Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124

Biomass integrated gasification combined cycle with reduced CO2 emissions: Performance analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA)
Andrea Corti, Lidia Lombardi Ã
` Dipartimento di Energetica ‘‘Sergio Stecco’’, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Via Santa Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy

Abstract Performance analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA) of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) fed with biomass with upstream CO2 chemical absorption has been carried out. The main working conditions have been determined by mean of partial exergetic analysis. A sensitivity analysis with respect to the CO2 absorbing solution composition has also been carried out. The reachable efficiency ranges between 35% and 36%, depending on gas turbine technology level. In comparison with efficiency values previously found for an IGCC fed with coal with upstream CO2 chemical absorption (38–39%), the configuration studied seems to be attractive because of the possibility of operating with a simplified scheme (without H2S removal process) and at atmospheric pressure and for the possibility of using biomass in a more efficient way with respect to conventional combustion systems. Due to the lower efficiency, the specific CO2 emission results higher (170 kg/MW h) with respect to the cycle fed with coal and CO2 removal (130 kg/MW h). Moreover, the CO2 balance has been determined with respect to the entire life cycle of the plant, including the construction, operation, dismantling and the biomass growing phases. # 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The production of clean biomass syngas and its use in a Brayton/Hirn combined cycle has been simulated. The goal is to obtain a syngas containing a high amount of hydrogen, losing as little as possible of the original energy content.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39-055-479-6349; fax: +39-055-479-6342. E-mail address: (L. Lombardi).

0360-5442/$ - see front matter # 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/


A. Corti, L. Lombardi / Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124

Fig. 1. Schematic of the IBGCC þ DeCO2 .

The basic scheme is an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), reflecting the present technology of coal gasification systems, including particulate removal system but not H2S removal system (due to low sulphur content in the feeding biomass), coupled with a gas turbine combined cycle. With respect to this scheme two basic units have been added: a shift reaction section and a CO2 chemical absorption process (DeCO2 unit), both working on the syngas stream before its combustion. A schematic overall flow diagram is shown in Fig. 1: this configuration will be addressed in the following as IBGCC þ DeCO2 . In the atmospheric pressure gasifier, the biomass is converted with the gasifying mediums air and steam to a CO- and H2-rich gas. Particulate matter is removed in the downstream cyclone and then a catalytic shift reaction takes place. Here, CO reacts with water to produce CO2 and H2. This stage is required to obtain a H2-rich syngas from the CO-rich raw syngas; moreover, the obtained stream has a relevant CO2 content, which can be conveniently removed through a subsequent chemical absorption process. The clean H2-rich syngas leaving this section needs to be pressurised and is finally delivered to the combined cycle. CO2 chemical absorption with aqueous amines solutions has been selected as the removal technology, since this is the most developed CO2 removal technique. All the processes mentioned above have been simulated by means of Aspen Plus 10.1-0 [1].

2. The gasification and shift reaction sections In the simulation, an atmospheric gasifier has been modelled, fed with 31 kg/s biomass mass flow. The biomass considered is dry poplar (with a reference humidity equal to 15%), characterised by a carbon/hydrogen ratio of 8.28 and a LHV of about 18 000 kJ/kg. Ultimate and proximate analyses are reported in Table 1 [2]. The raw syngas exiting the gasifier is first cooled (HE1) and then sent to a cyclone, where 95% of fly ashes—composed of solid unburned carbon and inert material—are removed and recirculated back to the gasifier. Fig. 2 shows this scheme and some more details of scheme contained within the rectangular area highlighted in Fig. 1.

A. Corti, L. Lombardi / Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124 Table 1 Biomass ultimate and proximate analysis Proximate analysis Humidity Fixed carbon Volatile matter Ashes 15% 16.35% 82.32% 1.33% Ultimate analysis Ashes Carbon Hydrogen Nitrogen Chlorine Sulphur Oxygen 1.43% 48.45% 5.85% 0.47% 0.1% 0.01% 43.69%


Raw syngas is fed to a catalytic shift reaction section, where CO and water are converted into CO2 and H2: CO þ H2 O ! CO2 þ H2 þ 44:477 MJ=molCO In order to enhance the conversion of CO, the shift reaction is realised in two stage reactors at v about 450 and 250 C, respectively [3]. The total conversion rate of CO into CO2 is 99.5%. The steam required for the shift reaction is obtained by means of direct steam extraction from steam turbine and inserted upstream of the first reactor in amount sufficient for both the reactors [3,4]. The total amount of process steam has been calculated with reference to a H2O/CO molar ratio of 2 [3] and is found to be 31.9 kg/s. Since the shift reaction is exothermic, both the reactors are provided with heat exchangers to keep the designed temperatures constant and for released heat recovery. Further heat exchangers are added in order to cool the exiting syngas of the first to the design temperature (HE2) of the second reactor and to cool the exiting syngas of the second reactor to be fed to the CO2 removal treatment (HE3) (cooling temperature assumed v at 30 C). The different heat recoveries contribute—depending on their temperature range—to steam production for the power island bottoming steam cycle.

2.1. Definition of main operating parameters Generally, gasifiers are fed with air (or oxygen) and steam, whereas, in this case, no steam is supplied to the gasification reactor. In fact, the aim of steam feeding—i.e. promoting shift

Fig. 2. Schematic of the gasification and shift reaction section.


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Fig. 3. Syngas LHV vs. e ¼ AirR =AirSTECH

À Á v TGAS ¼ 1200 C .

conversion during gasification—is carried out by the devoted shift reaction section, where, because of the catalysts, the conversion is even higher. Preliminary simulations have been carried out to define the gasification air ratio ðe ¼ AirR =AirSTECH Þ to be used. Better results in terms of calorific value of the syngas are obtained for low ratio, as shown in Fig. 3, where the results are referred to a gasification temv perature of 1200 C (similar trends were found for other gasification temperature values). According to this evidence e ¼ 0:2 has been assumed in the following. In order to minimise the losses in the described sections, an accurate sensitivity analysis has been carried out with respect to the main operating conditions: gasification temperature (TGAS) and first cooling temperature (THE1). In order to define the two parameters considered, the evaluation of energy consumption and heat recovery (for steam production) has been carried out on exergetic basis. Substantially, the following consumptions (C) and recoveries (R) have been considered and evaluated in terms of their exergy content: exergy content of the heat recovered keeping constant gasification temperature (R); exergy content of the heat recovered from first syngas cooling (HE1) (R); exergy content of the steam input to shift reaction section (C); exergy content of the heat recovered by keeping the first shift reactor temperature constant (R); exergy content of the heat recovered from the intermediate shift reactors cooling (HE2) (R); exergy content of the heat recovered by keeping the second shift reactor temperature constant (R); exergy content of the heat recovered from final syngas cooling (HE3) (whereas final v v temperature is 30 C, the recovery cooling is carried out only until 150 C). A balance of the corresponding exergy contributions—depending on the two considered parameters—has been carried out, looking for the operating conditions that allow maximum recovery.

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Fig. 4. Exergy balance vs. THE1 ; for TGAS ¼ 1100 C.


Varying the first syngas cooling temperature (THE1) and keeping the gasification temperature v constant (TGAS), a maximum value for the exergy balance was found, corresponding to 270 C (Fig. 4). v Gasification temperature has been varied between 800 and 1200 C (upper limit for gasification v reactions, self-sufficiency for the assumed e ¼ 0:2). In the case of TGAS higher than 1100 C (assumed as the technological upper limit temperature for heat exchanger) a mixing heat exchanger has been included, before entering the HE1, where the main syngas stream is cooled by mixing with part of the low temperature syngas stream recirculated downstream of the cyclone. Results of exergy balance sensitivity to TGAS and downstream shift reaction syngas energy content ðLHV Â flow rateÞ sensitivity to TGAS are reported, respectively, in Figs. 5 and 6. Since syngas energy content—i.e. LHV—seems not to be very sensitive to TGAS changes, the v gasification temperature has been assumed equal to 1100 C, being the value which maximises the exergy balance. Table 2 summarises the assumed values for the operating parameters of the gasification and shift reaction sections. With reference to these operating conditions, the characteristics and composition of syngas exiting gasification and shift sections, are reported in Table 3. CO2 amount is quite high: 65% mass fraction.

Fig. 5. Exergy balance vs. TGAS ; for THE1 ¼ 270 C.



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Fig. 6. Syngas energy content vs. TGAS ; for THE1 ¼ 270 C. Table 2 Summary of operating parameters in the gasification and shift reaction sections Feeding biomass mass flow rate [kg/s] Biomass LHV [ kJ/kg] Gasification pressure [bar] Cyclone efficiency [%] v First shift reaction stage temperature [ C] v Second shift reaction stage temperature [ C] Overall CO/CO2 conversion rate in the shift section [%] Shift section steam/CO molar ratio Shift section steam mass flow rate [kg/s] e ¼ AirR =AirSTECH v THE1 [ C] v TGAS [ C] 31 18 000 1.013 95 450 250 99.5 2 31.9 0.2 270 1100


Table 3 Syngas conditions exiting the gasification and shift sections Syngas mass flow rate [kg/s] v Temperature [ C] Pressure [bar] Composition H2O CO2 N2 H2 CO Ar HCl H2 S CH4 COS NH3 HCN NO,SO2,C2H6 LHV [kJ/kg] 70.94 30 1.01325 Mass frac. 3.9% 65.1% 25.1% 5.2% 0.2% 0.5% 380 ppm 38 ppm 3 ppm 2 ppm 4 ppm 1 ppm Trace 6217

Mol frac. 4.2% 28.6% 17.3% 49.5% 0.1% 0.2% 201 ppm 21 ppm 3 ppm 0.8 ppm 4 ppm 0.8 ppm

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3. CO2 removal section (DeCO2) Chemical absorption has been selected because it is a well-developed technology and is particularly suitable for quite high CO2 concentration [5]. The absorbing medium is an aqueous ammine blended solution, which is regenerated by means of temperature swing absorption (TSA) process. According to a previous study [6], using appropriate blend of diethanolammine (DEA) and methyldiethanolammine (MDEA) it is possible to keep regeneration heat requirement lower than 4 MJ/kg CO2REMOVED. With reference to the specific syngas composition, the most suitable solution blend has been investigated, considering total ammine content (mass fraction) of 30, 40 and 50% and varying the DEA and MDEA mass fractions. A total of 50% ammine solutions allow reaching a certain CO2 removal efficiency with lower solution mass flow rate and hence lower energy requirement than the other process considered. Results for different DEA and MDEA mass fractions, for a total content of 50%, considering 80% CO2 removal efficiency (this removal level was assumed so that results can be comparable with previous studies [6]), showed a maximum value for cycle power output (i.e. maximum cycle efficiency, being constant the biomass input)—hence a minimum CO2 removal energy requirement—corresponding to a 20% DEA and 30% MDEA composition (Fig. 7). Specific energy requirement results about 3.4 MJ/kg CO2REMOVED, that is supplied in part by mean of heat recovery and in part by steam extraction in the power section. This condition corresponds to a required solution mass flow rate of 557 kg/s—determinant for plant investment cost

Fig. 7. Power output vs. solution composition.

Fig. 8. Solution mass flow rate vs. solution composition.


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Table 4 Syngas conditions exiting the CO2 removal section Syngas mass flow rate [kg/s] v Temperature [ C] Composition H2O CO2 N2 H2 CO Ar H2S HCl MDEA DEA CH4 COS NH3 HCN SO2, NO, C2H6 LHV [kJ/kg] 38.82 554 Mass frac. 19.6% 23.8% 45.9% 9.4% 0.3% 0.8% 60 ppm 658 ppm 135 ppm 4 ppm 5 ppm 4 ppm 5 ppm 2 ppm Trace 11 364

Mole frac. 13.6% 6.8% 20.5% 58.6% 0.2% 0.3% 22 ppm 226 ppm 14 ppm 0.4 ppm 4 ppm 0.8 ppm 4 ppm 0.7 ppm Trace

definition—not minimised, but not far for the minimum value of 531 kg/s obtained for a 30% DEA and 20% MDEA composition (Fig. 8). The characteristics and composition of syngas exiting CO2 removal section, are reported in Table 4. The syngas heating value is almost doubled, due to the removal of diluting CO2.

4. Power generation section The power generation scheme is a conventional Brayton/Hirn combined cycle, with the addition of the syngas compressor and the heat recoveries in the different syngas treatment sections. Gas turbine (GT) operating conditions have been defined according to a reference technology level: corresponding to an aero-derivative GT, with the characteristics summarised in Table 5. The gas turbine blade cooling has been considered by means of a simple model developed by Facchini [7], which divides the flue gas expansion into two phases: 1. expansion of the combustion gases untill the temperature reaches TCOOL, calculated as: TCOOL ¼ TB þ Tin À TB pffiffiffi 3 2

where TB is the blade temperature (1050 K) and Tin the GT inlet temperature. 2. mixing of the combustion gases at TCOOL with cooling air—from the air compressor bypassing combustion—and final expansion until GT exiting pressure.

A. Corti, L. Lombardi / Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124 Table 5 GT reference technology operating conditions Tin [ C] v Tout [ C] v Tout COMP [ C] v TCOOL [ C] Compression ratio Compressor isentropic efficiency 1st GT part isentropic efficiency 2nd GT part isentropic efficiency Air/fuel ratio Air mass flow rate [kg/s] Cooling air mass flow rate [kg/s] Cooling air/total air ratio


1258 537 454 1158 19 0.88 0.86 0.87 11.149 432.81 59.17 0.14

Table 6 Operating conditions and power consumption for syngas compression Conditions 1st stage pressure [bar] v 1st intercooler temperature [ C] 2nd stage pressure [bar] v 2nd intercooler temperature [ C] 3rd stage pressure [bar] 2.5 74 7 99 19 Power [kW] 10 930 13 279 13 720 37 929

GT simulation has been carried out with reference to parameter values reported in Table 5. For the syngas compression up to the combustion chamber pressure, a three-staged intercooled compressor was considered. Compression works and intermediate pressure and temperature levels, for the GT level reference case, are reported in Table 6.

Fig. 9. Steam cycle scheme.


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A two-pressure levels steam bottoming cycle was considered with high pressure (HP) steam at v v 40 bar and 450 C, and low pressure (LP) steam at 2.5 bar and 168.1 C. Heat recoveries from different cycle sections—in addition to the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) from GT exhausts—have been arranged in order to maximise the produced steam flow rate. Fig. 9, shows the steam cycle scheme.

5. Results The simulation results are reported in Table 7. Syngas compression work represents a high fraction of the total combined cycle power output, about 18.5%, and quite greatly contributes to the efficiency reduction with respect to a pressurised coal IGCC (46.6%) in a conventional configuration or with CO2 chemical absorption (38.8%) [8]. The two steam extractions from the steam turbine—in order to supply the duty for amine regeneration and for shift reaction steam—also largely affect the global performance. As a matter of fact, 4.5–5 efficiency points are lost due to the amine regeneration duty requirement and 5–5.5 efficiency points are lost due to the duty required for shift reaction steam supplying. Specific CO2 emission can be directly compared with values obtained from previous studies [8] for a conventional coal IGCC—725 kg CO2 =MW h—and a coal IGCC with CO2 removal— 130 kg CO2 =MW h. Specific CO2 emission can also be compared with other published results [4]: pulverised coal (PC) conventional steam cycle 800 kg CO2 =MW h; conventional coal IGCC 760 kg CO2 =MW h; PC with CO2 chemical absorption (MEA or DEA) 100 kg CO2 =MW h; PC with CO2 membrane separation 250 kg CO2 =MW h; coal IGCC with shift reaction and CO2 chemical absorption 40 kg CO2 =MW h. Similar data can be found in Refs. [3] and [9] and are reported in Table 8. Specific CO2 emission in the case of semi-closed GT combined cycle (SCGT/CC) is 388 kg CO2 =MW h and it is 65 kg CO2 =MW h when chemical absorption is applied [10].
Table 7 IBGCC þ DeCO2 simulation results Fuel compressor [kW] GT compressor [kW] GT power [kW] HP steam turbine [kW] LP steam turbine [kW] Steam cycle power [kW] CC power [kW] CC efficiency [%] CO2 specific emission ½kg CO2 specific emission ½kg 37 929 192 666 149 347 37 255 17 900 55 155 204 502 36.27 167 0.305



A. Corti, L. Lombardi / Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124 Table 8 Specific CO2 emission from literature Cycle configuration Natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) PC supercritical steam cycle Coal IGCC without CO2 removal Coal IGCC with CO2 removal Conventional coal IGCC Coal IGCC with chemical abs. Coal IGCC with semi-closed GT and chemical abs. Coal IGCC with physical abs. Coal IGCC with semi-closed GT and physical abs. Coal IGCC with semi-closed GT and CO2 as working fluid ½kg


hŠ [3]

377 794 747–789 74 709 73 72 72 71 72


IBGCC þ DeCO2 has definitely a better conversion efficiency and CO2 specific emission with respect to biomass direct combustion in steam cycle configuration—23% and about 1400 kg CO2 =MW h [11].

6. Life cycle assessment According to the definition of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry [12]: ‘‘Life Cycle Assessment is a process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process, or activity by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment; to assess the impact of those energy and materials uses and releases to the environment; and to identify and evaluate opportunities to affect environmental improvements. The assessment includes the entire life-cycle of the product, process, or activity, encompassing extracting and processing raw materials; manufacturing; transportation and distribution; use, re-use, maintenance; recycling and final disposal’’. Hence, life cycle assessment (LCA) considers the possible impact on the different environmental components, also considering the non-direct effect, deriving from the production processes of the manufactured materials entering the system boundary. LCA studies are composed of several interrelated components: goal definition and scoping, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and improvement assessment [13]. 6.1. LCA: goal and scope definition The first component of an LCA study is the Goal Definition and Scoping according to ISO 14041 [14]. This component consists of defining the study purpose and its scope, establishing the functional unit. The aim of this study is to evaluate the contribution to CO2 emission reduction that can be achieved by mean of using biomass for energy production, in comparison with conventional fuel


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use. The functional unit is the produced energy unit (1 MJ), to which inventory data and results are referred to. Within the system studied, biomass production phase, plant construction, energy production (operation, assumed equal to 15 years) and plant dismantling phases are included. Also, the production processes of the manufactured materials entering the defined system are included. In this way the entire system has been described and summarised in the inventory analysis in terms of raw material inputs and emission outputs (solids, liquids and gases). 6.2. LCA: inventory analysis Any product or service needs to be represented as a system in the inventory analysis methodology. A system is defined as a collection of materially and energetically connected operations (e.g. manufacturing process, transport process, fuel extraction process) which performs some defined function. The inventory analysis is a quantitative description of all flows of materials and energy across the system boundary either into or out of the system itself ISO 14041 [14]. 6.2.1. Biomass production and transportation The biomass production ratio considered is equal to 13.4 ton/ha per year, with a cultivation cycle of 7 years [15]. Mainly, the use of agricultural machines for seeding, growing and collection phases and the use of pesticides and fertilisers have been considered using the data according to Ref. [15] and are summarised in Table 9. No consumption of water and energy for watering have been considered, since it has been assumed that all the required water is supplied by rainfall. Fuel consumption for agricultural machines have been calculated, with reference to the operations in Table 9, using emission factors in Refs. [15,16]. No contribution due to construction and dismantling of agricultural machines has been considered. Atmospheric emission factors for the use of fertilisers and pesticides/herbicides have been retrieved respectively from Refs. [16,17]. Data for the production processes of manufactured materials entering the system (fertilisers, pesticides/herbicides, fuels, electricity, etc.) have been retrieved from LCA devoted databases [18,19]. Biomass transportation average distance has been assumed to be equal to 75 km. Atmospheric emissions and fuel consumptions have been calculated following Ref. [16].

Table 9 Biomass growing phase data N fertiliser use (50% urea and 50% ammonium nitrate ) P fertiliser use K fertiliser use (K2O) Pre-emergency herbicide use (Oust1) Post-emergency herbicide use (Roundrup1) Pesticide use 100 kg/ha (nitrate) during the 4th year of the cycle 22.4 kg/ha (as P) 1st year of the cycle 39.2 kg/ha (as K) 1st year of the cycle 36.5 cm3 a.s./ha 1st and 2nd year of the cycle 36.5 cm3 a.s./ha 1st and 2nd year of the cycle Not considered

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Moreover, a 20% loss of dry substance during ambient conditions drying process has been considered [17]. Carbon dioxide assimilated by the biomass during the growing phase corresponds to the amount of carbon in the biomass composition, equal to 48% in mass. Hence, for each kilogram of carbon in the biomass about 3.67 kg of carbon dioxide have been subtracted from the atmosphere. 6.2.2. Energy production operational phase Inventory data for this phase come from the IBGCC Aspen Plus simulation (Table 10). 6.2.3. Plant construction phase For the construction phase, the main materials have been considered (steel, cast iron, aluminium, copper, plastic, rubber asphalt and cement), accounting for their production processes [16]. The amounts of these materials have been estimated by a first sizing of the main devices in the plant and with reference to a similar plant fed with coal [10], up-scaling or down-scaling the devices. Also, the on-site energy consumption for construction has been considered [10]. 6.2.4. Plant maintenance phase Contributions from devices maintenance—basically material consumption [10]—and from chemical products entering the energy cycle [10,18] have been accounted for. 6.2.5. Plant dismantling phase Concerning the dismantling phase, energy consumption and the relative emissions for the onsite work and recycling processes have been considered [10]. The material recycle is considered as negative emission in the avoided production of new materials.

Table 10 Stack emission data Compound O2 N2 Ar H2 O CO2 CO NH3 H2 HCl NO SO2 NO2 SO3 Mass fraction 12.94% 71.70% 0.92% 13.08% 1.26% 0.06 ppm Trace 0.2 ppm 41 ppm 0.1% 4 ppm 15 ppm 0.2 ppm


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6.3. LCA: impact assessment Life cycle impact assessment [20] examines the mass and energy inventory input and output data for a product system to translate these data to better identify their possible environmental relevance and significance. This translation uses, where possible, numerical indicators for specific subjects or categories, where the indicator reflects in some manner the system environmental loading or resources depletion for that category. These indicators then constitute an environmental loading and resources depletion profile for a system. This profile with possible further analysis and weighting is intended to provide an additional useful perspective on the possible environmental significance in one or more general areas of resources, natural environment and human health. In this study, LCA results are presented with reference to a single environmental indicator, namely, greenhouse effect, since the aim of the proposed cycle is to reduce CO2 emissions. Greenhouse effect values for the different considered phases are reported in Table 11, in terms of kilograms of equivalent CO2 per functional unit (i.e. 1 MJ of energy produced), showing separately the contributions for photosynthesis reduction, biomass production and biomass transportation. The results are compared with the corresponding values previously obtained for a IGCC with DeCO2, where CO2 reduction at the stack is obtained by means of amine solution chemical absorption [10] (the cited study was carried out based on the same main assumption as the present one). From the results in Table 11, it is evident that the contributions from the construction, maintenance and dismantling phase are negligible with respect to the others, as previously found [10] (they have been accounted for reasons of completeness). The main contributions to greenhouse effect come from operation phase and biomass production phase, with a value higher from biomass production than from operation, since CO2 emissions are reduced at the stack. Moreover, the subtracting contribution coming from the tree photosynthesis is of great importance and is responsible for the final negative value of the total greenhouse effect. This means that, on the entire life cycle, the equivalent CO2 balance is not only closed, but also allows a decrease in the overall emissions. This result is evident in Table 12, where the equivalent CO2 balance is reported for the two cases of an IBGCC with and without the CO2 stack reduction.

Table 11 LCA results in terms of greenhouse effect per functional unit, for the IBGCC þ DeCO2 and previous results for a IGCC þ DeCO2 IBGCC—greenhouse effect [kg of equivalent CO2 per MJ] Photosynthesis Biomass Biomass Energy sink production transportation conversion À2:88 Â 10À1 6:01 Â 10À2 1:18 Â 10À2 5:09 Â 10À2 IGCC—greenhouse effect [kg of equivalent CO2 per MJ] Coal production and Energy transportation conversion 6:24 Â 10À2 3:61 Â 10À2 IBGCC IBGCC IBGCC Total construction dismantling maintenance 2:53 Â 10À4 À4:96 Â 10À6 2:90 Â 10À5 À1:65 Â 10À1 IGCC IGCC IGCC Total construction dismantling maintenance 3:38 Â 10À4 À3:08 Â 10À5 8:35 Â 10À4 9:97 Â 10À2

A. Corti, L. Lombardi / Energy 29 (2004) 2109–2124 Table 12 Equivalent CO2 balance in the two cases of an IBGCC with and without CO2 stack reduction With CO2 stack reduction Eq. CO2 emitted (kg) Eq. net CO2 (kg) Balance (%) 0.1231893 À0.1649143 234 Without CO2 stack reduction 0.3201798 0.0320761 90


Concerning the comparison with results previously obtained for a IGCC with DeCO2, the indicator values appear comparable, with the main contribution coming, also in this case, from the coal production process, analogously to biomass production process. The substantial difference lay in the possibility of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by means of photosynthesis at times comparable to those of the energy process.

7. Conclusions An IBGCC with carbon dioxide chemical absorption form the syngas has been simulated by means of Aspen Plus. Results in term of CO2 specific emissions are definitely competitive (167 kg CO2 =MW h) with respect to conventional coal IGCC (700–800 kg CO2 =MW h) and NGCC (380 kg CO2 =MW h). Biomass feeding seems to be a good alternative even with respect to coal IGCC with CO2 removal treatments (70–130 kg CO2 =MW h). If compared by means of a LCA approach, with reference to the greenhouse effect indicator, the IBGCC þ DeCO2 and the IGCC þ DeCO2 show similar values for the different life cycle phases, including the production phase of both the fuels—coal and biomass—which are the main contributors. The main advantage of the IBGCC comes from biomass growing phase, which contributes to CO2 natural sinking. CO2 balance results almost closed also in the case of IBGCC without CO2 stack reduction and offers the possibility of a huge reduction in atmospheric emission in the case of IBGCC with CO2 stack reduction.

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