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Ethanol production in biorefineries using lignocellulosic feedstock - GHG performance, energy balance and implications of life cycle calculation methodology

Karlsson, Hanna; Börjesson, Pål LU ; Hansson, Per-Anders and Ahlgren, Serina (2014) In Journal of Cleaner Production 83. p.420-427
Abstract
Co-production of high-value biobased products in biorefineries is a promising option for optimized utilization of biomass. Lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural and forest residues have been identified as attractive alternative feedstocks because of their high availability and low resource demand. This study assessed the greenhouse gas (GHG) performance and energy balance of ethanol co-production with biogas and electricity in biorefineries using straw and forest residues. Two calculation methods were used: Method I (ISO), which applied the international standard for life cycle assessment, and Method II, which applied the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) methodology. These methods differed in allocation procedure, functional... (More)
Co-production of high-value biobased products in biorefineries is a promising option for optimized utilization of biomass. Lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural and forest residues have been identified as attractive alternative feedstocks because of their high availability and low resource demand. This study assessed the greenhouse gas (GHG) performance and energy balance of ethanol co-production with biogas and electricity in biorefineries using straw and forest residues. Two calculation methods were used: Method I (ISO), which applied the international standard for life cycle assessment, and Method II, which applied the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) methodology. These methods differed in allocation procedure, functional unit and system boundaries. Analysis of the importance of significant methodological choices and critical parameters showed that the results varied depending on calculation method, with co-product handling and the inclusion of upstream impacts from residue harvesting explaining most of the differences. Important life cycle steps were process inputs in terms of enzymes and changes in soil organic carbon content due to removal of residues. Ethanol produced from forest residues generally gave lower GHG emissions than straw-based ethanol. The GHG savings for both feedstocks were 51-84% relative to fossil fuel. Omission of upstream impacts from residue recovery in agriculture and forestry in the RED method means that it risks overlooking important environmental effects of residue reuse. Furthermore, the default allocation procedure used in the RED method (energy allocation) may need revision for biorefineries where multiple products with different characteristics are co-produced. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Biorefinery, Lignocellulosic materials, Life cycle assessment, Ethanol, Biogas, Calculation methodology
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
83
pages
420 - 427
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000343781500040
  • scopus:84908230802
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.07.029
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cad8ff41-1851-4cea-88c9-736c3e401966 (old id 4875988)
date added to LUP
2014-12-23 09:49:14
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:01:13
@article{cad8ff41-1851-4cea-88c9-736c3e401966,
  abstract     = {Co-production of high-value biobased products in biorefineries is a promising option for optimized utilization of biomass. Lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural and forest residues have been identified as attractive alternative feedstocks because of their high availability and low resource demand. This study assessed the greenhouse gas (GHG) performance and energy balance of ethanol co-production with biogas and electricity in biorefineries using straw and forest residues. Two calculation methods were used: Method I (ISO), which applied the international standard for life cycle assessment, and Method II, which applied the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) methodology. These methods differed in allocation procedure, functional unit and system boundaries. Analysis of the importance of significant methodological choices and critical parameters showed that the results varied depending on calculation method, with co-product handling and the inclusion of upstream impacts from residue harvesting explaining most of the differences. Important life cycle steps were process inputs in terms of enzymes and changes in soil organic carbon content due to removal of residues. Ethanol produced from forest residues generally gave lower GHG emissions than straw-based ethanol. The GHG savings for both feedstocks were 51-84% relative to fossil fuel. Omission of upstream impacts from residue recovery in agriculture and forestry in the RED method means that it risks overlooking important environmental effects of residue reuse. Furthermore, the default allocation procedure used in the RED method (energy allocation) may need revision for biorefineries where multiple products with different characteristics are co-produced. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Hanna and Börjesson, Pål and Hansson, Per-Anders and Ahlgren, Serina},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Biorefinery,Lignocellulosic materials,Life cycle assessment,Ethanol,Biogas,Calculation methodology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {420--427},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Ethanol production in biorefineries using lignocellulosic feedstock - GHG performance, energy balance and implications of life cycle calculation methodology},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.07.029},
  volume       = {83},
  year         = {2014},
}