Advertisement

Economic and environmental impact assessments of a stand-alone napier grass-fired combined heat and power generation system in the southeastern US

  • Maryam Manouchehrinejad
  • Kamalakanta Sahoo
  • Nalladurai Kaliyan
  • Hari Singh
  • Sudhagar ManiEmail author
LIFE CYCLE SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT
  • 17 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

Napier grass, one of the high yield perennial energy crops can be grown on marginal lands with minimal inputs, but with increased soil carbon sequestration in the southeastern US. The sustainable use of Napier grass for bioenergy applications such as combined heat and power at low cost to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions needs to be investigated.

Methods

In this study, an integrated life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis approach were used to estimate the energy use, environmental emissions, and minimum selling price (MSP) of electricity and thermal heat produced from Napier grass and compared with a coal or natural gas-fired combined heat and power generation plant.

Results and discussion

The use of Napier grass as a feedstock decreased the global warming potential (GWP) of the medium-sized CHP (i.e., 13 MWe) plant by 73–92 % compared to that of a coal and natural gas-fired CHP plants. Other environmental impacts were also reduced by 24–100 %. Eutrophication was the only impact comparable to that of the coal-fired CHP plant. The energy return on investment (EROI) was around 5:1. The minimum selling price of electricity generated from the CHP plant was US$0.05–0.4 MJe−1 (US$0.13–0.18 kWh−1) considering the credits for steam production, renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), and carbon footprint from the fossil fuel-based electricity generation.

Conclusions

Although the pelleting of Napier grass for the CHP plant increased the cost and GHG emissions by 38% and 55% over the non-pelleted system, the pelleting process can ensure consistent quality and uninterrupted supply of the feedstock for heat and power generation.

Keywords

Electricity Napier grass Life cycle assessment Minimum selling price Pellets Techno-economic analysis 

Notes

Funding information

The project was partly financially supported by the USDA-NIFA sustainable bioenergy research grants no. GEOX-2010-03868 via Fort Valley State University, GA, USA.

Supplementary material

11367_2019_1667_MOESM1_ESM.docx (107 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 107 kb)

References

  1. Agostini F, Gregory AS, Richter GM (2015) Carbon sequestration by perennial energy crops: is the jury still out? Bioenergy Res 8:1057–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alakoski E, Jämsén M, Agar D, Tampio E, Wihersaari M (2016) From wood pellets to wood chips, risks of degradation and emissions from the storage of woody biomass – a short review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 54:376–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson J-O, Toffolo A (2013) Improving energy efficiency of sawmill industrial sites by integration with pellet and CHP plants. Appl Energy 111:791–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ASABE (2006) EP496.3: agricultural machinery management. ASABE, St Joseph, MIGoogle Scholar
  5. ASABE (2011) D497.7: agricultural machinery management data. ASABE, St Joseph, MIGoogle Scholar
  6. Batidzirai B, van der Hilst F, Meerman H, Junginger MH, Faaij APC (2014) Optimization potential of biomass supply chains with torrefaction technology. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefin 8:253–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buratti C, Fantozzi F, Buratti C (2010) Life cycle assessment of biomass chains: wood pellet from short rotation coppice using data measured on a real plant. Biomass Bioenergy 34:1796–1804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell KA (2007) A feasibility study guide for an agricultural biomass pellet company. Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, St. Paul, MinnesotaGoogle Scholar
  9. Chai L, Saffron CM (2016) Comparing pelletization and torrefaction depots: optimization of depot capacity and biomass moisture to determine the minimum production cost. Appl Energy 163:387–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen S (2009) Life cycle assessment of wood pellet. Master thesis, Chalmers university of technology, Goteberg, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  11. Climate Policy Initiative (2017) Carbon price, California carbon dashboard, the latest on emissions policy and cap and trade in the world’s 14th largest emitter. http://calcarbondash.org/
  12. Darrow K, Tidball R, Wang J, Hampson A (2017) Catalog of CHP technologies. U.S. Environmental protection agency combined heat and power partnership. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/catalog_of_chp_technologies.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  13. Dufoss EK, Drewer J, Gabrielle B, Drouet J (2014) Effects of a 20-year old Miscanthus × giganteus stand and its removal on soil characteristics and greenhouse gas emissions. Biomass Bioenergy 69:198–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dwivedi P, Bailis R, Bush TG, Marinescu M (2011) Quantifying GWI of wood pellet production in the southern United States and its subsequent utilization for electricity production in the Netherlands/Florida. Bioenergy Res 4:180–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dyckhoff H, Kasah T (2014) Time horizon and dominance in dynamic life cycle assessment. J Ind Ecol 18:799–808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Easterly J, Cummer K, Emsick N et al (2010) The potential for biofuels production in Hawaii. Hawaii. https://energy.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Hawaii-Biofuels-Assessment-Report.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  17. Emery I, Mosier N (2015) Direct emission of methane and nitrous oxide from switchgrass and corn stover: implications for large-scale biomass storage. GCB Bioenergy 7:865–876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Erlach B (2014) Biomass upgrading technologies for carbon-neutral and carbon-negative electricity generation. PhD Thesis, Institute for Energy Engineering, Uppsala, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  19. Fletcher K (2016) FutureMetrics offers wood pellet demand, spot pricing estimates. Biomass Magazine. http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/13796/futuremetrics-offers-wood-pellet-demand-spot-pricing-estimates. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  20. Gailans S, Sloan-Rowley D (2015) Corn following green manure cover crops established with small grain, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Field Crops Research. https://practicalfarmers.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/15.FC_.CC.Corn_Following_Green_Manure_Established_With_Small_Grain.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  21. Goetzl A (2015) Developments in the global trade of wood pellets. Work pap Ind no ID-039, US Int trade Comm Washington, DC. https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/wood_pellets_id-039_final.pdf
  22. Guest G, Bright RM, Cherubini F, Michelsen O, Strømman AH (2011) Life cycle assessment of biomass-based combined heat and power plants: centralized versus decentralized deployment strategies. J Ind Ecol 15:908–921.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00375.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hall CAS, Lambert JG, Balogh SB (2014) EROI of different fuels and the implications for society. Energy Policy 64:141–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hoque M, Artz G, Hart C (2014) Estimated cost of establishment and production of miscanthus in Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a1-28.html. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  25. Bare JC, Norris GA, Pennington DW, McKone T (2003) TRACI – the tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts. J Ind Ecol 6(3):49–78Google Scholar
  26. Jannasch R, Quan Y, Samson R (2001) A process and energy analysis of pelletizing switchgrass, resource efficient agricultural production (REAP), Quebec, Canada. https://reap-canada.com/online_library/feedstock_biomass/11AProcess.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  27. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2006) In: Eggleston HS, Buendia L, Miwa K, Ngara T, Tanabe K (eds) Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. Volume 4: agriculture, forestry and other land use. Prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program. IGES, JapanGoogle Scholar
  28. Kadiyala A, Kommalapati R, Huque Z (2016) Evaluation of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from different biomass feedstock electricity generation systems. Sustainability 8:1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kaltschmitt M, Reinhardt GA (1997) Nachwachsende energieträger - Grundlagen, verfahren, ökologische bilanzierung". Renew energy sources, basis, Process Ecol Balanc 527Google Scholar
  30. Kimming M, Sundberg C, Nordberg Å, Baky A, Bernesson S, Norén O, Hansson PA (2011) Biomass from agriculture in small-scale combined heat and power plants- a comparative life cycle assessment. Biomass Bioenergy 35:1572–1581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knoll JE, Anderson WF, Malik R, Hubbard RK, Strickland TC (2013) Production of napiergrass as a bioenergy feedstock under organic versus inorganic fertilization in the southeast USA. Bioenergy Res 6:974–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Knoll JE, Anderson WF, Strickland TC, Hubbard RK, Malik R (2012) Low-input production of biomass from perennial grasses in the coastal plain of Georgia, USA. Bioenergy Res 5:206–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lamers P, Hoefnagels R, Junginger M, Hamelinck C, Faaij A (2015) Global solid biomass trade for energy by 2020: an assessment of potential import streams and supply costs to North-West Europe under different sustainability constraints. GCB Bioenergy 7:618–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lin T, Rodríguez LF, Davis S, Khanna M, Shastri Y, Grift T, Long S, Ting KC (2016) Biomass feedstock preprocessing and long-distance transportation logistics. GCB Bioenergy 8:160–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Manouchehrinejad M, Yue Y, de Morais RAL, Souza LMO, Singh H, Mani S (2018) Densification of thermally treated energy cane and napier grass. Bioenergy Res 11:538–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Milbrandt AR, Heimiller DM, Perry AD, Field CB (2014) Renewable energy potential on marginal lands in the United States. Renew Sust Energ Rev 29:473–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mislevy P, Blue WG, Roessler CE (1989) Productivity of clay tailings from phosphate mining: I. biomass crops. J Environ Qual 18:95–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mislevy P, Fluck RC (1992) Harvesting operations and energetics of tall grasses for biomass energy production: a case study. Biomass Bioenergy 3:381–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mochizuki J, Yanagida JF, Kumar D, Takara D, Murthy GS (2014) Life cycle assessment of ethanol production from tropical banagrass (Pennisetum purpureum) using green and dry processing technologies in Hawaii. J Renew Sustain Energy 6:43128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Morey RV, Kaliyan N, Tiffany DG, Schmidt DR (2010) A corn stover supply logistics system. Appl Eng Agric 26:455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nikodinoska N, Buonocore E, Paletto A, Franzese PP (2017) Wood-based bioenergy value chain in mountain urban districts: an integrated environmental accounting framework. Appl Energy 186:197–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) (2012) Biorefinery analysis process models. http//www.nrel.gov/extranet/biore- fi nery/aspen_models/
  43. Osava M (2007) Energy-Brazil: elephant grass for biomass. Inter Press Serv. News Agancy, In http://www.ipsnews.net/2007/10/energy-brazil-elephant-grass-for-biomass/. Accessed 15 Dec 2018Google Scholar
  44. Perilhon C, Alkadee D, Descombes G, Lacour S (2012) Life cycle assessment applied to electricity generation from renewable biomass. Energy Procedia 18:165–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Peters M, Timmerhaus K (2003) Plant design and economics for chemical engineers. New York McGraw-Hill Chemical engineering SeriesGoogle Scholar
  46. PFI Standards Committee (2011) Pellet fuel institute (PFI) standard specification for residential/commercial densified fuel. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/energy/files/2018/07/table1.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  47. Pöyry Management Consulting Ltd (2011) Pellets – becoming a global commodity? Global market, players and trade to 2020, London, UK. http://www.poyry.co.uk/sites/www.poyry.co.uk/files/110.pdf
  48. Prine GM, Woodard KR (1993) Herbaceous energy crops in humid lower South USA. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, USAGoogle Scholar
  49. Raugei M, Fullana-i-Palmer P, Fthenakis V (2012) The energy return on energy investment (EROI) of photovoltaics: methodology and comparisons with fossil fuel life cycles. Energy Policy 45:576–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Reed D, Bergman R, Kim JW, Taylor A, Harper D, Jones D, Knowles C, Puettmann ME (2012) Cradle-to-gate life-cycle inventory and impact assessment of wood fuel pellet manufacturing from hardwood flooring residues in the southeastern United States. For Prod J 62:280–288Google Scholar
  51. Ruiz TM, Sanchez WK, Staples CR, Sollenberger LE (1992) Comparison of “Mott” dwarf elephantgrass silage and corn silage for lactating dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 75:533–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sahoo K, Mani S (2016) Engineering economics of cotton stalk supply logistics systems for bioenergy applications. Trans ASABE 59:737–747Google Scholar
  53. Sahoo K, Mani S (2017) Techno-economic assessment of biomass bales storage systems for a large-scale biorefinery. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefin 11:417–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sahoo K, Mani S, Bilek EM (Ted) (2018) Techno-economic and environmental analysis of woodchips and pellets storage systems for a large-scale bioenergy conversion facility. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 98:27–39Google Scholar
  55. Sainju UM, Singh BP, Whitehead WF (2003) Cover crops and nitrogen fertilization effects on soil aggregation and carbon and nitrogen pools. Can J Soil Sci 83:155–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sainju UM, Singh HP, Singh BP (2017) Soil carbon and nitrogen in response to perennial bioenergy grass, cover crop and nitrogen fertilization. Pedosphere 27:223–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Samson R, Mani S, Boddey R, Sokhansanj S, Quesada D, Urquiaga S, Reis V, Ho Lem C (2005) The potential of C4 perennial grasses for developing a global BIOHEAT industry. Crit Rev Plant Sci 24:461–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schweinle J, Rödl A, Börjesson P et al (2015) Assessing the environmental performance of biomass supply chains. IEA Bioenergy Task 43, Rep 2015TR01 123. https://www.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IEA-BIOENERGY-TR2015-01i-.pdf
  59. Sermyagina E, Saari J, Kaikko J, Vakkilainen E (2016) Integration of torrefaction and CHP plant: operational and economic analysis. Appl Energy 183:88–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shang L, Nielsen NPK, Dahl J, Stelte W, Ahrenfeldt J, Holm JK, Thomsen T, Henriksen UB (2012) Quality effects caused by torrefaction of pellets made from Scots pine. Fuel Process Technol 101:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Shen X, Kommalapati R, Huque Z (2015) The comparative life cycle assessment of power generation from lignocellulosic biomass. Sustainability 7:12974–12987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shortall OK (2013) “Marginal land” for energy crops: exploring definitions and embedded assumptions. Energy Policy 62:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Singh BP, Singh HP, Obeng E (2013) Biofuel crops: production, physiology and genetics; Elephantgrass. CABIGoogle Scholar
  64. Sokhansanj S, Turhollow AF (2004) Biomass densification - cubing operations and costs for corn stover. Appl Eng Agric 20:495–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sultana A, Kumar A, Harfield D (2010) Development of agri-pellet production cost and optimum size. Bioresour Technol 101:5609–5621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Swanson RM, Satrio JA, Brown RC, Hsu DD (2010) Techno-economic analysis of biofuels production based on gasification techno-economic analysis of biofuels production based on gasification. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-46587. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/46587.pdf . Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  67. Takara D, Khanal SK (2015) Characterizing compositional changes of Napier grass at different stages of growth for biofuel and biobased products potential. Bioresour Technol 188:103–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tiffany DG, Morey RV, De Kam MJ (2009) Economics of biomass gasification/combustion at fuel ethanol plants. Appl Eng Agric 25:391–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Trivedi P, Olcay H, Staples MD, Withers MR, Malina R, Barrett SRH (2015) Energy return on investment for alternative jet fuels. Appl Energy 141:167–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) (2016) Combined heat and power (CHP) technical potential in the United States. https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/04/f30/CHP%20Technical%20Potential%20Study%203-31-2016%20Final.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  71. U.S. Department of Energy (2011) U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass supply for a bioenergy and bioproducts industry. RD Perlack BJ Stokes (Leads), ORNL/TM-2011/224. Oak Ridge Natl Lab Oak Ridge, TNGoogle Scholar
  72. U.S. Department of Energy (2016) 2016 Billion-Ton Report: advancing domestic resources for a thriving bioeconomy, Volume 1: economic availability of feedstocks. M H Langholtz, B J Stokes, L M Eat (Leads), ORNL/TM-2016/160. Oak Ridge Natl Lab Oak Ridge, TNGoogle Scholar
  73. U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2017a) The United States uses a mix of energy sources, https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=us_energy_home. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  74. U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2017b) Natural gas monthly, selected national average natural gas prices table 3. US Dep Energy, Energy Inf Adm Indep Stat Anal Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  75. U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2017c) Annual coal report 2016, average Price of coal delivered to end use sector by census division and state, table 34. US Dep Energy, Energy Inf Adm Indep Stat Anal Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  76. U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2017d) Average price of electricity to ultimate customers by end-use sector. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_6_a. Accessed Dec 2017
  77. U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2018) Monthly densified biomass fuel report, https://www.eia.gov/biofuels/biomass/#table_data. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  78. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2007) Biomass combined heat and power catalog of technologies vol 1. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/biomass_combined_heat_and_power_catalog_of_technologies_v.1.1.pdf. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  79. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2017) Emissions & generation resource integrated database (eGRID). https://www.epa.gov/energy/emissions-generation-resource-integrated-database-egrid . Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  80. U.S. United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (2017) Internal revenue bulletin, Notice 2017–33. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb17-29.pdf
  81. Uchman W, Skorek-Osikowska A, Werle S (2017) Evaluation of the potential of the production of electricity and heat using energy crops with phytoremediation features. Appl Therm Eng 126:194–203.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.07.142 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. USDA-NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service (2018) Quick stats. https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/ Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  83. Vávrová K, Knápek J, Weger J (2017) Short-term boosting of biomass energy sources – determination of biomass potential for prevention of regional crisis situations. Renew Sust Energ Rev 67:426–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wang M (2016) GREET spreadsheet- greenhouse gases, regulated emissions, and energy use in transportation model. Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, USAGoogle Scholar
  85. Weih M (2009) Soils, plant growth and crop production-Vol.III-perennial energy crops: growth and management. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Uppsala, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  86. Weißbach D, Ruprecht G, Huke A, Czerski K, Gottlieb S, Hussein A (2013) Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants. Energy 52:210–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. West TO, Mcbride AC (2005) The contribution of agricultural lime to carbon dioxide emissions in the United States : dissolution, transport, and net emissions. Agric Ecosyst Environ 108:145–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Woodard KR, Prine GM (1993) Dry matter accumulation of elephantgrass, energycane, and elephantmillet in a subtropical climate. Crop Sci 33:818–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Plant Science, College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and TechnologyFort Valley State UniversityFort ValleyUSA

Personalised recommendations