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Life Cycle Performance of Hydrogen Production via Agro-Industrial Residue Gasification—A Small Scale Power Plant Study


This study evaluates the environmental profile of a real biomass-based hydrogen production small-scale (1 MWth) system composed of catalytic candle indirectly heated steam gasifier coupled with zinc oxide (ZnO) guard bed, water gas shift (WGS) and pressure swing absorber (PSA) reactors. Environmental performance from cradle-to-gate was investigated by life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Biomass production shows high influence over all impact categories. In the syngas production process, the main impacts observed are global warming potential (GWP) and acidification potential (AP). Flue gas emission from gasifier burner has the largest proportion of total GWP. The residual off gas use in internal combustion engine (ICE) leads to important environmental savings for all categories. Hydrogen renewability score is computed as 90% due to over 100% decline in non-renewable energy demand. Sensitivity analysis shows that increase in hydrogen production efficiency does not necessarily result in decrease in environmental impacts. In addition, economic allocation of environmental charges increases all impact categories, especially AP and photochemical oxidation (POFP).

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Belgium ; Italy

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