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Title: Waste-to-Energy biofuel production potential for selected feedstocks in the conterminous United States

Abstract

Here, waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies offer the promise of diverting organic wastes, including wastewater sludge, livestock waste, and food waste, for beneficial energy use while reducing the quantities of waste that are disposed or released to the environment. To ensure economic and environmental viability of WtE feedstocks, it is critical to gain an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of waste production. Detailed information about waste characteristics, capture/diversion, transport requirements, available conversion technologies, and overall energy conversion efficiency is also required. Building on the development of a comprehensive WtE feedstock database that includes municipal wastewater sludge; animal manure; food processing waste; and fats, oils, and grease for the conterminous United States, we conducted a detailed analysis of the wastes' potential for biofuel production on a site-specific basis. Our analysis indicates that with conversion by hydrothermal liquefaction, these wastes have the potential to produce up to 22.3 GL/y (5.9 Bgal/y) of a biocrude oil intermediate that can be upgraded and refined into a variety of liquid fuels, in particular renewable diesel and aviation kerosene. Conversion to aviation kerosene can potentially meet 23.9% of current U.S. demand.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Earth Systems Science Division, Hydrology Technical Group
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Earth Systems Science Division, Risk and Decision Sciences Technical Group
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Strategic Energy Analysis Center, Technology Systems & Impacts Analysis Group
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1407462
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-68470
Journal ID: ISSN 1364-0321
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 82; Journal Issue: P3; Journal ID: ISSN 1364-0321
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; waste-to-energy; WtE; beneficial use; waste resources; hydrothermal liquefaction; HTL; wastewater sludge; manure; food waste; fats, oils, and grease; FOG; biocrude; jet fuel; aviation kerosene; bioenergy

Citation Formats

Skaggs, Richard L., Coleman, Andre M., Seiple, Timothy E., and Milbrandt, Anelia R. Waste-to-Energy biofuel production potential for selected feedstocks in the conterminous United States. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.09.107.
Skaggs, Richard L., Coleman, Andre M., Seiple, Timothy E., & Milbrandt, Anelia R. Waste-to-Energy biofuel production potential for selected feedstocks in the conterminous United States. United States. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.09.107.
Skaggs, Richard L., Coleman, Andre M., Seiple, Timothy E., and Milbrandt, Anelia R. 2017. "Waste-to-Energy biofuel production potential for selected feedstocks in the conterminous United States". United States. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.09.107. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1407462.
@article{osti_1407462,
title = {Waste-to-Energy biofuel production potential for selected feedstocks in the conterminous United States},
author = {Skaggs, Richard L. and Coleman, Andre M. and Seiple, Timothy E. and Milbrandt, Anelia R.},
abstractNote = {Here, waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies offer the promise of diverting organic wastes, including wastewater sludge, livestock waste, and food waste, for beneficial energy use while reducing the quantities of waste that are disposed or released to the environment. To ensure economic and environmental viability of WtE feedstocks, it is critical to gain an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of waste production. Detailed information about waste characteristics, capture/diversion, transport requirements, available conversion technologies, and overall energy conversion efficiency is also required. Building on the development of a comprehensive WtE feedstock database that includes municipal wastewater sludge; animal manure; food processing waste; and fats, oils, and grease for the conterminous United States, we conducted a detailed analysis of the wastes' potential for biofuel production on a site-specific basis. Our analysis indicates that with conversion by hydrothermal liquefaction, these wastes have the potential to produce up to 22.3 GL/y (5.9 Bgal/y) of a biocrude oil intermediate that can be upgraded and refined into a variety of liquid fuels, in particular renewable diesel and aviation kerosene. Conversion to aviation kerosene can potentially meet 23.9% of current U.S. demand.},
doi = {10.1016/j.rser.2017.09.107},
journal = {Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews},
number = P3,
volume = 82,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • Waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies offer the promise of diverting organic wastes, including wastewater sludge, livestock waste, and food waste, for beneficial energy use while reducing the quantities of waste that are disposed or released to the environment. To ensure economic and environmental viability of WtE feedstocks, it is critical to gain an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of waste production. Detailed information about waste characteristics, capture/diversion, transport requirements, available conversion technologies, and overall energy conversion efficiency is also required. Building on the development of a comprehensive WtE feedstock database that includes municipal wastewater sludge; animal manure; food processing waste;more » and fats, oils, and grease for the conterminous United States, we conducted a detailed analysis of the wastes’ potential for biofuel production on a site-specific basis. Our analysis indicates that with conversion by hydrothermal liquefaction, these wastes have the potential to produce up to 22.3 GL/y (5.9 Bgal/y) of a biocrude oil intermediate that can be upgraded and refined into a variety of liquid fuels, in particular renewable diesel and aviation kerosene. Conversion to aviation kerosene can potentially meet 23.9% of current U.S. demand.« less
  • Current quantification of climate warming mitigation potential (CWMP) of biomass-derived energy has focused primarily on its biogeochemical effects. This study used site-level observations of carbon, water, and energy fluxes of biofuel crops to parameterize and evaluate the community land model (CLM) and estimate CO 2 fluxes, surface energy balance, soil carbon dynamics of corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) ecosystems across the conterminous United States considering different agricultural management practices and land-use scenarios. Here, we find that neglecting biophysical effects underestimates the CWMP of transitioning from croplands and marginal lands to energy crops. Biogeochemical effectsmore » alone result in changes in carbon storage of -1.9, 49.1, and 69.3 g C m -2 y -1 compared to 20.5, 78.5, and 96.2 g C m -2 y -1 when considering both biophysical and biogeochemical effects for corn, switchgrass, and miscanthus, respectively. The biophysical contribution to CWMP is dominated by changes in latent heat fluxes. Using the model to optimize growth conditions through fertilization and irrigation increases the CWMP further to 79.6, 98.3, and 118.8 g C m -2 y -1, respectively, representing the upper threshold for CWMP. Results also show that the CWMP over marginal lands is lower than that over croplands. Our study highlights that neglecting the biophysical effects of altered surface energy and water balance underestimates the CWMP of transitioning to bioenergy crops at regional scales.« less
  • Current quantification of climate warming mitigation potential (CWMP) of biomass-derived energy has focused primarily on its biogeochemical effects. This study used site-level observations of carbon, water, and energy fluxes of biofuel crops to parameterize and evaluate the community land model (CLM) and estimate CO 2 fluxes, surface energy balance, soil carbon dynamics of corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) ecosystems across the conterminous United States considering different agricultural management practices and land-use scenarios. Here, we find that neglecting biophysical effects underestimates the CWMP of transitioning from croplands and marginal lands to energy crops. Biogeochemical effectsmore » alone result in changes in carbon storage of -1.9, 49.1, and 69.3 g C m -2 y -1 compared to 20.5, 78.5, and 96.2 g C m -2 y -1 when considering both biophysical and biogeochemical effects for corn, switchgrass, and miscanthus, respectively. The biophysical contribution to CWMP is dominated by changes in latent heat fluxes. Using the model to optimize growth conditions through fertilization and irrigation increases the CWMP further to 79.6, 98.3, and 118.8 g C m -2 y -1, respectively, representing the upper threshold for CWMP. Results also show that the CWMP over marginal lands is lower than that over croplands. Our study highlights that neglecting the biophysical effects of altered surface energy and water balance underestimates the CWMP of transitioning to bioenergy crops at regional scales.« less
  • The warm sunny climate and unoccupied arid lands in the American southwest are favorable factors for algae cultivation. However, additional resources affect the overall viability of specific sites and regions. We investigated the tradeoffs between growth rate, water, and CO 2 availability and costs for two strains: N. salina and Chlorella sp. We conducted site selection exercises (~88,000 US sites) to produce 21 billion gallons yr -1 (BGY) of renewable diesel (RD). Experimental trials from the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bio-Products (NAABB) team informed the growth model of our Biomass Assessment Tool (BAT). We simulated RD production bymore » both lipid extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction. Sites were prioritized by the net value of biofuel minus water and flue gas costs. Water cost models for N. salina were based on seawater and high salinity groundwater and for Chlorella, fresh and brackish groundwater. CO 2 costs were based on a flue gas delivery model. Selections constrained by production and water were concentrated along the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic coasts due to high growth rates and low water costs. Adding flue gas constraints increased the spatial distribution, but the majority of sites remained in the southeast. The 21 BGY target required ~3.8 million hectares of mainly forest (41.3%) and pasture (35.7%). Exclusion in favor of barren and scrub lands forced most production to the southwestern US, but with increased water consumption (5.7 times) and decreased economic efficiency (-38%).« less