Life cycle environmental impacts of biogas production and utilisation substituting for grid electricity, natural gas grid and transport fuels

María Natividad Pérez Camacho , Robin Curry, Thomas Cromie

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Abstract

In this study, life cycle analysis (LCA) has been applied to evaluate the environmental impacts of biogas production and utilisation substituting for grid electricity, natural gas grid and transport fuels, with a focus on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The results demonstrate significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the biogas as a fuel scenario due to the displacement of fossil petrol and diesel fuels (scenario 3), with savings of between 524 and 477 kg of CO2 equivalent (per MWh of energy provided by the fuels). The utilisation of biogas for electricity generation saves around 300 kg of CO2 equivalent per MWh of electricity injected into the grid (scenario 1), while Scenario 2, the upgrading of biogas to biomethane and its injection into the gas grid for heating saves 191 kg of CO2 equivalent (per MWh of energy generated by the biomethane). The results emphasise the benefits of using life cycle analysis to provide an evidence based for bioenergy policy. The limitations of the research are identified and recommendations made for future research priorities to further the use of LCA in the evaluation of bioenergy systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-101
JournalWaste Management
Volume95
Early online date10 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Biogas
  • bioresources
  • biomethane
  • Life-cycle analysis
  • bioenergy

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