Life cycle environmental impacts of cornstalk briquette fuel in China
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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The use of agricultural residues to produce biomass briquette fuel (BBF) can reduce waste of resources and consumption of fossil fuels. We report the first detailed environmental impact assessment of cornstalk-based BBF in China using a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA study was conducted based on a typical large-scale cornstalk BBF demonstration project in China with an integrated and automated production system. The key life cycle stages such as cornstalk growth, cornstalk transportation, BBF production, transportation and utilisation were investigated. Our results suggest that cornstalk BBF in China is much more environmentally friendly than coal and is favourable when compared with other types of solid fuels produced from different biomass feedstock. For example, the climate change and fossil depletion impacts of cornstalk BBF in China (11 g CO2 eq./MJ and 2 g oil eq./MJ, respectively) are an order of magnitude lower than those of coal (146 g CO2 eq./MJ and 26 g oil eq./MJ, respectively). The results of this study can assist policy makers in evaluating the potential benefits of the large scale use of BBF made from agricultural residues.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51476050) and the Henan Province Foundation and Advanced Technology Research Project (162102210390). We are grateful to China Henan Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and Henan Qiushi New Energy Co., Ltd.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 192, 15 April 2017, pp. 83 - 94