Graphical Pinch Analysis for Planning Biochar-Based Carbon Management Networks

Abstract

Biochar is a potentially scalable negative emission technology (NET). The negative net flow of carbon is achieved sequentially via photosynthesis which fixes atmospheric carbon into biomass, followed by thermochemical processing of biomass into biochar which converts the bulk of the fixed carbon into stable or recalcitrant form, and finally by the application of the resulting biochar to soil. In addition, this process can result in additional carbon offsets through favorable modification of soil by reducing fertilizer requirement, as well as other secondary benefits. On the other hand, biochar is typically contaminated with traces of organic (e.g., dioxins) and inorganic impurities (e.g., salts) that are detrimental to soil quality. The presence of such impurities and the capacity of the receiving soil to tolerate their presence put an upper limit on the amount of biochar that can be added without causing adverse environmental effects. Thus, scaling up biochar-based systems requires the planning of a carbon management network (CMN) consisting of biochar sources (i.e., production facilities) and biochar sinks (i.e., receiving tracts of land). In general, such CMNs need to be operated so as to maximize system-wide carbon sequestration without exceeding the tolerance limits of the biochar sinks. This paper proposes a graphical pinch analysis approach to planning such biochar-based CMNs. The applicability of the methodology is illustrated using a hypothetical case study.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  1. Amin RA, Huang Y, He Y, Zhang R, Liu G, Chen C (2016) Biochar applications and modern techniques for characterization. Clean Techn Environ Policy 18(5):1457–1473. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1218-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bandyopadhyay S (2015) Mathematical foundation of pinch analysis. Chem Eng Trans 45:1753–1758

    Google Scholar 

  3. Belmonte BA, Benjamin MFD, Tan RR (2017a) Biochar systems in the water-energy-food nexus: the emerging role of process systems engineering. Curr Opin Chem Eng 18:32–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coche.2017.08.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Belmonte BA, Tan RR, Benjamin MFD (2017b) A two-stage optimization model for the synthesis of biochar-based carbon management networks. Chem Eng Trans 61:379–284

    Google Scholar 

  5. Dyson FJ (1977) Can we control the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Energy 2(3):287–291. https://doi.org/10.1016/0360-5442(77)90033-0

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. El-Halwagi MM (2011) Sustainable design through process integration. Elsevier, Waltham, U.S

    Google Scholar 

  7. Field JL, Keske CMH, Birch GL, Defoort MW, Cotrufo MF (2013) Distributed biochar and bioenergy coproduction: a regionally specific case study of environmental benefits and economic impacts. GCB Bioenergy 5(2):177–191. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12032

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Foo DCY (2012) Process integration for resource conservation. CRC Press, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, p 2012

    Google Scholar 

  9. Foo DCY, Tan RR (2016) A review on process integration techniques for carbon emissions and environmental footprint problems. Process Saf Environ Prot 103, pp:291–307, 2016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Geoffrion AM (1976) The purpose of mathematical programming is insight, not numbers. Interfaces 7(1):81–92. https://doi.org/10.1287/inte.7.1.81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. International Biochar Initiative (www.biochar-international.org, accessed November 10, 2017)

  12. Klemeš JJ, Varbanov PS, Kravanja Z (2013) Recent developments in process integration. Chem Eng Res Des 91(10):2037–2053. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cherd.2013.08.019

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kuppusamy S, Thavamani P, Megharaj M, Venkateswarlu K, Naidu R (2016) Agronomic and remedial benefits and risks of applying biochar to soil: current knowledge and future research directions. Environ Int 87:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2015.10.018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Lehmann J, Amonette JE, Roberts K (2011) Role of biochar in mitigation of climate change. In: Hillel D, Rosenzweig C (eds) Handbook of climate change and agroecosystems—impacts, adaptation and mitigation. Imperial College Press, London, pp 343–364

    Google Scholar 

  15. Linnhoff B, Townsend DW, Boland D, Hewitt GF, Thomas BEA, Guy AR, Marshall RH (1982) A user guide on process integration for the efficient use of energy. Institution of Chemical Engineers, Rugby

    Google Scholar 

  16. McGlashan N, Shah N, Caldecott W, M B (2012) High-level techno-economic assessment of negative emissions technologies. Process Saf Environ Prot 90(6):501–510. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2012.10.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. McLaren D (2012) A comparative global assessment of potential negative emissions technologies. Process Saf Environ Prot 90(6):489–500. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2012.10.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Roberts KG, Gloy BA, Joseph S, Scott NR, Lehmann J (2010) Life cycle assessment of biochar systems: estimating the energetic, economic, and climate change potential. Environ Sci Technol 44(2):827–833. https://doi.org/10.1021/es902266r

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson A, Chapin FS, Lambin EF, Lenton TM, Scheffer M, Folke C, Schellnhuber HJ, Niykvist B, De Wit CA, Hughes T, Van der Leeuw S, Rodhe H, Sorlin S, Snyder PK, Constanza R, Svedin U, Falkenmark M, Karlberg L, Corell RW, Fabry VJH, Walker B, Liverman D, Richardson K, Crutzen P, Foley JA (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461:472–475. https://doi.org/10.1038/461472a

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Shenoy UV (2010) Targeting and design of energy allocation networks for carbon emission reduction. Chem Eng Sci 65(23):6155–6168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2010.08.040

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Tan RR (2016) A multi-period source–sink mixed integer linear programming model for biochar-based carbon sequestration systems. Sustain Prod Consumption 8:57–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2016.08.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Tan RR, Foo DCY (2007) Pinch analysis approach to carbon-constrained energy sector planning. Energy 32(8):1422–1429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2006.09.018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Tan RR, Foo DCY (2013) Pinch analysis for sustainable energy planning using diverse quality measures. In: Klemeš JJ (ed) Handbook of process integration. Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, pp 505–523

    Google Scholar 

  24. Tan RR, Foo DCY (2017) Carbon emissions pinch analysis for sustainable energy planning. In: Encyclopedia of sustainable technologies. M. Abraham. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 231–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.10148-4

    Google Scholar 

  25. Tan RR, Ooi REH, Foo DCY, Ng DKS, Aviso KB, Bandyopadhyay S (2012) A graphical approach to optimal source-sink matching in carbon capture and storage systems with reservoir capacity and injection rate constraints. Computer Aided Chem Eng 31:480–484

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Tan RR, Bandyopadhyay S, Foo DCY, Ng DKS (2015) Prospects for novel pinch analysis application domains in the 21st century. Chem Eng Trans 45:1741–1746

    Google Scholar 

  27. Tan RR, Aviso KB, Foo DCY (2017) P-graph and Monte Carlo simulation approach to planning carbon management networks. Comput Chem Eng 106:872–882. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compchemeng.2017.01.047

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Ubando AT, Culaba AB, Aviso KB, Ng DKS, Tan RR (2014) Fuzzy mixed-integer linear programming model for optimizing a multi-functional bioenergy system with biochar production for negative carbon emissions. Clean Techn Environ Policy 16(8):1537–1549. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-014-0721-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Vochozka M, Marouskova A, Vachal J, Strakova J (2016) Biochar pricing hampers biochar farming. Clean Techn Environ Policy 18(4):1225–1231. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1113-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Woolf D, Amonette JE, Street-Perrott FA, Lehmann J, Joseph S (2010) Sustainable biochar to mitigate climate change. Nat Commun 1(5):1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1053

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raymond R. Tan.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tan, R.R., Bandyopadhyay, S. & Foo, D.C.Y. Graphical Pinch Analysis for Planning Biochar-Based Carbon Management Networks. Process Integr Optim Sustain 2, 159–168 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41660-018-0033-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Negative emission technology (NET)
  • Process integration (PI)
  • Pinch analysis
  • Carbon management network (CMN)