Biomass as a renewable energy source is scarce and its exploitation must be accurately planned in order to maximize the energy produced, the GHG emissions avoided, and the sustainability of other ecological services. By-products and residues are one of the best sources of biomass since they are readily available at no or at a very low cost. Moreover, in some cases, the use of residues has positive co-benefits. This is the case of manure: typically its disposal constitutes a cost to the farm, whilst its energy use facilitates the disposal, produces energy and decreases GHG emissions. However, the conversion efficiency of manures alone is very low and, therefore, they are often used in combination with energy crops. These provide an important contribution to combustion processes as well. Our aim is thus to assess how much land should be allocated to the production of energy crops destined either to combustion or anaerobic digestion (AD) by formulating and solving a mathematical model that also determines the number, capacity, location and collection basin of each type of plants. The objective is to maximize the net energy produced accounting for energy needed to grow and transport biomass and to dispose of the digestate that results from AD conversion. This closely corresponds to the reduction of local CO 2 emissions. A case study for a farming area is presented. Results show that a careful analysis is needed to determine relevant trade-offs since they strongly depend on local conditions.

Trade-offs in land allocation for bioenergy production

FIORESE, GIULIA;GUARISO, GIORGIO
2012

Abstract

Biomass as a renewable energy source is scarce and its exploitation must be accurately planned in order to maximize the energy produced, the GHG emissions avoided, and the sustainability of other ecological services. By-products and residues are one of the best sources of biomass since they are readily available at no or at a very low cost. Moreover, in some cases, the use of residues has positive co-benefits. This is the case of manure: typically its disposal constitutes a cost to the farm, whilst its energy use facilitates the disposal, produces energy and decreases GHG emissions. However, the conversion efficiency of manures alone is very low and, therefore, they are often used in combination with energy crops. These provide an important contribution to combustion processes as well. Our aim is thus to assess how much land should be allocated to the production of energy crops destined either to combustion or anaerobic digestion (AD) by formulating and solving a mathematical model that also determines the number, capacity, location and collection basin of each type of plants. The objective is to maximize the net energy produced accounting for energy needed to grow and transport biomass and to dispose of the digestate that results from AD conversion. This closely corresponds to the reduction of local CO 2 emissions. A case study for a farming area is presented. Results show that a careful analysis is needed to determine relevant trade-offs since they strongly depend on local conditions.
Managing Resources of a Limited Planet
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/666659
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