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The role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil-free Swedish transport sector
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8871-2085
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are required to limit the severe risks associated with a changing climate. One measure is to disrupt the fossil-fuel dependency in the transport sector, but it appears difficult and costly in comparison to other measures.

Vehicles and fuels are available, but no single alternative can replace petrol and diesel in all parts of the transport system. None of them are ideal regarding all of the following aspects: vehicle performance, fuel production potential, sustainability, infrastructure, technology development and economy. Instead, several fuels are needed.

In this thesis, the aim is to investigate the role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil- free vehicle fleet in Sweden, and compare them with other fuels in terms of well-to-wheel energy efficiency and economy. Processes for producing methane from biomass, waste streams from pulp mills and electricity are studied with techno-economic methods. Furthermore, well-to-wheel studies and scenarios are used to investigate the fuel chains and the interaction with the energy and transport systems.

Effects of policy instruments on the development of biogas in the Swedish transport sector are also analysed and policy instruments are suggested to increase the use of methane and to introduce hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. The results reveal that tax exemptions and investment support have been and will continue to be important policy instruments, but that effective policy instruments are needed to develop fuelling infrastructure and to support alternative vehicles.

Electricity will be an important transport fuel for several reasons; the electric powertrain enables high energy efficiency and electricity can be produced from various renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, other fuels will be needed as complements to electricity. The results reveal that methane and hydrogen and associated vehicles may be necessary to reach a fossil-free vehicle fleet in Sweden. These fuels have several advantages:

-        The function of the vehicles resembles conventional vehicles but with lower local and global emissions.

-        Methane is a well proven as a transport fuel and hydrogen infrastructure and FCEVs, are commercial or close to commercialisation.

-        They enable high well-to-wheel energy efficiency.

-        They can be produced from renewable electricity and act as energy storage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , 93 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 55
Keyword [en]
renewable transport fuels, biogas, methane, hydrogen, electrofuels, pyrolysis, well to wheel, transport policy, energy policy
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174018ISBN: 978-91-7595-706-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-174018DiVA: diva2:856550
Public defence
2015-10-23, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Energy Systems Programme
Note

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Bio-methane via fast pyrolysis of biomass
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bio-methane via fast pyrolysis of biomass
2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 112, no SI, 440-447 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bio-methane, a renewable vehicle fuel, is today produced by anaerobic digestion and a 2nd generation production route via gasification is under development. This paper proposes a poly-generation plant that produces bio-methane, bio-char and heat via fast pyrolysis of biomass. The energy and material flows for the fuel synthesis are calculated by process simulation in Aspen Plus®. The production of bio-methane and bio-char amounts to 15.5. MW and 3.7. MW, when the total inputs are 23. MW raw biomass and 1.39. MW electricity respectively (HHV basis). The results indicate an overall efficiency of 84% including high-temperature heat and the biomass to bio-methane yield amounts to 83% after allocation of the biomass input to the final products (HHV basis). The overall energy efficiency is higher for the suggested plant than for the gasification production route and is therefore a competitive route for bio-methane production.

Keyword
Bio-methane, Bio-oil, Biomass, Pyrolysis, SNG, Synthetic natural gas
National Category
Energy Engineering Chemical Process Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105552 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.01.002 (DOI)000329377800044 ()2-s2.0-84884207011 (Scopus ID)
Conference
4th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), July 01-04, 2012, China
Note

QC 20131205. Updated from submitted to published.

Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Bio-methane upgrading of pyrolysis gas from charcoal production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bio-methane upgrading of pyrolysis gas from charcoal production
2013 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 3, 66-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a novel route for bio-methane synthesis utilizing pyrolysis gas from charcoal production. It is a retrofit option that may increase overall process efficiency in charcoal production while adding a valuable product. The pyrolysis gas from charcoal production can be used for bio-methane production instead of burning, while the required heat for the charcoal production is supplied by additional biomass. The aim is to evaluate the energy efficiency of bio-methane upgrading from two types of charcoal plants, with and without recovery of liquid by-products (bio-oil). Aspen simulations and calculations of the energy and mass balances are used to analyse the system. The yield of bio-methane compared to the import of additional biomass is estimated to be 81% and 85% (biomass to bio-methane yield) for the syngas case and the pyrolysis vapour case, respectively. When the biomass necessary to produce the needed electricity (assuming ηel = 33%) is included, the yields amount to 65% and 73%. The results show that the suggested process is a competitive production route for methane from lignocellulosic biomass.

Keyword
Bio-methane, Biomass, Charcoal, Pyrolysis, SNG
National Category
Energy Engineering Chemical Process Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105563 (URN)10.1016/j.seta.2013.07.001 (DOI)2-s2.0-84882580667 (Scopus ID)
Note

Updated from "Submitted" to "Published" QC 20140218

Available from: 2012-11-22 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Techno-economic assessment of anaerobic digestion in a typical Kraft pulp mill to produce biomethane for the road transport sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Techno-economic assessment of anaerobic digestion in a typical Kraft pulp mill to produce biomethane for the road transport sector
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 104, 460-467 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Renewable waste-based fuels may decrease the resource use and environmental impact of the road transport sector; one of the options is biogas produced via anaerobic digestion of waste streams from pulp and paper mills. This paper describes process simulation and economic assessments for two options for integrating anaerobic digestion and production of liquid biogas in a typical Nordic Kraft pulp mill: (1) a high-rate anaerobic reactor in the wastewater treatment, and (2) an external anaerobic stirred tank reactor for the treatment of primary and secondary sludge as well as Kraft evaporator methanol condensate. The results revealed an annual production potential of 26-27 GWh biogas in an average Nordic Kraft pulp mill, which is equivalent to a daily production of 7600 L of diesel in terms of energy, and the production cost was estimated to (sic)0.47-0.82 per litre diesel equivalent, comparable with the Swedish price of (sic)0.68 per litre diesel.

However, for the cases with liquid biogas (LBG), a discounted payback period of about 8 years may not be considered profitable by the industry. Other pre-requisites may, however, improve the profitability: a larger mill; production of compressed biogas instead of liquid biogas; or, for case 1, a comparison with the alternative cost for expanding the wastewater treatment capacity with more process equipment for activated sludge treatment. The results reveal that anaerobic digestion at pulp mills may both expand the production of renewable vehicle fuel but also enable increased efficiency and revenue at Kraft pulp mills.

Keyword
Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Biomethane, Kraft pulp, Pulp and paper
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158133 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.05.054 (DOI)000357552900045 ()2-s2.0-84931563943 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20150817

Available from: 2014-12-29 Created: 2014-12-29 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Synthetic fuels from electricity for the Swedish transport sector: comparison of well to wheel energy efficiencies and costs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synthetic fuels from electricity for the Swedish transport sector: comparison of well to wheel energy efficiencies and costs
2015 (English)In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 75, 1875-1880 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Synthetic fuels based on electricity, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2) may be necessary to cover the fuel demand in a sustainable transport sector based on renewable energy sources. The aim of this paper is to compare hydrogen, methane, methanol and diesel produced in this way. The main parameters for the analysis are well to wheel energy efficiency and costs, and the fuels are analysed in a Swedish context. The results indicate that methane and diesel could have the potential to be cost competitive in the near term, at least if common incentivesfor renewable transportation fuels are applied. Moreover, that hydrogen is the best option in terms of well to wheel energy efficiency, and that it in the longer term also may be cost competitive to the other fuels.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158138 (URN)10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.169 (DOI)2-s2.0-84947076435 (Scopus ID)
Conference
the 7th International Conference on Applied Energy - ICAE2015, March 28-31, 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Note

QC 20150127

Available from: 2014-12-29 Created: 2014-12-29 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
5. Energy system analysis of the implications of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the Swedish road transport system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy system analysis of the implications of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the Swedish road transport system
Show others...
2015 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, E-ISSN 1879-3487, Vol. 40, no 35, 11722-11729 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus on pathways to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector is intense in many countries worldwide. Considering that biofuels have a limited technical production potential and that battery electric vehicles suffer from technical limitations that put constraints on their general use in the transport sector, hydrogen-fuelled fuel cell vehicles may become a feasible alternative. Introduction of hydrogen in the transport sector will also transform the energy sector and create new interactions. The aim of this paper is to analyse the consequences and feasibility of such an integration in Sweden. Different pathways for hydrogen, electricity and methane to the transport sector are compared with regard to system energy efficiency. The well-to-wheel energy efficiencies for hydrogen and electricity are used for estimating the energy resources needed for hydrogen production and electric vehicles for a future Swedish transport sector based on renewable fuels. The analysis reveal that the well-to-wheel system efficiencies for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are comparable to those of methane gas vehicles, even when biomethane is the energy source. The results further indicate that an increased hydrogen demand may have a less than expected impact on the primary energy supply in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
National Category
Engineering and Technology Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158131 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.04.160 (DOI)2-s2.0-84940446636 (Scopus ID)
Conference
The 20th World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2014; Gwangju Metropolitan City, Korea, 15 – 20 June 2014
Funder
Energy Systems Programme
Note

QC 20150128

Available from: 2014-12-28 Created: 2014-12-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
6. Upgraded biogas for transport in Sweden: effects of policy instruments on production, infrastructure deployment and vehicle sales
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Upgraded biogas for transport in Sweden: effects of policy instruments on production, infrastructure deployment and vehicle sales
2016 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 112, 3774-3784 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden is a leading country in the development of upgraded biogas for use in the transport sector. The introduction of a new vehicle fuel is complex when the production, infrastructure, and vehicle fleet must be developed simultaneously. The aim of this article is to present and analyse the development of upgraded biogas in the Swedish transport sector in relation to policy instruments and the availability of a natural gas grid. Plausible implications for the future development of the biogas system are also analysed.

The development of upgraded biogas in Sweden's transport sector is heavily influenced in several ways by domestic policy instruments. Investment support schemes and exemptions from energy and carbon dioxide taxes have been key instruments in initiating the construction of new biogas production facilities and infrastructure. The study of the biogas development in relation to the natural gas grid presented in this article indicates that it may not be necessary to construct a comprehensive network of pipelines for methane (natural gas) to develop the market – at least not initially. In Sweden and elsewhere the biogas volumes will still be quite small in the near future and it is possible to achieve biogas development without an available methane gas grid.

Public procurement, investment schemes and reduced fringe benefit tax have likely been important policy instruments in the introduction of biogas vehicles, whereas the support for private biogas cars has been short-sighted in some ways, and not sufficient to achieve a competitive cost of ownership for biogas cars in relation to diesel cars.

The future strategy for biogas should be based on a realistic potential for using biogas in the transport sector; this would determine whether further market expansion is necessary or if incentives should be focused on development of the production side to cover the current demand for vehicle gas.

The development of biogas production likely depends on continued tax exemptions, which are currently available only until the end of 2015; it is uncertain whether they will remain in place. If biogas should be promoted further among private car owners, more visible incentives for private cars are needed together with incentives for expanding the fuelling infrastructure network.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keyword
Biomethane, Biogas, Transport, Alternatively fuelled vehicle, Policy instrument, Natural gas grid
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173837 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.056 (DOI)000368207500017 ()2-s2.0-84959508922 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Energy Systems Programme
Note

QC 201509

Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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