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 Wood TagsAg Residues
Fischer Tropsch
GHGenius 2.3
GHGenius 2.4
GHGenius 3.18
GHGenius 3.20
GHGenius 3.6
GHGenius 4.02
Hydrogen Transportation
Mixed Alcohols
Municipal Solid Waste
Natural Gas
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
 Pyrolysis Oils
 March 2011
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There is increased interest in the production and use of pyrolysis oils (or bio-oil) as a means of converting solid biomass into liquid fuels. While pyrolysis oil is not suitable for direct use as a transportation fuel, it can be used in external combustion devices such as boilers, heaters, and turbines. There are also activities underway to refine pyrolysis oil to gasoline and diesel fuel components.

The scope of this work included;
1. Pyrolysis oil production from wood or agricultural cellulosic feedstocks. Both of these feedstock families were already included in GHGenius. There are three wood options: wood waste, short rotation forestry, and harvested wood from natural forests. There are four agricultural cellulosic feedstocks in the model: wheat straw, corn stover, switchgrass, and hay. The model has been expanded so that pyrolysis oil can be made from any of these feedstocks. The emissions from the production of these bio-oils have been added to the Upstream Results sheet.
2. The produced pyrolysis oil could be used in external combustion devices such as heaters and boilers (sheet AD and sheet N). Sheet J has also been expanded so that the emissions from the production of electricity in a turbine system can be modelled.
3. A pathway that refines the pyrolysis oils to blending stock for gasoline and diesel fuel has also been added to the model.

All of the existing functionality, e.g. sensitivity solver, Monte Carlo tool, etc, in GHGenius has been maintained. The version of GHGenius that accompanies this report is GHGenius version 3.20.

Tags: Ag Residues - GHGenius 3.20 - PyrolysisOils - Wood
 Biomass to gasoline and DME
 Prepared March 2010
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This work introduces two new pathways to GHGenius, wood to gasoline, and wood to dimethyl ether (DME) and expands the options for producing the wood feedstock to include the harvesting of timber from managed forests.

The interest in biofuels continues to grow and technology developers are considering the opportunities of producing fuels, other than ethanol and biodiesel, which can be used in either blends with petroleum fuels, or as replacements for petroleum fuels. It is important that an understanding of the environmental implications of these technologies be understood before the fuels are introduced to the marketplace. This work helps to address that need by expanding GHGenius to consider two new biomass to fuel processes.

Bio-gasoline can be produced in a multistep process to gasify wood, convert the syngas to methanol or DME and then convert the methanol or DME to gasoline. The back end of the process is similar to the natural gas to methanol to gasoline process that was operated commercially in New Zealand in the 1990s by Mobil.

Bio-DME can also be produced through a similar route except without the last step of converting the DME to gasoline. DME has interesting fuel properties, including a high cetane number, and no carbon carbon bonds. It thus has potential as a replacement diesel fuel as well as a potential hydrogen carrier.

Wood feedstock in GHGenius has been represented by short rotation forestry (SRF) or by wood residues. A switch on the input sheet has been used to choose which feedstock is active in the model. There has been increased interest in harvesting timber for energy applications rather than for fibre so this third option has been added to the model. This option is now active for all of the wood to energy pathways in the model, not just the two that have been added here.
The new version of the model that accompanies this report is version 3.18.

Tags: DME - GHGenius 3.18 - Gasoline - Wood
 Wood Ethanol Report
 Prepared November 2006
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- For wood to ethanol the process data is sparse but there is one complete set of mass and energy balance data that was developed by the US DOE several years ago that will be used as the base. This input data was also discussed with researchers at UBC who have been active in this field for many years although they have focussed on individual steps in the process rather than on the overall process. We have also reviewed the process emissions on sheet N in the model for all of the biological ethanol pathways and separated the inputs for wood, ag residues, corn and wheat ethanol.

- For wood to natural gas there is some work underway in Europe investigating and demonstrating at the pilot level the gasification of wood and the upgrading of the gas to produce pipeline quality natural gas. Some preliminary data is available. This data has been reviewed and the model has been updated to reflect recent advances.

- There is some interest in producing pipeline quality gas from coal in Canada. There is one commercial pant in the United States (Dakota Gasification) and the literature surrounding that plant has been reviewed, along with new process developments in the field, to develop the basis for a new pathway in the model. This pathway is similar to the wood to natural gas pathway and the use of the gas will include light and heavy-duty vehicles.

Tags: Coal - Ethanol - GHGenius 3.6 - Lignocellulosic - Natural Gas - Wood
 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
 Coal and Biomass to Hydrogen
 Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in August 2003
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The goal of this work was to add two new hydrogen pathways, coal to hydrogen and biomass to hydrogen. The new pathways are fully integrated into GHGenius, for each fuel cycle the fuel will be used for both light duty and heavy duty applications fuel cell applications. All of the existing functionality of the model has be retained.
Both of these new pathways are likely to involve large individual plants. The hydrogen will be transported from these plants to the locations where it will be dispensed. Previous versions of GHGenius handled the transportation of hydrogen in different and less robust ways than the distribution of other fuels. This has been changed in this new version of GHGenius. The user now has much greater flexibility to model the way that hydrogen is distributed.

Tags: Coal - GHGenius 2.3 - Hydrogen - Hydrogen Transportation - Wood
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