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Life cycle assessment of conventional and advanced two-stage energy-from-waste technologies for methane production

Tagliaferri, C; Evangelisti, S; Clift, R; Lettieri, P; Chapman, C; Taylor, R; (2016) Life cycle assessment of conventional and advanced two-stage energy-from-waste technologies for methane production. Journal of Cleaner Production , 129 pp. 144-158. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.092. Green open access

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Abstract

This study integrates the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of thermal and biological technologies for municipal solid waste management within the context of renewable resource use for methane production. Five different scenarios are analysed for the UK, the main focus being on advanced gasification-plasma technology for Bio Substitute natural gas (Bio-SNG) production, anaerobic digestion and incineration. Firstly, a waste management perspective has been taken and a functional unit of 1 kg of waste to be disposed was used; secondly, according to an energy production perspective a functional unit of 1 MJ of renewable methane produced was considered. The first perspective demonstrates that when the current energy mix is used in the analysis (i.e. strongly based on fossil resources), processes with higher electric efficiency determine lower global warming potential (GWP). However, as the electricity mix in the UK becomes less carbon intensive and the natural gas mix increases the carbon intensity, processes with higher Bio-SNG yield are shown to achieve a lower global warming impact within the next 20 years. When the perspective of energy production is taken, more efficient technologies for renewable methane production give a lower GWP for both current and future energy mix. All other LCA indicators are also analysed and the hot spot of the anaerobic digestion process is performed.

Type: Article
Title: Life cycle assessment of conventional and advanced two-stage energy-from-waste technologies for methane production
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.092
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.092
Additional information: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, GREEN & SUSTAINABLE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, Engineering, Environmental, Environmental Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Engineering, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Advanced thermal treatment, Anaerobic digestion, Mechanical biological treatment, Life cycle assessment, Municipal solid waste, Future energy scenarios, MUNICIPAL SOLID-WASTE, SYNTHETIC NATURAL-GAS, ANAEROBIC-DIGESTION, MANAGEMENT-SYSTEMS, GREENHOUSE-GAS, ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES, PART 1, LCA, PERFORMANCE, BIOMASS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503808
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