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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Environmental Impact and Environmental Cost Assessment of Methanol Production from wood biomass

Yadav, Pooja; Athanassiadis, Dimitris; Yacout, Dalia M M; Tysklind, Mats; Upadhyayula, Venkata K K

Abstract

Increasing demand for biofuel production and global competition for the use of natural resources are key factors in finding new and environmentally safe routes for methanol production. In the present study, life cycle assessment was used to analyse the potential environmental impact and environmental cost of a novel methanol production process from wood compared to a conventional processes. Both the novel and the conventional process were divided into three stages: pre-treatment, gasification, and syngas cleaning and methanol synthesis. The environmental impacts were assessed and compared using Simapro 9 (ecoinvent 3.5 database) and the ReCiPe 2016 (World-H) midpoint method. The results, expressed per tonne methanol, showed that the impact categories of global warming potential (GWP) and marine ecotoxicity potential were lower in the novel process in comparison to the conventional process (48.2 kg CO2 eq. vs. 63.1 kg CO2 eq., and 4.55 kg 1,4-DCB vs. 6.35 kg 1,4-DCB respectively). However, the novel process had a higher environmental impact in the pre-treatment stage. The results of the sensitivity analysis showed that the GWP of the novel process increased from 48.2 kg CO2 eq. to 216 kg CO2 eq. due to the replacement of Na2CO3 by K2CO3. The human toxicity impact categories showed significant impact on environmental cost. These findings will help relevant industries to reduce their environmental impact and improve the production efficiency of methanol from wood. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Biofuels; Biomethanol; Environmental cost; Life cycle assessment; Pressurized entrained flow biomass gasification

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2020, Volume: 265, number: Part A, article number: 114990