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Article

Combining Biomass Gasification and Solid Oxid Fuel Cell for Heat and Power Generation: An Early-Stage Life Cycle Assessment

1
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Division Energy, Transport and Climate Policy, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, D-42103 Wuppertal, Germany
3
BIOS BIOENERGIESYSTEME GmbH., A-8020 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2773; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112773
Received: 6 May 2020 / Revised: 25 May 2020 / Accepted: 27 May 2020 / Published: 1 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Systems)
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 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: CHP; biomass; LCA; gasification; SOFC; allocation; multifunctionality CHP; biomass; LCA; gasification; SOFC; allocation; multifunctionality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moretti, C.; Corona, B.; Rühlin, V.; Götz, T.; Junginger, M.; Brunner, T.; Obernberger, I.; Shen, L. Combining Biomass Gasification and Solid Oxid Fuel Cell for Heat and Power Generation: An Early-Stage Life Cycle Assessment. Energies 2020, 13, 2773. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112773

AMA Style

Moretti C, Corona B, Rühlin V, Götz T, Junginger M, Brunner T, Obernberger I, Shen L. Combining Biomass Gasification and Solid Oxid Fuel Cell for Heat and Power Generation: An Early-Stage Life Cycle Assessment. Energies. 2020; 13(11):2773. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112773

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moretti, Christian, Blanca Corona, Viola Rühlin, Thomas Götz, Martin Junginger, Thomas Brunner, Ingwald Obernberger, and Li Shen. 2020. "Combining Biomass Gasification and Solid Oxid Fuel Cell for Heat and Power Generation: An Early-Stage Life Cycle Assessment" Energies 13, no. 11: 2773. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112773

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