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Title: Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios

Abstract

The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase withmore » catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients. The present report describes a life cycle analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the CAP and HTL options for the three scenarios just described. Water use is also reported. Water use during algal biofuel production comes from evaporation during cultivation, discharge to bleed streams to control pond salinity (“blowdown”), and from use during preprocessing and upgrading. For scenarios considered to date, most water use was from evaporation and, secondarily, from bleed streams. Other use was relatively small at the level of fidelity being modeled now.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [3]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Contributing Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1281137
Report Number(s):
ANL/ESD-16/11
128907
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Frank, Edward, Pegallapati, Ambica K., Davis, Ryan, Markham, Jennifer, Coleman, Andre, Jones, Sue, Wigmosta, Mark S., and Zhu, Yunhua. Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1281137.
Frank, Edward, Pegallapati, Ambica K., Davis, Ryan, Markham, Jennifer, Coleman, Andre, Jones, Sue, Wigmosta, Mark S., & Zhu, Yunhua. Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios. United States. doi:10.2172/1281137.
Frank, Edward, Pegallapati, Ambica K., Davis, Ryan, Markham, Jennifer, Coleman, Andre, Jones, Sue, Wigmosta, Mark S., and Zhu, Yunhua. Thu . "Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios". United States. doi:10.2172/1281137. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1281137.
@article{osti_1281137,
title = {Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios},
author = {Frank, Edward and Pegallapati, Ambica K. and Davis, Ryan and Markham, Jennifer and Coleman, Andre and Jones, Sue and Wigmosta, Mark S. and Zhu, Yunhua},
abstractNote = {The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients. The present report describes a life cycle analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the CAP and HTL options for the three scenarios just described. Water use is also reported. Water use during algal biofuel production comes from evaporation during cultivation, discharge to bleed streams to control pond salinity (“blowdown”), and from use during preprocessing and upgrading. For scenarios considered to date, most water use was from evaporation and, secondarily, from bleed streams. Other use was relatively small at the level of fidelity being modeled now.},
doi = {10.2172/1281137},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 16 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Thu Jun 16 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in whichmore » algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients.« less
  • The vast reserves of coal in the U.S. provide a significant incentive for the development of processes for coal conversion to liquid fuels (CTL). Also, CTL using domestic coal can help move the U.S. toward greater energy independence and security. However, current conversion technologies are less economically competitive and generate greater greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than production of petroleum fuels. Altex Technologies Corporation (Altex, hereinafter) and Pennsylvania State University have developed a hybrid technology to produce jet fuel from a feedstock blend of coal and biomass. Collaborating with Altex, Argonne National Laboratory has expanded and used the Greenhouse gases, Regulatedmore » Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET®) model to assess the life-cycle GHG emissions and water consumption of this hybrid technology. Biomass feedstocks include corn stover, switchgrass, and wheat straw. The option of biomass densification (bales to pellets) is also evaluated in this study. The results show that the densification process generates additional GHG emissions as a result of additional biomass process energy demand. This process coproduces a large amount of char, and this study investigates two scenarios to treat char: landfill disposal (Char-LF) and combustion for combined heat and power (CHP). Since the CHP scenarios export excess heat and electricity as coproducts, two coproduct handling methods are used for well-to-wake (WTWa) analysis: displacement (Char-CHP-Disp) and energy allocation (Char-CHP-EnAllo). When the feedstock contains 15 wt% densified wheat straw and 85 wt% lignite coal, WTWa GHG emissions of the coal-and-biomass-to-liquid pathways are 116, 97, and 137 gCO2e per megajoule (MJ) under the Char-LF, Char-CHP-Disp, and Char-CHP-EnAllo scenarios, respectively, as compared to conventional jet fuel production at 84 gCO2e/MJ. WTWa water consumption values are 0.072, -0.046, and 0.044 gal/MJ for Char-LF, Char-CHP-Disp, and Char-CHP-EnAllo, respectively, as compared to conventional jet fuel production at 0.028 gal/MJ. To reach the break-even point of 84 gCO2e/MJ, under the assumptions of constant product yields and energy demands regardless of the share of biomass and coal feedstocks, 31 wt%, 23 wt%, and 53 wt% of the feedstock blend need to be biomass under the Char-LF, Char-CHP-Disp, and Char-CHP-EnAllo scenarios, respectively.« less
  • Electrification of end-use services in the transportation, buildings, and industrial sectors coupled with decarbonization of electricity generation has been identified as one of the key pathways to achieving a low-carbon future in the United States. By lowering the carbon intensity of the electricity generation and substituting electricity for higher-emissions fossil fuels in end-use sectors, significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved. This report describes a preliminary analysis that examines the potential impacts of widespread electrification on the U.S. energy sector. We develop a set of exploratory scenarios under which electrification is aggressively pursued across all end-use sectors andmore » examine the impacts of achieving these electrification levels on electricity load patterns, total fossil energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and the evolution of the U.S. power system.« less
  • We estimated the effects on per-vehicle-mile fuel-cycle petroleum use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and energy use of using ethanol blended with gasoline in a mid-size passenger car, compared with the effects of using gasoline in the same car. Our analysis includes petroleum use, energy use, and emissions associated with chemicals manufacturing, farming of corn and biomass, ethanol production, and ethanol combustion for ethanol; and petroleum use, energy use, and emissions associated with petroleum recovery, petroleum refining, and gasoline combustion for gasoline. For corn-based ethanol, the key factors in determining energy and emissions impacts include energy and chemical usage intensity ofmore » corn farming, energy intensity of the ethanol plant, and the method used to estimate energy and emissions credits for co-products of corn ethanol. The key factors in determining the impacts of cellulosic ethanol are energy and chemical usage intensity of biomass farming, ethanol yield per dry ton of biomass, and electricity credits in cellulosic ethanol plants. The results of our fuel-cycle analysis for fuel ethanol are listed below. Note that, in the first half of this summary, the reductions cited are per-vehicle-mile traveled using the specified ethanol/gasoline blend instead of conventional (not reformulated) gasoline. The second half of the summary presents estimated changes per gallon of ethanol used in ethanol blends. GHG emissions are global warming potential (GWP)-weighted, carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent emissions of CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).« less
  • This study addresses two issues: (1) data and information essential to an informed choice about the corn-to-ethanol cycle are in need of updating, thanks to scientific and technological advances in both corn farming and ethanol production; and (2) generalized national estimates of energy intensities and greenhouse gas (GHG) production are of less relevance than estimates based specifically on activities and practices in the principal domestic corn production and milling region -- the upper Midwest.