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Open AccessArticle

Life Cycle Assessment of a Biogas-Fed Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Integrated in a Wastewater Treatment Plant

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DENERG—Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
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DIATI—Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructures Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091611
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
This work assesses the environmental impacts of an industrial-scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) plant fed by sewage biogas locally available from a Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). Three alternative scenarios for biogas exploitation have been investigated and real data from an existing integrated SOFC-WWTP have been retrieved: the first one (Scenario 1) is the current scenario, where biogas is exploited in a boiler for thermal-energy-only production, while the second one is related to the installation of an efficient SOFC-based cogeneration system (Scenario 2). A thermal energy conservation opportunity that foresees the use of a dynamic machine for sludge pre-thickening enhancement is also investigated as a third scenario (Scenario 3). The life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) has shown that producing a substantial share of electrical energy (around 25%) via biogas-fed SOFC cogeneration modules can reduce the environmental burden associated to WWTP operations in five out of the seven impact categories that have been analyzed in this work. A further reduction of impacts, particularly concerning global warming potential and primary energy demand, is possible by the decrease of the thermal request of the digester, thus making the system independent from natural gas. In both Scenarios 2 and 3, primary energy and CO2 emissions embodied in the manufacture and maintenance of the cogeneration system are neutralized by operational savings in less than one year. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; biogas; fuel cell; solid oxide fuel cell; wastewater life cycle assessment; biogas; fuel cell; solid oxide fuel cell; wastewater
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gandiglio, M.; De Sario, F.; Lanzini, A.; Bobba, S.; Santarelli, M.; Blengini, G.A. Life Cycle Assessment of a Biogas-Fed Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Integrated in a Wastewater Treatment Plant. Energies 2019, 12, 1611. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091611

AMA Style

Gandiglio M, De Sario F, Lanzini A, Bobba S, Santarelli M, Blengini GA. Life Cycle Assessment of a Biogas-Fed Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Integrated in a Wastewater Treatment Plant. Energies. 2019; 12(9):1611. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091611

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gandiglio, Marta; De Sario, Fabrizio; Lanzini, Andrea; Bobba, Silvia; Santarelli, Massimo; Blengini, Gian A. 2019. "Life Cycle Assessment of a Biogas-Fed Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Integrated in a Wastewater Treatment Plant" Energies 12, no. 9: 1611. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091611

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