Design, Modelling and Assessment of Emission Scenarios Resulting from a Network of Wood Biomass Boilers
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The use of wood biomass as a fuel for domestic and industrial heating systems allows for a reduction of CO2 emissions at a global scale, but it may also result in worse local air quality conditions, due to their emissions of particulate matter. The aim of this study is to assess the actual trend of atmospheric pollution in a study area, assuming that all heating systems are replaced by small size biomass boilers linked to the buildings through district heating network. Ground level concentrations of particulate matter, emitted by different heating systems, are therefore evaluated through numerical simulations performed by means of an atmospheric dispersion model (Sirane). As a first step, we have compared the environmental impact of a woodchip boilers network with that given by the use of traditional heating systems, i.e. wood stoves and natural gas boilers. As a second step, we have analysed the impact of such a network taking into account different emission scenarios, related to different boilers operating conditions. Results show that the environmental performances of a woodchip boilers network can be optimized by combining it with other renewable sources of energy devoted to the supply of hot water. The adopted analysis methodology can be applied to other real or hypothetic punctual sources on the territory.
KeywordsWood biomass Particulate matter Atmospheric emissions Pollutant dispersion modelling Environmental sustainability Air quality
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