skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Life Cycle Analysis of Decentralized Preprocessing Systems for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States

Abstract

Blending biomass feedstock is a promising approach to mitigate supply chain risks that are common challenges for large-scale biomass utilization. Understanding the potential environmental benefits of biofuels produced from blended biomass and identifying driving parameters are critical for the supply chain design. Herein, a cradle-to-gate life cycle analysis model for fast pyrolysis biorefineries converting blended feedstocks (pine residues and switchgrass) with traditional centralized and alternative decentralized preprocessing sites, so-called depots, is explained. Different scenarios are developed to investigate the impacts of parameters such as feedstock blending ratios, biorefinery and depot capacities, preprocessing technologies, and allocation methods. The life-cycle energy consumption and global warming potential (GWP) of biofuel production with depots vary between 0.7–1.1 MJ MJ-1 and 43.2–76.6 g CO2 eq. MJ-1, respectively. The results are driven by biorefinery processes and depot preprocesses. A decentralized design reduces the energy consumption of the biorefinery but increases the overall life-cycle energy and GWP. Such increases can be significantly mitigated by increasing switchgrass content as the energy consumption at the depot is driven largely by the higher moisture content of pine feedstocks. Allocation methods also have a large impact on the results but do not change the major trends and overall conclusions.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Department of Forest BiomaterialsNorth Carolina State University Campus Box 8005 Raleigh NC 27606 USA
  2. Energy Systems DivisionArgonne National Laboratory 9700 South Cass Avenue Argonne IL 60565 USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials, Seattle, WA (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Transportation Office. Bioenergy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1615398
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1560262; OSTI ID: 1597385; OSTI ID: 1781046
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0006639; EE0002992
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Energy Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy Technology Journal Volume: 8 Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2194-4288
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
Germany
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biorefineries; blended feedstocks; depots; fast pyrolysis; life cycle assessments; preprocessing sites

Citation Formats

Lan, Kai, Ou, Longwen, Park, Sunkyu, Kelley, Stephen S., and Yao, Yuan. Life Cycle Analysis of Decentralized Preprocessing Systems for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States. Germany: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201900850.
Lan, Kai, Ou, Longwen, Park, Sunkyu, Kelley, Stephen S., & Yao, Yuan. Life Cycle Analysis of Decentralized Preprocessing Systems for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States. Germany. https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201900850
Lan, Kai, Ou, Longwen, Park, Sunkyu, Kelley, Stephen S., and Yao, Yuan. Tue . "Life Cycle Analysis of Decentralized Preprocessing Systems for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States". Germany. https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201900850.
@article{osti_1615398,
title = {Life Cycle Analysis of Decentralized Preprocessing Systems for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States},
author = {Lan, Kai and Ou, Longwen and Park, Sunkyu and Kelley, Stephen S. and Yao, Yuan},
abstractNote = {Blending biomass feedstock is a promising approach to mitigate supply chain risks that are common challenges for large-scale biomass utilization. Understanding the potential environmental benefits of biofuels produced from blended biomass and identifying driving parameters are critical for the supply chain design. Herein, a cradle-to-gate life cycle analysis model for fast pyrolysis biorefineries converting blended feedstocks (pine residues and switchgrass) with traditional centralized and alternative decentralized preprocessing sites, so-called depots, is explained. Different scenarios are developed to investigate the impacts of parameters such as feedstock blending ratios, biorefinery and depot capacities, preprocessing technologies, and allocation methods. The life-cycle energy consumption and global warming potential (GWP) of biofuel production with depots vary between 0.7–1.1 MJ MJ-1 and 43.2–76.6 g CO2 eq. MJ-1, respectively. The results are driven by biorefinery processes and depot preprocesses. A decentralized design reduces the energy consumption of the biorefinery but increases the overall life-cycle energy and GWP. Such increases can be significantly mitigated by increasing switchgrass content as the energy consumption at the depot is driven largely by the higher moisture content of pine feedstocks. Allocation methods also have a large impact on the results but do not change the major trends and overall conclusions.},
doi = {10.1002/ente.201900850},
journal = {Energy Technology},
number = 11,
volume = 8,
place = {Germany},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201900850

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Energy- and greenhouse gas-based LCA of biofuel and bioenergy systems: Key issues, ranges and recommendations
journal, June 2009


The contribution of agricultural lime to carbon dioxide emissions in the United States: dissolution, transport, and net emissions
journal, June 2005


Slash Pile Burning Effects on Soil Biotic and Chemical Properties and Plant Establishment: Recommendations for Amelioration
journal, March 2004


The ecoinvent database version 3 (part I): overview and methodology
journal, April 2016

  • Wernet, Gregor; Bauer, Christian; Steubing, Bernhard
  • The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 21, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11367-016-1087-8

Waste To Wisdom: Utilizing Forest Residues for the Production of Bioenergy and Biobased Products
journal, January 2018

  • Han, Han-Sup; Jacobson, Arne; Bilek, E. M. (Ted)
  • Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 34, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.13031/aea.12774

Determining a geographic high resolution supply chain network for a large scale biofuel industry
journal, May 2018


Efficiency of Different Machine Layouts for Chain Flail Delimbing, Debarking and Chipping
journal, February 2019

  • McEwan, Andrew; Brink, Michal; Spinelli, Raffaele
  • Forests, Vol. 10, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.3390/f10020126

Fast pyrolysis processes for biomass
journal, March 2000


A life cycle assessment comparison between centralized and decentralized biodiesel production from raw sunflower oil and waste cooking oils
journal, December 2012


Life cycle assessment of switchgrass-derived ethanol as transport fuel
journal, March 2010

  • Bai, Yu; Luo, Lin; van der Voet, Ester
  • The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 15, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11367-010-0177-2

Agent-based life cycle assessment for switchgrass-based bioenergy systems
journal, October 2015


Life cycle assessment of electricity generation using fast pyrolysis bio-oil
journal, February 2011


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the biofuel production process from sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and soybean oil
journal, February 2011


Life cycle assessment of transportation fuels from biomass pyrolysis
journal, July 2012


Fossil fuel carbon emissions from silviculture: Impacts on net carbon sequestration in forests
journal, December 2006


Accumulation and decay of woody detritus in a humid subtropical secondary pine forest
journal, February 2013

  • Mobley, Megan L.; Richter, Daniel deB.; Heine, Paul R.
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 43, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2012-0222

Impacts of feedstock properties on the process economics of fast-pyrolysis biorefineries: Understanding how feedstock properties affect process economics
journal, February 2018

  • Ou, Longwen; Kim, Hoyong; Kelley, Stephen
  • Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol. 12, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1860

Understanding biomass feedstock variability
journal, January 2013

  • Kenney, Kevin L.; Smith, William A.; Gresham, Garold L.
  • Biofuels, Vol. 4, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.4155/bfs.12.83

Methods to Reduce Forest Residue Volume after Timber Harvesting and Produce Black Carbon
journal, January 2017

  • Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Archuleta, James G.
  • Scientifica, Vol. 2017
  • DOI: 10.1155/2017/2745764

Life Cycle Optimization of Biomass-to-Liquid Supply Chains with Distributed–Centralized Processing Networks
journal, September 2011

  • You, Fengqi; Wang, Belinda
  • Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 50, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1021/ie200850t

Chemical preconversion: application of low-severity pretreatment chemistries for commoditization of lignocellulosic feedstock
journal, May 2013

  • Thompson, David N.; Campbell, Timothy; Bals, Bryan
  • Biofuels, Vol. 4, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.4155/bfs.13.15

LCA of a biorefinery concept producing bioethanol, bioenergy, and chemicals from switchgrass
journal, October 2009

  • Cherubini, Francesco; Jungmeier, Gerfried
  • The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 15, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11367-009-0124-2

Life-Cycle Assessment of Bioethanol from Pine Residues via Indirect Biomass Gasification to Mixed Alcohols*
journal, July 2012


Technoeconomic Analysis of a Hybrid Biomass Thermochemical and Electrochemical Conversion System
journal, November 2017


Blended Feedstocks for Thermochemical Conversion: Biomass Characterization and Bio-Oil Production From Switchgrass-Pine Residues Blends
journal, August 2018

  • Edmunds, Charles W.; Reyes Molina, Eliezer A.; André, Nicolas
  • Frontiers in Energy Research, Vol. 6
  • DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2018.00079

LCA of second generation bioethanol: A review and some issues to be resolved for good LCA practice
journal, September 2012

  • Wiloso, Edi Iswanto; Heijungs, Reinout; de Snoo, Geert R.
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 16, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2012.04.035

A review of biomass densification systems to develop uniform feedstock commodities for bioenergy application
journal, October 2011

  • Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar; Wright, Christopher T.; Hess, J. Richard
  • Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol. 5, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/bbb.324

Life cycle analysis of fuel production from fast pyrolysis of biomass
journal, April 2013


Development of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a bioenergy feedstock in the United States
journal, June 2005


An optimisation framework for a hybrid first/second generation bioethanol supply chain
journal, July 2012


Scaling and Learning Effects of Biofuels Conversion Technologies
journal, May 2014

  • Festel, Gunter; Würmseher, Martin; Rammer, Christian
  • Energy Technology, Vol. 2, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/ente.201400014

Switchgrass production for the upper southeastern USA: Influence of cultivar and cutting frequency on biomass yields
journal, March 2006


Life cycle assessment (LCA) for biofuels in Brazilian conditions: A meta-analysis
journal, September 2014

  • Rocha, Mateus Henrique; Capaz, Rafael Silva; Lora, Electo Eduardo Silva
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 37
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.05.036

Modelling the performance of a cross-flow grain drier
journal, May 1987


Proportion of above-ground biomass in commercial logs and residues following the harvest of five commercial forest species in Australia
journal, July 2008

  • Ximenes, Fabiano A.; Gardner, W. David; Kathuria, Amrit
  • Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 256, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.04.037

Energy consumption and GHG emissions of six biofuel pathways by LCA in (the) People’s Republic of China
journal, November 2009


Spatial and temporal quantification of forest residue volumes and delivered costs
journal, June 2016

  • Wells, Lucas A.; Chung, Woodam; Anderson, Nathaniel M.
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 46, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0451

Effect of Harvesting Time and Moisture Content on Energy Consumption of Compressing Switchgrass
journal, January 2014


Production of Hydrocarbon Fuel Using Two-Step Torrefaction and Fast Pyrolysis of Pine. Part 2: Life-Cycle Carbon Footprint
journal, May 2017


Catalytic Dry Reforming for Biomass-Based Fuels Processing: Progress and Future Perspectives
journal, June 2016

  • Colmenares, Juan Carlos; Colmenares Quintero, Ramón Fernando; Pieta, Izabela S.
  • Energy Technology, Vol. 4, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1002/ente.201600195

Life-Cycle Assessment of Biodiesel Production from Microalgae
journal, September 2009

  • Lardon, Laurent; Hélias, Arnaud; Sialve, Bruno
  • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1021/es900705j

Techno-economic analysis of decentralized biomass processing depots
journal, October 2015


Switchgrass as an alternate feedstock for power generation: an integrated environmental, energy and economic life-cycle assessment
journal, September 2006

  • Qin, Xiaoyun; Mohan, Tanya; El-Halwagi, Mahmoud
  • Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Vol. 8, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10098-006-0065-4

Energy and Emission Benefits of Alternative Transportation Liquid Fuels Derived from Switchgrass: A Fuel Life Cycle Assessment
journal, August 2006

  • Wu, M.; Wu, Y.; Wang, M.
  • Biotechnology Progress, Vol. 22, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1021/bp050371p