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 Fischer Tropsch TagsBiodiesel
Crude Oil
Fischer Tropsch
Fuel Cell
GHGenius 2.4
GHGenius 3.3
GHGenius 3.4
GHGenius 4.02
Mixed Alcohols
Municipal Solid Waste
Natural Gas
Nuclear Thermo Cracking
Wheat Straw
 Advanced Biofuel Update
 Prepared October 2012
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The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has published a number of techno-economic assessments over the past several years on advanced biofuel pathways. These studies include:
· Ethanol via biochemical processes using agricultural residues.
· Ethanol via thermochemical process using woody biomass.
· Gasoline via thermochemical process using woody biomass.
· FT Distillate via thermochemical process using woody biomass.
· Gasoline and Diesel fuel via pyrolysis.

Additional information has been found for the wood to DME process and this information is used to update this pathway in GHGenius. All of these pathways are already in GHGenius, having been added over the years. This work updates the default values in the GHGenius model and uses the updated data to model and report on the energy balances and GHG emissions of the pathways. This includes undertaking sensitivity analysis on the important variables.

In GHGenius there are multiple sub-pathways for some of these fuel systems, for example there are four agricultural feedstocks and a wood feedstock for the biochemical route and the pyrolysis pathway has woody biomass feedstock and agricultural residues. We have developed consistent inputs for all of these sub-pathways based on the NREL data, whereas they only provide data for one feedstock.

There are process developers that have hybrid systems, those that use both biochemical and thermochemical process to convert biomass to transportation fuels. These can also be modelled in GHGenius by adapting one of the existing pathways. Two examples of this are presented, but the inputs required for these systems are not included as default values in the model.

The results are presented for Canada for the year 2012 using the IPCC 2007 GWPs, unless otherwise stated. The version of GHGenius that accompanies this report is version 4.02. This version also has some updates to the electric and fuel cell vehicle pathways, which are described in a separate report. The GHGenius manuals have also been updated with the information used in this report.

Tags: DME - Ethanol - Feedstock - Fischer Tropsch - GHGenius 4.02 - PyrolysisOils - Wheat Straw - Wood
 FTD From Coal and Palm Oil Biodiesel Report
 Prepared May 2006
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Due to high oil prices and the availability of stranded gas there is increased worldwide interest in FT distillate fuels. In regions of the world, such as North America, where gas prices are higher but there are substantial reserves of coal, high oil prices and interest in FT distillate is causing an interest in coal to FT distillate processes such as is practiced in South Africa. The coal to FT distillate pathway has been added to the model. It has been added to all of the results sheets. As part of this work the FT fuels for the light duty diesel applications have been added to GHGenius as well.

Palm oil is the lowest cost vegetable oil feedstock produced in the world today. It is increasingly being considered as a feedstock for biodiesel production, not only in the regions of the world where it is produced but also in Europe and North America. The environmental benefits of palm oil are also somewhat controversial with claims regarding cultivation practices being both pro and con palm oil as a sustainable feedstock source.

The production of palm oil and palm oil biodiesel has been added to the model. The biodiesel can be used as a neat fuel and in blends in heavy-duty vehicles and in blends in light duty vehicles. All of the pathways have been added to all of the results sheets in the model including the summary sheets and the cost sheets. Palm oil biodiesel can now be compared to biodiesel produced from other oil sources within the same model.

Tags: Biodiesel - Coal - Fischer Tropsch - GHGenius 3.4 - Palm
 GHGenius Sequestration Report
 Prepared April 2006
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The report covers work on the expansion of pathways and expanding the results from existing pathways. This work involved the following tasks and deliverables.

1. The potential to include carbon dioxide sequestration to a number of feedstock and fuel production pathways has been added to the model. There was previously a switch in GHGenius to account for carbon sequestration in thermal power generation but this was a very simply approach to the issue and it underestimated the emissions in the upstream portion of power generation. There are a number of other places where sequestration might be employed. These include gasification plants, oil sands upgraders, oil refineries, methanol, and ethanol plants. The capability of adding a sequestration step to all of these facilities has been added to GHGenius and the current switch for electric power plants has been removed to calculate the impact of carbon storage more robustly for power plants.

2. The capability of using biodiesel in the light duty diesel and light duty hybrid diesel vehicles has been added to the model. These pathways have also been added to the LDV Summary sheet and the Light Duty Cost effectiveness output sheets. This involved only the combination of existing fuel and vehicle pathways in the model.

3. The tables 51c and 51e on sheet I have been expanded to include all of the pathways in the model. This included the pathways that are primarily electric in nature. It should be noted that in GHGenius, electric power is treated as a primary energy source where a kWh of power is converted to 3,600 kJ of energy. Some other models consider electric power a secondary source of energy and account for the energy of one kWh based on the energy that went in to the power plant so there may be some differences in the results shown in GHGenius compared to some other models. We may want to consider changing this in the future.

4. For some types of oil production there are surface disturbances that will result in a loss of biomass and soil carbon. The emissions from these disturbances are included in the coal mining pathway but not in the oil sands pathways. The emissions from this source for oil production pathways have been added to the model where appropriate.

GHGenius has been modified to allow the incorporation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) into many of the fuel and energy pathways in the model. This has been accomplished in a manner that provides a significant amount of flexibility for the user. There is still a considerable amount of uncertainty with respect to the actual performance of CCS systems in real world applications. With some large projects now being proposed some real data may become available in a few years that can be used to further refine the values used in GHGenius.

Tags: Crude Oil - Electricity - Ethanol - Fischer Tropsch - GHGenius 3.3 - Hydrogen - Methanol - Mixed Alcohols - Refining - Sequestration
 FT Distillate Report
 Prepared March 2006
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FT distillates or gas to liquids (GTL) products are becoming commercial fuels in many parts of the world. The plants producing these fuels are likely to be located in regions with stranded gas assets and the products from the plants are likely to be exported all around the world. In GHGenius, the current default conditions indicate that the lifecycle GHG emissions from these fuels are slightly higher than diesel fuel produced from crude oil. There have been other lifecycle analyses performed on the process and some claim a reduction in GHG emissions for this production pathway. Several of these other reports (PwC on the Shell MDS process, the Five Winds International review for Shell, Sasol and Chevron, Energy and Environmental Solutions, LLC report for the US DOE, and the ConocoPhillips and Nexant report) have been reviewed to determine the reasons for the discrepancies.

There are three primary factors that have been identified that contribute to the different results reported for the GHG emission performance of FT distillate fuels. These are the efficiency of the conversion process, the allocation procedure used in the conventional oil refinery for the emissions for individual products, and the emissions associated with natural gas production.

Since all of the reports are relying on engineering studies for the key thermal efficiency value it is not possible to state that one report has used the correct value and another report has used an incorrect value. Different processes configurations will have different efficiencies due to the reforming approach used, the catalysts employed and other factors. Gas composition could also play a role in the overall efficiency. It could also be that different developers provide the data on a different basis, and annual average or steady state operations for example. The start-up and shut down steps can result in significant GHG emissions with little products being produced and these should be amortized over each cycle.

Similarly it is not possible to conclude that one allocation method is superior to another. It can be seen in the PwC and ConocoPhillips work that even using the same functional expansion for co-products very different results can be obtained depending on how the alternative products are produced, natural gas versus coal based products in this case. The choice between natural gas and coal could be different in different regions and may even vary with price, favouring natural gas at low oil prices and coal at high prices. It should be noted that the allocation methodology used in the PwC report would make all alternative fuels look better, not just FT distillates.

There are also differences that will be caused by location differences due to the gas composition, the energy required to produce the gas, and the degree of processing that the raw gas undergoes before entering the GTL plant.

The GHGenius model has been used to quantify the GHG emissions impact of the primary differences between the studies and it has been determined that the process conversion efficiency, the allocation procedures, and the emissions associated with natural gas production are the primary factors leading to the different reported emission results.

Tags: Fischer Tropsch - Natural Gas
 Biomass to Syngas Processes
 Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in March 2004
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The goal of this work was to add five new pathways to GHGenius. The new pathways are:
  • Wood to mixed alcohols,
  • Refuse derived fuel (RDF) to mixed alcohols,
  • Wood to FT distillate,
  • RDF to FT distillate, and
  • Natural gas to mixed alcohols.

The new pathways are fully integrated into GHGenius, for each fuel cycle the fuel is used for both light duty and heavy duty applications. All of the existing functionality of the model has been retained.
This work has involved the development of a new feedstock, RDF. This material is produced by collecting, separating and in some cases processing municipal solid waste (MSW). The user can now specify all of the key parameters, collection distances, processing energy, and material yield for collecting and converting MSW to RDF.
A new fuel, mixed alcohols has been added to the model. This fuel is a mixture of C1 to C5 alcohols and the user can specify the mixture of alcohols consistent with the rest of the inputs. This fuel could be used in low level blends with gasoline or diesel fuel or as a fuel itself in large heavy-duty engines. All of these applications have been added to the model.
While the primary interest in the mixed alcohols is for their production from the renewable feedstocks, wood and RDF, a pathway to produce the mixed alcohols from natural gas has been added for comparison.
It is also feasible to produce FT Distillate from wood or RDF rather than from natural gas and these are the fourth and fifth pathways added to the model, The FT Distillate is used in heavy-duty engines either alone or in a blend with conventional diesel fuel. The production of FT Distillate from natural gas was already in the model for comparison.

Tags: Fischer Tropsch - GHGenius 2.4 - Mixed Alcohols - Municipal Solid Waste - Natural Gas - RDF - Wood
 Off Board Generation of Hydrogen for Fuel Cell Veh
 Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in August 2002
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The purpose of this work was to add fuel cycles to GHGenius that may be demonstrated in the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance demonstrations and allow an assessment of the projected greenhouse gas benefits before the projects are funded by the CTFCA.
The GHGenius model has been successfully updated with additional hydrogen production and hydrogen utilization pathways. The following hydrogen production pathways have been added:
  • Off board reforming of methanol
  • Off board reforming of ethanol
  • Off board reforming of gasoline
  • Off board reforming of FT Distillate
  • Off board reforming of LPG
  • The use of nuclear energy to produce hydrogen through thermal cracking

In addition, the use of mixtures of natural gas and hydrogen (Hythane®) in both light duty spark ignited engines and in heavy-duty natural gas engines have been added to the model. The hydrogen for these mixtures can be produced either from SMR or from electrolysis.

Tags: Fischer Tropsch - Fuel Cell - Gasoline - Hydrogen - Hythane - Natural Gas - Nuclear Thermo Cracking
 GHG Emissions from Fuel Cell Vehicles
 Prepared for Methanex Corporation in June 2000
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The primary intent of this report is to cover most of the fuels currently being considered for FCV and to determine the GHG emissions in the Canadian context. GHGenius was used to calculate GHG’s and is capable of calculating emissions in Canada and the United States so the results for the United States are also presented. There is some discussion of the likely results in Japan and Europe based on the carbon intensity of their electricity generating sectors.

Tags: Fischer Tropsch - Fuel Cell - Hydrogen - Methanol - Natural Gas
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