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Energy systems studied of biogas: Generation aspects of renewable vehicle fuels in the transport system
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The transport sector is seen as particularly problematic when concerns about climate change and dependency on fossil energy are discussed. Because of this, bioenergy is strongly promoted for use in the transport sector, both on a European level and nationally in Sweden. Even though bioenergy is considered one of the key solutions, it is generally agreed that both supply- and demand-side measures will be needed to achieve a change to a more sustainable transport system. One of the reasons for this is the limited availability of biomass, especially agricultural feedstocks competing with food or feed production. Woody biomass, however more abundant, is also exposed to tough competition from other sectors. In this thesis, the role of biogas as a vehicle fuel in a future sustainable transport system is discussed together with the prerequisites needed to realise such a transport system. Biogas is a biofuel that could be produced in several different ways: by anaerobic digestion, which is a first-generation production route, by gasification, which is a second-generation process, and by catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide, a third-generation technology. The main focus in this thesis is on biogas produced by anaerobic digestion and the results show that there is a significant potential for an increase compared to today’s production. Biogas from anaerobic digestion, however, will only be able to cover a minor part of the demand in the Swedish transport sector. Considering biogas of the second and third generations, the potential for production is more uncertain in a mid-term future, mainly due to competition for feedstock, the possibility to produce other fuels by these processes, and the present immaturity of the technology. The limited potential for replacing fossil vehicle fuels, either by biogas or other renewable fuels, clearly shows the need for demand-side measures in the transport system as well. This thesis shows the importance of technical and non-technical means to decrease the demand for transport and to make the transport as efficient as possible. The results show that both energy-efficient vehicles and behavioural and infrastructural changes will be required. Policies and economic incentives set by governments and decision-making bodies have a prominent role to play, in order to bring about a shift to a more sustainable transport system, however, measures taken on individual level will also have a great impact to contribute to a more sustainable transport system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , xiii, 67 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:54
Keyword [en]
Anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomass, energy system, first-generation biofuels, renewable vehicle fuels, second-generation biofuels, supply- and demand-side measures, third-generation biofuels, transport system
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105120ISBN: 978-91-7501-516-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-105120DiVA: diva2:570073
Public defence
2012-12-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20121116

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-16 Last updated: 2012-12-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Strategies for a road transport system based on renewable resources: The case of an import-independent Sweden in 2025
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategies for a road transport system based on renewable resources: The case of an import-independent Sweden in 2025
2010 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 87, no 6, 1836-1845 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When discussing how society can decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the transport sector is often seen as posing one of the most difficult problems. In addition, the transport sector faces problems related to security of supply. The aim of this paper is to present possible strategies for a road transport system based on renewable energy sources and to illustrate how such a system could be designed to avoid dependency on imports, using Sweden as an example. The demand-side strategies considered include measures for decreasing the demand for transport, as well as various technical and non-technical means of improving vehicle fuel economy. On the supply side, biofuels and synthetic fuels produced from renewable electricity are discussed. Calculations are performed to ascertain the possible impact of these measures on the future Swedish road transport sector. The results underline the importance of powerful demand-side measures and show that although biofuels can certainly contribute significantly to an import-independent road transport sector, they are far from enough even in a biomass-rich country like Sweden. Instead, according to this study, fuels based on renewable electricity will have to cover more than half of the road transport sector's energy demand.

Keyword
Road transport; Import-independent; Biofuel; Synthetic fuel; Demand-side strategies
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9252 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.02.011 (DOI)000278306300005 ()2-s2.0-77951091042 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100823. Uppdaterad från submitted till published (20100823). Tidigare titel: Strategies for a road transport system based on renewable resources: the case of a self-sufficient Sweden in 2025Available from: 2008-10-13 Created: 2008-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Implications of system expansion for the assessment of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from biomass-based transportation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implications of system expansion for the assessment of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from biomass-based transportation
2010 (English)In: International journal of energy research (Print), ISSN 0363-907X, E-ISSN 1099-114X, Vol. 34, no 13, 1136-1154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper we show the effects of expanding the system when evaluating well-to-wheel (WTW) CO2 emissions for biomass-based transportation, to include the systems surrounding the biomass conversion system. Four different cases are considered: DME via black liquor gasification (BLG), methanol via gasification of solid biomass, lignocellulosic ethanol and electricity from a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) used in a battery-powered electric vehicle (BPEV). All four cases are considered with as well as without carbon capture and storage (CCS). System expansion is used consistently for all flows. The results are compared with results from a conventional WTW study that only uses system expansion for certain co-product flows. It is shown that when expanding the system, biomass-based transportation does not necessarily contribute to decreased CO2 emissions and the results from this study in general indicate considerably lower CO2 mitigation potential than do the results from the conventional study used for comparison. It is shown that of particular importance are assumptions regarding future biomass use, as by expanding the system, future competition for biomass feedstock can be taken into account by assuming an alternative biomass usage. Assumptions regarding other surrounding systems, such as the transportation and the electricity systems are also shown to be of significance. Of the four studied cases without CCS, BIGCC with the electricity used in a BPEV is the only case that consistently shows a potential for CO2 reduction when alternative use of biomass is considered. Inclusion of CCS is not a guarantee for achieving CO2 reduction, and in general the system effects are equivalent or larger than the effects of CCS. DME from BLG generally shows the highest CO2 emission reduction potential for the biofuel cases. However, neither of these options for biomass-based transportation can alone meet the needs of the transport sector. Therefore, a broader palette of solutions, including different production routes, different fuels and possibly also CCS, will be needed.

Keyword
second generation biofuels, lignocellulosic biofuels, system expansion, well-to-wheel, CO2 emissions, CCS
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26661 (URN)10.1002/er.1633 (DOI)000282298800003 ()2-s2.0-78049451508 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101202Available from: 2010-12-02 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Biogas from renewable electricity: Increasing a climate neutral fuel supply
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biogas from renewable electricity: Increasing a climate neutral fuel supply
2012 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 90, no 1, 11-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

If considering the increased utilisation of renewable electricity during the last decade, it is realistic to assume that a significant part of future power production will originate from renewable sources. These are normally intermittent and would cause a fluctuating electricity production. A common suggestion for stabilising intermittent power in the grid is to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis thus storing the energy for later. It could work as an excellent load management tool to control the intermittency, due to its flexibility. In turn, hydrogen could be used as a fuel in transport if compressed or liquefied. However, since hydrogen is highly energy demanding to compress, and moreover, has relatively low energy content per volume it would be more beneficial to store the hydrogen chemically attached to carbon forming synthetic methane (i.e. biogas). This paper presents how biogas production from a given amount of biomass could be increased by addition of renewable electricity. Commonly biogas is produced through digestion of organic material. Recently also biomass gasification is gaining more attention and is under development. However, in both cases, a significant amount of carbon dioxide is produced as by-product which is subject for separation and disposal. To increase the biogas yield, the separated carbon dioxide (which is considered as climate neutral) could, instead of being seen as waste, be used as a component to produce additional methane through the well-known Sabatier reaction. In such process the carbon could act as hydrogen carrier of hydrogen originating from water electrolysis driven by renewable sources. In this study a base case scenario, describing biogas plants of typical sizes and efficiencies, is presented for both digestion and gasification. It is assessed that, if implementing the Sabatier process on gasification, the methane production would be increased by about 110%. For the digestion, the increase, including process improvements, would be about 74%. Hence, this method results in greatly increased biogas potential without the addition of new raw material to the process. Additionally, such model would present a great way to meet the transport sector's increasing demand for renewable fuels, while simultaneously reducing net emissions of carbon dioxide.

Keyword
Biogas, Renewable energy, Intermittent power, Synthetic fuels, Sabatier reaction
National Category
Energy Systems Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58804 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.07.024 (DOI)000297426100003 ()2-s2.0-80055060615 (Scopus ID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20120110

Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Integrated production of biogas and cellulosic ethanol: A potential source for renewable vehicle fuels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrated production of biogas and cellulosic ethanol: A potential source for renewable vehicle fuels
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Fermentation, Lignocellulosic ethanol, Renewable vehicle fuels
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105118 (URN)
Note

QS 2012

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-16 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved
5. Biogas from mechanical pulping industry: Potential improvement for increased biomass vehicle fuels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biogas from mechanical pulping industry: Potential improvement for increased biomass vehicle fuels
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization and Simulation of Energy Conversion Systems and Processes, ECOS 2012, 2012, Vol. 5, 56-67 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Biogas is a vehicle fuel of the first generation of biofuels with great potential for reducing the climate impact from the transport sector. Today biogas is mainly produced by digestion in Sweden and the total amounts to 1.4 TWhLHV/year (2010) of which about 0.6 TWhLHV is upgraded and used in the transport sector. Using industrial wastewater, e.g. from a pulp and paper mill, as substrate for production of biogas, the amount of renewable fuel to the transport sector could be increased. In the pulping industry, substantial amounts of organic matter are generated; this is commonly treated aerobically to reduce the chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the effluent streams before discharge to a recipient. Treating these effluent streams mainly anaerobically instead could contribute to the transport sector's energy supply. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential for using effluent streams from the Swedish mechanical pulp and paper industry to produce biogas. A typical Swedish mechanical pulp mill is considered for anaerobic treatment of the wastewaters. This type of pulp mill presently uses conventional methods for wastewater treatment to reduce COD, but converting most of this to anaerobic treatment would increase the amount of biogas produced. When considering this conversion in a larger context, supposing that anaerobic treatment would be applied to all Swedish mechanical pulp mills, which stand for about 30% of the total Swedish pulp production, it is shown that the production could amount to as much as 0.5 TWhLHV/year of biogas. This represents about one third of the biogas produced in Sweden today. The main conclusion of this study is that if anaerobic treatment of effluent streams from the pulping industry were introduced, the biogas production in Sweden could be significantly increased, thus moving one step further in reducing the transport sector's climate impact.

Keyword
Anaerobic digestion, Biofuel, Biogas, Mechanical pulping, Vehicle fuel, Wastewater treatment
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-98089 (URN)2-s2.0-84896370780 (Scopus ID)978-886655322-9 (ISBN)
Conference
25th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization and Simulation of Energy Conversion Systems and Processes, ECOS 2012, Perugia, Italy, 26 June 2012 through 29 June 2012
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20121116

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-06-19 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved
6. Biogas potential in the Swedish pulp and paper industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biogas potential in the Swedish pulp and paper industry
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of ICCE 2012: International conference on clean energy, 2012, 61-68 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The European Union target of 10 % renewable fuels in the transport sector by 2020 is still far off, with 2.6% renewables on the EU level (2007) and 5.7% nationally in Sweden (2010). Biogas today accounts for a minor share of the renewable vehicle fuels in Sweden, but has the potential to increase. This study estimates the potential for producing biogas by anaerobic digestion as a part of the wastewater treatment in Swedish pulp and paper mills. The technology is mature and is used for example in municipal wastewater facilities but not as yet in the Swedish pulp and paper industry even though many of the effluent streams are well-suited for it. The results show that applying anaerobic wastewater treatment at Sweden’s pulp and paper mills may render as much as 1 TWhLHV/year, which would increase the present biogas production of 1.4 TWhLHV (2010) by 70%.

Keyword
Anaeroboc digestion, Biogas, Pulp and paper industry, Renewable vehicle fuels, Wastewater treatment
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105115 (URN)978-1-77136-042-5 (ISBN)
Conference
International conference on clean energy 2012, Quebec, Canada, September 10-12 2012
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20121116

Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-16 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved

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