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Biomass gasification in district heating systems - The effect of economic energy policies
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2010 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 87, no 9, 2914-2922 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biomass gasification is considered a key technology in reaching targets for renewable energy and CO2 emissions reduction. This study evaluates policy instruments affecting the profitability of biomass gasification applications integrated in a Swedish district heating (DH) system for the medium-term future (around year 2025). Two polygeneration applications based on gasification technology are considered in this paper: (1) a biorefinery plant co-producing synthetic natural gas (SNG) and district heat; (2) a combined heat and power (CHP) plant using integrated gasification combined cycle technology. Using an optimisation model we identify the levels of policy support, here assumed to be in the form of tradable certificates, required to make biofuel production competitive to biomass based electricity generation under various energy market conditions. Similarly, the tradable green electricity certificate levels necessary to make gasification based electricity generation competitive to conventional steam cycle technology, are identified. The results show that in order for investment in the SNG biorefinery to be competitive to investment in electricity production in the DH system, biofuel certificates in the range of 24-42 EUR/MWh are needed. Electricity certificates are not a prerequisite for investment in gasification based CHP to be competitive to investment in conventional steam cycle CHP, given sufficiently high electricity prices. While the required biofuel policy support is relatively insensitive to variations in capital cost, the required electricity certificates show high sensitivity to variations in investment costs. It is concluded that the large capital commitment and strong dependency on policy instruments makes it necessary that DH suppliers believe in the long-sightedness of future support policies, in order for investments in large-scale biomass gasification in DH systems to be realised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. , 2010. Vol. 87, no 9, 2914-2922 p.
Keyword [en]
Biomass gasification; Energy policy; District heating; Energy system optimisation; Biorefinery
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58244DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.11.032ISI: 000279710500022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-58244DiVA: diva2:337991
Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12
In thesis
1. System studies of forest-based biomass gasification
Open this publication in new window or tab >>System studies of forest-based biomass gasification
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Bioenergy will play an important role in reaching the EU targets for renewable energy. Sweden, with abundant forest resources and a well-established forest industry, has a key position regarding modern biomass use. Biomass gasification (BMG) offers several advantages compared to biomass combustion-based processes, the most prominent being the possibility for downstream conversion to motor fuels (biofuels), and the potential for higher electrical efficiency if used for electricity generation in a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC). BMG-based processes in general have a considerable surplus of heat, which facilitates integration with district heating or industrial processes.

In this thesis integration of large-scale BMG, for biofuel or electricity production, with other parts of the energy system is analysed. Focus is on forest-based biomass, with the analysis including techno-economic aspects as well as considerations regarding effects on global fossil CO2 emissions. The analysis has been done using two approaches – bottom-up with detailed case studies of BMG integrated with local systems, and top-down with BMG studied on a European scale.

The results show that BMG-based biofuel or electricity production can constitute economically interesting alternatives for integration with district heating or pulp and paper production. However, due to uncertainties concerning future energy market conditions and due to the large capital commitment of investment in BMG technology, forceful economic support policies will be needed if BMG is a desired route for the future energy system, unless oil and electricity prices are high enough to provide sufficient incentives for BMG-based biofuel or electricity production. While BMG-based biofuel production could make integration with either district heating or pulp and paper production economically attractive, BIGCC shows considerably more promise if integrated with pulp and paper production than with district heating.

Bioenergy use is often considered CO2-neutral, because uptake in growing plants is assumed to fully balance the CO2 released when the biomass is combusted. As one of the alternatives in this thesis, biomass is viewed as limited. This means that increased use of bioenergy in one part of the energy system limits the amount of biomass available for other applications, thus increasing the CO2 emissions for those applications. The results show that when such marginal effects of increased biomass use are acknowledged, the CO2 mitigation potential for BMG-based biofuel production becomes highly uncertain. In fact, most of the BMG-based biofuel cases studied in this thesis would lead to an increase rather than the desired decrease of global CO2 emissions, when considering biomass as limited.

Abstract [sv]

Bioenergi spelar en viktig roll för att nå EU:s mål för förnybar energi. Sverige har med sina goda skogstillgångar och sin väletablerade skogsindustri en nyckelposition vad gäller modern bioenergianvändning. Förgasning av biomassa har flera fördelar jämfört med förbränningsbaserade processer - i synnerhet möjligheten att konvertera lågvärdiga råvaror till exempelvis fordonsdrivmedel. Används gasen istället för elproduktion kan en högre verkningsgrad nås om gasen används i en kombicykel, jämfört med i en konventionell ångturbincykel. De förgasningsbaserade processerna har i allmänhet ett betydande överskott av värme, vilket möjliggör integrering med fjärrvärmesystem eller industriella processer.

I denna avhandling analyseras integrering av storskalig biomassaförgasning för drivmedelseller elproduktion, med andra delar av energisystemet. Skogsbaserad biomassa är i fokus och analysen behandlar såväl teknoekonomiska aspekter, som effekter på globala fossila CO2-utsläpp. Forskningen har gjorts på två olika systemnivåer - dels i form av detaljerade fallstudier av biomassaförgasning integrerat med lokala svenska system, dels i form av systemstudier på europeisk nivå.

Resultaten visar att förgasningsbaserad biodrivmedels- eller elproduktion kan komma att utgöra ekonomiskt intressanta alternativ för integrering med fjärrvärme eller massa- och papperstillverkning. På grund av osäkerheter i fråga om framtida energimarknadsförhållanden och på grund av de höga kapitalkostnaderna som investering i förgasningsanläggningar innebär, kommer kraftfulla ekonomiska styrmedel krävas om biomassaförgasning är en önskad utvecklingsväg för framtidens energisystem, såvida inte olje- och elpriserna är höga nog att i sig skapa tillräckliga incitament. Medan förgasningsbaserad drivmedelsproduktion kan vara ekonomiskt attraktivt att integrera med såväl fjärrvärme som med massa- och papperstillverkning, framstår förgasningsbaserad elproduktion som betydligt mer lovande vid integrering med massa- och papperstillverkning.

Användning av bioenergi anses ofta vara CO2-neutralt, eftersom upptaget av CO2 i växande biomassa antas balansera den CO2 som frigörs när biomassan förbränns. Som ett av alternativen i denna avhandling ses biomassa som begränsad, vilket innebär att ökad användning av bioenergi i en del av energisystemet begränsar den tillgängliga mängden biomassa för andra användare, vilket leder till ökade CO2-utsläpp för dessa. Resultaten visar att när hänsyn tas till denna typ av marginella effekter av ökad biomassaanvändning, blir potentialen för minskade globala CO2-utsläpp med hjälp av förgasningsbaserade tillämpningar mycket osäker. I själva verket skulle de flesta av de förgasningsbaserade drivmedel som studerats i denna avhandling leda till en utsläppsökning, snarare än den önskade minskningen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 79 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1429
Keyword
Biomass gasification, second-generation biofuels, global CO2 emissions, energy system optimisation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74576 (URN)978-91-7519-955-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-02, sal ACAS, hus A, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-02-02 Created: 2012-02-02 Last updated: 2012-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Wetterlund, ElisabethSöderström, Mats

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