Willow for landfill leachate remediation and bioenergy, is it an effective solution?

David Livingstone, Beatrice Smyth, Johnathan McDonald, Christopher R. Johnston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Landfill leachate is a major problem and conventional treatments can be problematic and expensive. Short rotation coppice willow is a fast growing, high yielding energy crop well suited to temperate climates, has a favourable energy balance and performs well from an environmental perspective. It has previously been shown to be effective for bioremediation but there is limited information regarding the energy and carbon impacts of a large-scale system in which landfill leachate is remediated by a willow plantation. The aim of this paper was to investigate the impact on carbon and energy of such a system. An energy ratio of 5.3 was found for the system. Greenhouse gas savings of 60% could be achieved compared to conventional treatment methods. Replacing an oil heating system with heat from the willow chips could see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 579 tCO2eq over the plantation lifetime for a biomass boiler with 85% conversion efficiency. There are clear environmental benefits, but further improvements could be made with alternative harvest methods (full stem harvest) and the use of renewable electricity to meet the parasitic demands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication 15th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Subtitle of host publication 01/09/2020 → 05/09/2020 Cologne, Germany
Publication statusAccepted - 01 Sep 2020
Event15th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - Cologne, Germany
Duration: 01 Sep 202005 Sep 2020
https://www.cologne2020.sdewes.org/index

Publication series

Name1111-1111
ISSN (Print)1111-1111

Conference

Conference15th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Abbreviated titleSDEWES
CountryGermany
CityCologne
Period01/09/202005/09/2020
Internet address

Keywords

  • willow
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • landfills,
  • wastewater treatment
  • energy balance
  • greenhouse gases (GHGs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution

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