agricultural biomass are higher than using fossil fuels Comparison with first generation fuels and evaluation of fuel yields show no general better performance Type of biomass and conversion efficiency important

19 Dr. Niels Jungbluth ESU-services Ltd., Uster, Switzerland Annexe LCA of BTL-production

20 20 Data quality description

21 21 System boundaries conversion

22 22 Key data biomass Straw, short-rotation wood and miscanthus per kg dry substance (DS)

23 23 Intermediate Storage Key assumptions

24 24 Biomass, at intermediate storage (per MJ biomass energy)

25 25 Interpretation Main factors are fertilizer and diesel use and emissions due to use of fertilizers Small variations in scenarios General uncertainty in agricultural data is higher than the differences between scenarios Straw has lower impacts due to economic allocation, wood has higher or about the same impacts as miscanthus except for eutrophication

26 26 Analysis of individual pollutants, i.e. Photochemical Oxidation

27 27 Scenarios Starting point scenario provides a good basis for comparison of different conversion concepts Scenario 1 shows what would be possible if fuel yield should be maximized at a certain place. Hydrogen produced with wind power is used to maximize the fuel production

28 28 Key data scenario 1

29 29 Well to tank comparison Scenario 1

30 30 Interpretation, Scenario 1 Only preferable if electricity supplied by wind power, but in this case high demand for capacity and supply security or flexibility Higher impacts in case of external hydrogen production with European electricity mix No clear ranking because of different advantages and disadvantages

31 31 Change of results Starting point -> Sc1, European electricity mix

32 32 Change of results Starting point -> Sc1, wind electricity

33 33 Uncertainties Straw, FZK against Wood, UET

34 34 Fuel yields

35 35 Share capital goods (starting point, MJ fuel)

36 36 Capital goods Share up to 40% Exclusion would give wrong picture Article published in the Int.J.LCA that gives further details and recommendations Frischknecht R, Althaus H-J, Bauer C, Doka G, et al., The environmental relevance of capital goods in life cycle assessments of products and services. Int. J. LCA, Online first. DOI:

37 37 Limitations of the study Pesticides, heavy metals and impacts of land occupation for biomass production not considered in the assessment No agreement on reliability of assessment methodologies of toxicity impacts

38 38 Peer Review LCA of BTL-fuel production Peer review according to ISO14040 in general quite positive: –Requirements are fulfilled –Data structure and results are exemplary Main critics are –No impact assessment for toxicological effects –No full cradle-to-grave LCA –No comparison to fossil fuel Reports have been finalized and published on the RENEW homepage together with full review comment

39 Questions to be answered Using BTL reduces the GWP by X% compared to fossil fuel Using a specific amount (e.g. 1 MJ or 1 kg) of BTL reduces the GWP by Y kg (or another appropriate unit) compared to fossil fuel

40 40 Calculations of potential reduction 100% 38% 20% 15% 12%

41 (Jungbluth et al. 2008: LCA of biomass-to-liquid fuels) Example GWP of BTL-Diesel 52% 65%  Neglecting parts of the life cycle leads to different conclusions concerning reduction potentials expressed as a percentage

42 And again: How much better are biofuels? If we want an answer like „the use of biofuel has ???% lower GWP than fossil fuels“ than we have to include the all parts of the life cycle, e.g. for transports also cars and streets Neglecting certain parts of the life cycle, even if the same for both options, will bias the results System boundaries must be stated correctly if comparing reduction figures, e.g. well-to-wheel should include the wheel See for background paperwww.esu-services.ch/btl/

43 43 Concawe compared to RENEW results (fuel production) Range RENEW 27-65

44 44 Differences with Concawe study Higher nitrogen input in RENEW study (5-6 vs. 2.5 g g/kg DS)  ca. +50% N2O Low emissions (CH4 and N2O) because no data for conversion in Concawe study  ca % in RENEW No infrastructure in Concawe study  % Credits for electricity production with biomass power plant - mainly relevant for TUV

45 45 BTL from short-rotation wood (IFEU study)


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