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


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.

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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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