A Comparative Environmental Evaluation of the Coal and Natural Gas Life Cycle

DOI: 10.4236/nr.2013.48060   PDF   HTML     3,267 Downloads   4,452 Views  


Natural gas and coal are the main primary energy resources used in the Romanian energy sector, 73.7% in 2011, taking into account the fuel imports. The objective of the article consists in analyzing all the processes along the coal and the natural gas life cycle in order to assess their overall environmental impact. Two energy technologies were analyzed, for each resource: the pulverized coal combustion with supra-critical parameters and CO2 capture unit and the natural gas combined cycle. Considering the functional unit of electricity production for 1 year, it was found that the natural gas combined cycle remains the more interesting energy technology from an environmental point of view. However, the pulverized coal with supra-critical parameters equipped with a CO2 capture unit has the lowest environmental impact on the climate change. The weakest point of the coal technology is its low efficiency.

Share and Cite:

C. Dincă, "A Comparative Environmental Evaluation of the Coal and Natural Gas Life Cycle," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 490-495. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.48060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Statistical Review of World Energy BP, 2010.
[2] E. Tzimas, A. Mercier, C. C. Cormos and S. Peteves, “Trade-Off in Emissions of Acid Gas Pollutants and of Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuels Power Plants with Carbon Capture,” Energy Policy, Vol. 35, No. 8, 2007, pp. 3991-3998. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2007.01.027
[3] European Commission, “DG Energy and Transport (TREN), Strategic Energy Review,” 2009.
[4] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 4th Assessments Report, Climate Change, 2007.
[5] European Commission, Strategy on Climate Change: The Way Ahead for 2020 and Beyond, 2007.
[6] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 “Capture and Storage,” Special Report, 2005.
[7] C. Dinca and A. Badea, “The Parameters Optimization for a CFBC Pilot Plant Experimental Study of PostCombustion CO2 Capture by Reactive Absorption with MEA,” International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 12, 2013, pp. 269-279.
[8] Dinca, C., A. Badea, et al., “A Multi-Criteria Approach to Evaluate the Natural Gas Energy Systems,” Energy Policy, Vol. 35, No. 11, 2007, pp. 5754-5765.
[9] C. Dinca, C. C. Cormos and H. Necula, “Environmental Impact Assessment of GHG Emissions Generated by Coal Life Cycle and Solutions for Reducing CO2,” Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4, No. 8A2, 2013, pp. 5-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jep.2013.48A2002
[10] C. Dinca, “Environmental Assessment of Energetically Process,” AGIR, 89 p.
[11] M. A. J. Huijbregts, “Application of Uncertainty and Variability in LCA, Part I—A General Framework for the Analysis of Uncertainty and Variability in Life Cycle Assessment,” The international Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 3, No. 5, 1998, pp. 273-280.
[12] M. A. J. Huijbregts, G. Norris, R. Bretz, A. Ciroth, B. Maurice, B. Von Bahr, B. Weidema, A. S. H. De Beaufort, “Framework for Modeling Data Uncertainty in Life Cycle Inventories,” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2001, pp. 127-132.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.