Integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis of a Forest Biomass Feedstock Supply in the Northeast United States

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 21, 2020
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.40

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As part of efforts to reduce climate change impact, forest biomass (FB) is anticipated to play an important role in developing the supply of feedstocks for bioenergy applications in the Northeast United States. Aligned with the climate change reduction efforts, understanding financial viability of supplying FB feedstock is critical for long-term bioenergy projects. As such, life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic analysis (TEA) are key methodologies to quantify both climate change impact and financial viability for supplying forest biomass feedstocks in the region. This integrated analysis is novel in forest biomass feedstock supply research as it provides information about changes in climate change impact and financial viability as changes in key parameters of LCA and TEA models. This integration of the two methodologies allows for the analysis of both impacts based on a common denominator “One dry megagram (Mg)” of clean chips and dirty chips at the gate of the end-user. Based on key LCA and TEA parameters in the same system boundaries, stochastic analyses were conducted to assess the impacts of environmental and financial parameters on both greenhouse gas emissions (kg CO2eq/ dry Mg) and minimum selling prices ($/ dry Mg). Also, stochastic sensitivity analysis of LCA and TEA showed both impacts were most sensitive to the quantities of produced feedstocks and fuel consumption-associated variables. This integrated analysis of the life cycle environmental and financial impacts will contribute significantly to the scientific community’s research on feedstocks as well as on bioenergy pathways.
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