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Environmental assessment of the GHG emissions from biogas and green gas supply chain

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Environmental assessment of the GHG emissions from biogas and green gas supply chain

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Within the boundaries and setting of the project, the final conclusion is addressed as follows. The main goal of the project was to find out a calculated result of greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2, CH4, and N2O) and identify the major parts of impacts from biogas supply chain based on the Gazmo model developed at LEI. It is possible to say that biogas supply chain is an environmentally friendly process, which generates less emission during electricity production than conventional power production. It is able to find actual emission data in the annexes.
Based on the biogas supply chain, major impacts are identified at feedstock supply, transportation and utilization parts. However, allocation of energy input did not take place in the calculation, therefore the overall results may differ and have less impact from feedstock supply. The use of fossil fuel is an essential factor that leads to GHG emissions.
GHG emissions according to the calculations, are maximized when utilization route of 100% CHP is applied. Since massive waste heat is produced without reuse possibilities, the waste will become direct CO2 emission to the atmosphere. On the other hand, upgrading biogas to higher quality methane is a practice that produces the least GHG emissions. Despite the energy required from the upgrading facility, the overall environmental performance is positive. Limited emission generated throughout the process, less than 1% methane is likely to leak from the process. On a supply chain point of view, using agricultural waste and cattle manure to produce biogas and then further upgrade the methane will be the optimized case for this study. Furthermore, transport distance should be minimized as much as possible within a range that for example, 1 ton of biomass can balance out the energy consumptions throughout the biogas supply chain.
From previous chapters, comparisons among conventional power production against power from biogas supply chain were analysed. Although the comparison may not be landing on a similar level, the results gave an idea of the environmental performance of the power produced by biogas. Lower emission is found when waste agricultural residues are major inputs. The overall kg of CO2 equivalent per kWh is lower than Dutch energy mix as well as electricity from natural gas.
Decentralized plant should break through the bottleneck situation of higher installation cost and lower production efficiency. However, this can be initiated among local communities, because the final output would also benefit them in return. Current obstacles in feedstock availability require political and legislative factors to overcome the issues in the use of feedstock (food waste, MSOW, sewage etc.) and digestate. Benefits to promote biogas supply chain may decouple the dependence on fossil fuel based energy and concurrently reduce the environmental impact. Therefore, green gas production should take more important role in the future by substituting natural gas and liquefied methane to replace petroleum together with other types of sustainable transport fuel such as biodiesel and bio-ethanol. Nevertheless, this requires much more effort from the government to have in depth understanding on sustainable energy production in order to come up with a bottom up strategy. Meanwhile it requires the social mind set of using energy to be upgraded and changed in consuming behaviour.

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OrganisatieAvans Hogeschool
OpleidingEnvironmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology-Breda
InstituutATGM Academie voor de technologie van Gezondheid en Milieu
PartnersWageningen University Research Centre, LEI
Datum2014-08-11
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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