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Analysis of Life-Cycle Energy Use and GHG Emissions of the Biomass-to-Ethanol Pathway of the Coskata Process under Chinese Conditions

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DOI: 10.4236/lce.2012.323014    3,510 Downloads   5,937 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Life-cycle analyses of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were carried out for three scenarios of the Coskata biomass-to-ethanol (EtOH) process under Chinese conditions using the original Tsinghua China Automotive Energy LCA Model in conjunction with a module developed particularly for the Coskata process. The results show that 1) the Coskata pathway has good performance in terms of life-cycle fossil energy use and GHG emissions; 2) the electricity used in the biomass-to-EtOH process has the most significant effect on life-cycle fossil-energy use, natural gas as boiler fuel has the second-greatest effect, while fuel used in feedstock transportation has the third; and 3) different energy resources for boilers in the biomass-to-EtOH factory provide different life-cycle results: coal is the least favorable while biomass is the most favorable. We conclude that 1) the Coskata pathway has the dual merits of fossil energy-savings and lower GHG emissions compared with all other bio-EtOH pathways and conventional gasoline in China; and 2) shifting from coal as the fuel for factory boilers to biomass will strengthen the advantages.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

X. He, X. Ou, S. Chang, X. Zhang, Q. Zhang and X. Zhang, "Analysis of Life-Cycle Energy Use and GHG Emissions of the Biomass-to-Ethanol Pathway of the Coskata Process under Chinese Conditions," Low Carbon Economy, Vol. 3 No. 3A, 2012, pp. 106-110. doi: 10.4236/lce.2012.323014.

References

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[4] Coskata Inc., “Coskata Process Overview,” 2012. http://www.coskata.com/process/index.asp?source=7E352957-657F-44D4-8CEC-3FCA8BBB2D7C
[5] X. Ou, X. Zhang, S. Chang and Q. Fang, “Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions of Six Biofuel Pathways by LCA in (the) People’s Republic of China,” Applied Energy, Vol. 86, No. Supplement 1, 2009, pp. s197-s208. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.04.045
[6] X. Ou, S. Chang and X. Zhang, “Alternative Fuel Buses Currently in Use in China: Life-cycle Fossil Energy Use, GHG Emissions and Policy Recommendations,” Energy Policy, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2010, pp. 406-418. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.09.031
[7] X. Ou and X. Zhang, “Life-Cycle Analysis of Automotive Energy Pathways in China,” Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, 2011.

  
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