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Title: Bioenergy Potential from Food Waste in California

Abstract

This paper presents the first detailed analysis of monthly food waste generation in California at a county level, and its potential contribution to the state's energy production. Scenarios that rely on excess capacity at existing anaerobic digester (AD) and solid biomass combustion facilities, and alternatives that allow for new facility construction, are developed and modeled. Potential monthly electricity generation from the conversion of gross food waste using a combination of AD and combustion varies from 420 to 700 MW, averaging 530 MW. At least 66% of gross high moisture solids and 23% of gross low moisture solids can be treated using existing county infrastructure, and this fraction increases to 99% of high moisture solids and 55% of low moisture solids if waste can be shipped anywhere within the state. Biogas flaring practices at AD facilities can reduce potential energy production by 10 to 40%.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Technologies Area
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Technologies Area; Joint BioEnergy Inst. (JBEI), Emeryville, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1393612
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS

Citation Formats

Breunig, Hanna M., Jin, Ling, Robinson, Alastair, and Scown, Corinne D. Bioenergy Potential from Food Waste in California. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b04591.
Breunig, Hanna M., Jin, Ling, Robinson, Alastair, & Scown, Corinne D. Bioenergy Potential from Food Waste in California. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b04591.
Breunig, Hanna M., Jin, Ling, Robinson, Alastair, and Scown, Corinne D. Wed . "Bioenergy Potential from Food Waste in California". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b04591.
@article{osti_1393612,
title = {Bioenergy Potential from Food Waste in California},
author = {Breunig, Hanna M. and Jin, Ling and Robinson, Alastair and Scown, Corinne D.},
abstractNote = {This paper presents the first detailed analysis of monthly food waste generation in California at a county level, and its potential contribution to the state's energy production. Scenarios that rely on excess capacity at existing anaerobic digester (AD) and solid biomass combustion facilities, and alternatives that allow for new facility construction, are developed and modeled. Potential monthly electricity generation from the conversion of gross food waste using a combination of AD and combustion varies from 420 to 700 MW, averaging 530 MW. At least 66% of gross high moisture solids and 23% of gross low moisture solids can be treated using existing county infrastructure, and this fraction increases to 99% of high moisture solids and 55% of low moisture solids if waste can be shipped anywhere within the state. Biogas flaring practices at AD facilities can reduce potential energy production by 10 to 40%.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.est.6b04591},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = 3,
volume = 51,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 25 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Jan 25 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Highlights: ► A novel approach for biogas production from a waste fraction that today is incinerated. ► Biogas production is possible in spite of the impurities of the waste. ► Tracer studies are applied in a novel way. ► Structural material is needed to improve the flow pattern of the waste. ► We provide a solution to biological treatment for the complex waste fraction. - Abstract: At the waste handling company NSR, Helsingborg, Sweden, the food waste fraction of source separated municipal solid waste is pretreated to obtain a liquid fraction, which is used for biogas production, and a drymore » fraction, which is at present incinerated. This pretreatment and separation is performed to remove impurities, however also some of the organic material is removed. The possibility of realising the methane potential of the dry fraction through batch-wise dry anaerobic digestion was investigated. The anaerobic digestion technique used was a two-stage process consisting of a static leach bed reactor and a methane reactor. Treatment of the dry fraction alone and in a mixture with structural material was tested to investigate the effect on the porosity of the leach bed. A tracer experiment was carried out to investigate the liquid flow through the leach beds, and this method proved useful in demonstrating a more homogenous flow through the leach bed when structural material was added. Addition of structural material to the dry fraction was needed to achieve a functional digestion process. A methane yield of 98 m{sup 3}/ton was obtained from the dry fraction mixed with structural material after 76 days of digestion. This was in the same range as obtained in the laboratory scale biochemical methane potential test, showing that it was possible to extract the organic content in the dry fraction in this type of dry digestion system for the production of methane.« less
  • As co-products, agricultural and forestry residues represent a potential low cost, low carbon, source for bioenergy. A method is developed method for estimating the maximum sustainable amount of energy potentially available from agricultural and forestry residues by converting crop production statistics into associated residue, while allocating some of this resource to remain on the field to mitigate erosion and maintain soil nutrients. Currently, we estimate that the world produces residue biomass that could be sustainably harvested and converted into over 50 EJ yr-1 of energy. The top three countries where this resource is estimated to be most abundant are currentlymore » net energy importers: China, the United States (US), and India. The global potential from residue biomass is estimated to increase to approximately 80-95 EJ yr-1 by mid- to late- century, depending on physical assumptions such as of future crop yields and the amount of residue sustainably harvestable. The future market for biomass residues was simulated using the Object-Oriented Energy, Climate, and Technology Systems Mini Climate Assessment Model (ObjECTS MiniCAM). Utilization of residue biomass as an energy source is projected for the next century under different climate policy scenarios. Total global use of residue biomass is estimated to increase to 70-100 EJ yr-1 by mid- to late- century in a central case, depending on the presence of a climate policy and the economics of harvesting, aggregating, and transporting residue. Much of this potential is in developing regions of the world, including China, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India.« less
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  • Growing biomass feedstocks from marginal lands is becoming an increasingly attractive choice for producing biofuel as an alternative energy to fossil fuels. Here, we used a biogeochemical model at ecosystem scale to estimate crop productivity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from bioenergy crops grown on marginal lands in the United States. Two broadly tested cellulosic crops, switchgrass, and Miscanthus, were assumed to be grown on the abandoned land and mixed crop–vegetation land with marginal productivity. Production of biomass and biofuel as well as net carbon exchange and nitrous oxide emissions were estimated in a spatially explicit manner. We found that,more » cellulosic crops, especially Miscanthus could produce a considerable amount of biomass, and the effective ethanol yield is high on these marginal lands. For every hectare of marginal land, switchgrass and Miscanthus could produce 1.0–2.3 kl and 2.9–6.9 kl ethanol, respectively, depending on nitrogen fertilization rate and biofuel conversion efficiency. Nationally, both crop systems act as net GHG sources. Switchgrass has high global warming intensity (100–390 g CO 2eq l –1 ethanol), in terms of GHG emissions per unit ethanol produced. Miscanthus, however, emits only 21–36 g CO 2eq to produce every liter of ethanol. To reach the mandated cellulosic ethanol target in the United States, growing Miscanthus on the marginal lands could potentially save land and reduce GHG emissions in comparison to growing switchgrass. Furthermore, the ecosystem modeling is still limited by data availability and model deficiencies, further efforts should be made to classify crop–specific marginal land availability, improve model structure, and better integrate ecosystem modeling into life cycle assessment.« less