Biomass technology surveys and implementation ... - bioenergybaltic

bioenergybaltic.ee

Biomass technology surveys and implementation ... - bioenergybaltic

Today several large CHP plants are under construction or are being designed at Väo, Tartuand Ahtme. When the construction of all these plants is completed and in addition to woodfuels also peat is used, in Estonia the need for wood fuels in energy production would stillgrow 64% altogether compared to the demand in 2006. There is no such an amount of fuelavailable in the market now and it could be supplied only when the logging residues weremore widely utilized while the 30% price rise should be taken into account. The rise in fuelprices and difficulties with supply may end with the bankruptcy or at least economicdifficulties of several small wood fuel fired boiler plants.The main barrier for building CHP plants is the low level of heat load in summer. The loadsappropriate for building the plant are available only in large DH systems (Tallinn, Tartu,Kohtla-Järve, Narva, and some other cities). However, building of a biofuel based CHP plantin the Kohtla-Järve region (Ahtme) is still unlikely, because then the reasonable use of gasgenerated by the shale oil production would become complicated. At the same time EestiEnergia is designing the 10% use of biofuels in the 11 th unit of Balti Power Plant. In severallocations, if CHP plants were built, they would remain without sufficient load.Building of new biofuel fired boiler plants may be economically feasible when the number ofin-service nominal load hours is sufficiently high – at least 5000 h/a. Considering the fairlylow load and technical level of existing boilers, it would be reasonable to renovate a part ofthese boilers and provide higher load for these boilers. The present coal fired boilers shouldbe replaced with modern combustion equipment burning other fuels. Considering the low unitcapacity and location of coal boilers, one of the alternatives could be replacing them withpellet boilers. For all biofuel related projects it is indispensable to prepare a profound businessplan which should include an analysis of loads and load curves, also potentials for the fuelsupply as well as an analysis of economic risks.A prerequisite for extending the use of biofuels is more complete utilization of the existingdomestic fuel resource and organising more extensive collection of logging residues thatcould be supplemented by the production and use of agricultural biomass and energy forests.For the energy use of agricultural biomass, including also straw, fuel storage facilities andconditions for long-term storage (years) at the fuel producers from where the fuel istransported to the boiler plant or CHP plant must be prepared.2. SUITABILITY OF TECHNOLOGIES THAT CONVERT BIOMASSINTO ENERGY WITH VARIOUS BIOMASS-BASED FUELSThe selection of combustion equipment for biomass-based fuels is influenced by a number ofcircumstances, including the most important, such as:• the plant service regime, incl its running at the base load (in the service regimes of theplant where the loads change moderately) and operating as a single boiler in thesystem that must allow flexible control;• plant capacity, for example the fluidized bed furnaces are acceptable only for averageand high capacities, but for lower capacities installations with a stoker burner;• fuel properties, inc:o the so-called marketable state of biofuels (typical particle size, form, densityand other indices on which both fuel storage, delivery and burning processdepend);TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 6(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


3. POTENTIAL FOR BIOGAS PRODUCTION – ACCEPTABLETECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS, CAPACITIES, LOCATIONS,PREREQUISITES FOR DEVELOPING A NETWORKThe water and air pollution created by the household, industrial and agricultural waste hasbecome one of the biggest problems all over the world. For eliminating this problem neweffective and inexpensive waste treatment methods are being looked for. One of suchtechnologies is the anaerobic treatment of organic waste and biogas production within thisprocess. So the pollution load is not only reduced, but it also allows the production of energy(heat, electricity), motor fuel and fertilizers.The following biodegradable materials (biomass and organic waste) can be and are being usedfor biogas production in many places around the world:1. Household waste (its biodegradable (organic) part);2. Industrial biodegradable production waste and residues;3. Biodegradable agricultural waste and residues from the cattle raising and poultry farming;4. Sewage sediments and sludges;5. herbaceous biomass (either naturally growing herbs or the so-called specially grown andensilaged energy crops);6. landfills of settlements (the so-called landfill gas is collected, which has the propertiessimilar to the biogas produced from the above sources in the anaerobic fermentationprocess).The Estonian biogas resources presented here have indicative character and have beenpredominantly calculated based on the coefficients given in references and on the amount ofseparate raw material resources. The results are given by counties. Before building a biogasplant, in any case a feasibility analysis has to be made (the analysis of available raw material,technical, economic, environmental social and risk analyses) and business plan preparedconsidering also the available state-subsidized schemes. The decision where and with whatcapacity a biogas fired CHP plant can be built could be made only based on these results.Therefore the options for biogas production have not been analysed on the basis of certaincompany, because it is not known who, where and when and with what production capacitywould want to build biogas based plants (BGP).According to the estimations, annually 336 GWh of electricity and 354 GWh of heat could beproduced from the manure, sewage sludge, biodegradable waste and bigger landfills in total.The following figure (see Figure 3.1) and table (see Table 3.1) give some illustrative materialon the biogas sources and amounts of biogas (energy) that can be gained.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 9(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


Biogas, m3/a16 000 00014 000 00012 000 000Biogas from Biodegredable WasteBiogas from Sewage SlugesBiogas from Manure10 000 0008 000 0006 000 0004 000 0002 000 0000HarjuHiiuIda-ViruRaplaSaareTartuValgaViljandiCountyFigure 3.1. Amounts of biogas gained from the manure, sewage sludge andbiodegradable wasteThe anaerobic treatment of biomass and organic waste (biogasifying) is not widespread inEstonia today, however in some places the biogas is produced: at Paljassaare in the ASTallinna Vesi wastewater treatment plant and farm biogas plant in the Jööri village of Valjalarural municipality. At Paljasaare biogas is used to run an internal combustion engine whichstarts a compressor, the latter in turn supplies air to the aeration tanks (biogas is also used inthe boiler house for heating the buildings of the plant). A co-generation unit for heat andpower production can be driven at Jööri. In all biogas plants in Estonia the wet fermentationtechnology is used.Also, the landfill gas is collected in the closed Pääsküla landfill and supplied into two heatand power cogeneration plants (CHP). Thus the landfill gas is used for heat and powerproduction, but also for heat production in the AS Tallinna Küte boiler plant.As a most acceptable solution that could be recommended for building the biogas plants inEstonia in the near future, the wet fermentation of manure (with the herbaceous biomasssilage or flour additive) and dry fermentation of herbaceous biomass could be recommended.The fermentation residue can be used as a fertilizer in the agriculture. The sewage sludge andsediments should be treated separately in BGPs. In bigger landfills the gas collection pipelinesshould be built and in the vicinity a CHP plant constructed.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 10(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


Table 3.1. Potential of energy production from the manure, sewage sludge andbiodegradable wasteNo CountyElectricityfrommanureHeatfrommanureElectricityfromsewagesludgeHeatfromsewagesludgeElectricityfrombiodegradablewasteHeatfrombiodegradablewasteTotalelectricityTotalheatTotalelectricalcapacityof CHPTotalheatcapacityof CHPMWh el MWh th MWh el MWh th MWh el MWh th MWh el MWh th MW el MW th1 Harju 22 338 23 048 11 790 12 165 3 199 3 301 37 328 38 514 4,67 4,812 Hiiu 2 448 2 526 0 0 48 50 2 497 2 576 0,31 0,323 Ida-Viru 3 587 3 701 4 616 4 762 149 154 8 352 8 617 1,04 1,084 Jõgeva 16 366 16 886 0 0 2 349 2 424 18 715 19 310 2,34 2,415 Järva 18 354 18 937 232 239 104 108 18 690 19 284 2,34 2,416 Lääne 6 394 6 597 0 0 133 137 6 526 6 734 0,82 0,847 Lääne-Viru 22 947 23 676 445 459 11 802 12 177 35 194 36 313 4,40 4,548 Põlva 10 968 11 316 0 0 96 99 11 064 11 415 1,38 1,439 Pärnu 14 139 14 589 1 078 1 113 615 635 15 833 16 336 1,98 2,0410 Rapla 12 727 13 132 0 0 0 0 12 727 13 132 1,59 1,6411 Saare 12 677 13 080 366 378 1 168 1 205 14 211 14 663 1,78 1,8312 Tartu 11 343 11 703 1 875 1 934 1 554 1 603 14 771 15 241 1,85 1,9113 Valga 6 294 6 494 185 191 164 169 6 643 6 854 0,83 0,8614 Viljandi 21 678 22 367 0 0 65 67 21 743 22 434 2,72 2,8015 Võru 7 347 7 581 259 267 4 142 4 273 11 748 12 121 1,47 1,52Total 189 607 195 634 20 845 21 507 25 589 26 402 236 041 243 544 29,5 30,4For the anaerobic treatment and biogas production from sewage sludges, manure andbiodegradable industrial waste, the wet fermentation method is most suitable. For theanaerobic treatment of some biodegradable residues (from agriculture) and herbaceousbiomass also dry method could be used. Anyway, before starting to design a BGP, theamounts of available raw materials and their characteristics have to be found out,fermentation tests made with the used biomass and their mixtures and based on this, the finaldecision made about the technology (often additives as well) and equipment that would bemost suitable for the use. In Estonia we have no comprehensive experience in building BGPsyet and therefore we should ask for assistance and know-how from foreign companies.However, we should certainly involve native experts to get the best possible solution.As a rule, the biogas plants with the combined biogas run heat and power units should be builtin the locations where the users’ load is sufficient (i.e., mainly heat demand, such as a DHnetwork, gardening farm, driers, etc.).The biogas plants producing motor fuel can be built close to the larger raw material sources (alandfill, waste treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, bigger cattle farm, etc.)One must be cautious with growing energy crops on wastelands and organising the productionof biogas from the silage of energy crops there. This could take the agricultural production outof balance (an example from Germany) and may result in the general price rise.The construction cost of complex biogas CHPs run on some agricultural raw material(BGP+CHP+upgrading the residues) remains in average in the range of 30 – 60 MEEK, whenthe electrical capacity of plants is in the limits of 0.5 – 1.0 MW. The cost depends also on theapplied technology and completeness level of the plant (e.g., either equipped with pasteurizersor not, etc.). The cost of landfill gas collection system with building a CHP based on the gaswill be less expensive and remains in the limits of 15 – 25 MEEK depending on the size ofthe landfill, distance to the gas user and capacity of the CHP plant. The simple payback periodfor BGPs operated on wet fermentation technology is estimated to be 6 – 9 years dependingTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 11(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


on the complexity level of the plant, supplier of the equipment and potentials for selling heat.With the 15 – 20% investment subsidy the payback could be improved by 1.5 to 2 years.When there is an intention to produce motor fuel from biogas, the expected BGP cost(without CHP production) should be doubled, because a gas cleaning module andcompression plant will be added. There is no data available on the producers who make motorfuels from the landfill gas, but the data of pilot plant (in the Jyväskylä landfill) cannot be usedfor the comparison.Based on some BGP feasibility calculations by the authors, it can be stated that consideringthe energy prices and state subsidized schemes in Estonia at the level of 2007, it would befeasible to build the biogas fired CHP plants at larger landfills (burning landfill gas) and atlarger wastewater treatment plants (based on the sludge) if the gained energy (heat,electricity) can be completely used (power network, DH network, production processes, etc.).The production of energy from the agricultural manure will also be feasible when the share ofmethane in the gained biogas exceeds 55% (it can often be reached only with adding fats orcorn flour, e.g.) and with the precondition that the total amount of energy can be sold or usedeffectively in the site (e.g., a subsidiary to BGP where energy is used in the productionprocess). Also the benefit from environmental protection and improvement of the socialclimate in the region should be considered indirectly as a part of feasibility.There is no information about any profound studies on the BGP based on herbaceous biomassas the main raw material in Estonia up to now, because the necessary initial data is notavailable, there are no concrete developers and sites known. Anyway, a herbaceous biomassbased BGP that operates in the complex with CHP (built within 10 km radius) should havethe electrical capacity of at least 500 kW el , and considering the yield of Estonian fields, thereshould be at least 400-500 ha of field. The feasibility of building these BGPs depends highlyon the grain and fodder prices in the world market. When considering the prices and statesubsidies in 2007, construction of herbaceous biomass based BGPs will not be apparentlyfeasible.4. PRODUCTION POTENTIAL OF BIOFUELS FOR TRANSPORT:ACCEPTABLE TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS, CAPACITIES ANDSITESUp to now the high production cost of biofuels has remained a critical barrier for their wideruse. The competitiveness of biofuels will be improved with the advance of the oil price andthat of other fossil fuels. So far the competitiveness of biofuel is depending on theconcessions and subsidies provided.In 2003 the Biofuels Directive was adopted in the European Union where a goal was set forbiofuels and other renewable fuels to reach the indicative share of 5.75% (calculated by theenergy content of fuels) among the diesel and petrol fuels available for the transport in themarket to 2010. It will remain for a member state to decide either the biofuel is exported orproduced on site. The directive set an advisory, not a mandatory target.Tabel 4.1. Consumption of petrol, light fuel oil and diesel fuel in EstoniaThousands tons/year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010Petrol 288 290 286 283 279 276 273TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 12(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


Light fuel oil and dieselfuelSource: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications559 578 595 613 632 651 670According to the EU Directive 2003/30/EC, in 2010 the amount of used biofuels must replace54 thousand tons of fossil fuels in Estonia, or due to the lower energy content of biofuel, 25thousand tons of bioethanol and 42 thousand tons of biodiesel has to be marketed.A proposal to recommend reaching the mandatory 10% minimum share in the used motorfuels to 2020 is being discussed. Reaching the 25% share of biofuels (75% biodiesel, 25%petrol substitute) to 2030 is under consideration.Under the proposal of European Commission, to the year 2011 the liquid biofuels are exemptform the excise tax as a support by the Estonian government.The biofuels can be divided into the presently produced first generation biofuels and so-calledsecond generation biofuels, the production technology of which is generally known, but has tobe enhanced in order to reach the acceptable price of the final product. The first generationbiofuels are: ethanol produced from the sugar cane, corn, wheat and other grain crops, orsugar beet and potatoes, and biodiesel produced from the rapeseed oil, soya oil or palm oil.The raw material for the second generation biofuels is the non-edible biomass, such as wood,straw, etc. The forest makes 80% of the global biomass. The straw gives over one and halftimes more biomass than grain. With the average content of 40 – 50% cellulose and 20 – 30%hemicellulose in the dry matter, theoretically up to 0.32 grams of ethanol can be made fromone gram of wood. The plants producing bioethanol from lignocellulose launched since 2004are all of low capacity – the so-called pilot plants - and have been built for improving theproduction process. The forecast says that the price of second generation biofuels will levelthat of field crops based biofuels in 2010 – 2020.In 2006 bioethanol made 20% from the liquid biofuels produced in the European Union. Theethanol producers have two associations in Europe: UEPA (European Union of EthanolProducers) and EBIO (European Bioethanol Fuel Association). According to EBIO, thecapacity of EU ethanol producing plants produced 3280 million litres a year in September2007. New plants with the total output of 4 billion litres a year are under construction. Theraw material is grain, sugar beet and molasses.According to EBIO, in Estonia only 660 litres of bioethanol can be produced per hectare ofwheat field while in Germany the number is 2600 litres and Sweden 2000 litres.A higher yield is provided by the better climate, but also economic prerequisites for theoptimal use of fertilizers and pesticides. Estonia is distinguished among other countries for thelow yield of crops which makes the production of bioethanol here more expensive.The price level of bioethanol is mostly defined by the cost of raw material (biomass) thatmakes 55 – 80% of the ethanol final price. To some extent the price can be affected bydifferences in production technologies. Certainly, the size of the plant has impact on the price.For a bigger plant the transport costs increase, but the production cost decreases. Theoverviews of German and US bioethanol plants state that in the plants with the capacity of200 million litres/year, the production cost per litre of bioethanol is up to 13% lower than inthe plant with the capacity of 50 million litres a year.When producing ethanol from wheat, there is a byproduct – dried compact residue or cake.This byproduct (DDGS – Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles) is a protein-rich fodder. ForTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 13(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


the production of ethanol from 1 kg of grain about 0.3 kg of the cake is formed. The price onethanol depends on whether the production byproduct cake can be sold as fodder. When thebyproduct cake of bioethanol production is sold as fodder, the share of raw material (wheat)in the production cost of bioethanol will make 38 – 45 %.The production cost of bioethanol is rather stable. It consists of 27% of capital cost, 20 % oflabour cost, management and maintenance, 22% enzymes and chemicals, 31% electricity andheat.Several companies produce the equipment for ethanol plants. The German companyVogelbusch GmbH, which produces equipment for bioethanol plants considers that theminimum capacity for an economically feasible plant is 100,000 – 300,000 litres a day. Theinvestment into a plant with the capacity of 300,000 litres/day is 40 – 50 MEEK depending onthe availability of infrastructure.In the United States where bioethanol is produced from corn, both the raw material cost androduction cost are significantly lower than in Germany.So far global market similar to the market of oil products has not developed for bioethanolyet. Diverse raw material is used for the production of bioethanol, the price of which dependson the land cost and labour cost, the applied agrotechnological solutions and subsidies, etc.Table 4.1. The grain production in Estonia, thousands of tonsYear 2003 2004 2005 2006Production 505.7 608.1 760.1 619.3Source: Ministry of AgricultureA big bioethanol plant with the low production cost and capacity of 150 – 200 millionlitres/year consumes about 420 – 550 thousand tons of grain a year. At the same time thereexist favourable selling potentials for the byproduct cake. According to the Statistical Office,in Estonia 479,691 tons of grain a year was used for fodder in 2005 – 2006.Bioethanol is a high octane number fuel with a high detonation reliability. Ethanol is alsoused for the production of the fuel additive ETBE that improves the petrol octane number.Ethanol can be blended in any ratio with petrol. The oxygen in its molecule allows lowtemperaturecombustion without any residue and decreases the emission of CO, unburnthydrocarbons (HC) and NO x . The steam pressure of bioethanol that is lower than that ofpetrol provides smaller evaporation loss when stored. The high evaporation heat of ethanoland lower energy content than that of petrol (the calorific value of one litre of ethanol makes69% of petrol) allows using the fuel that mainly contains ethanol only in specially designedengines. The new cars with the so-called flexible fuel use can be run with the blend of up to85% of ethanol.For the fuels with high energy content, the corrosion resistant materials and ethanol resistantplastic and elastic components must be used in engines. Thus the engine run on ethanol ismore expensive. The petrol with up to 10% ethanol additive can be used without readjustingthe engine. For the majority of motor vehicle manufacturers the manufacturer’s warranty willalso remain effective when such a fuel is used. Some motor vehicle manufacturers do notallow even a small quantity of ethanol additive.Biodiesel fuelTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 14(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


Table 4.2. Rape growing in Estonia2003 2004 2005 2006 2007Area, ha 46 300 50 400 46 600 62 500 72 500Total crop, t 69 200 68 400 83 100 84 600Yield, t/ha 1.494 1.362 1.781 1.354Source: Ministry of AgricultureIn Germany where biodiesel is produced in large amounts, the rape yield is 3-4 t/ha. There thewinter rape is grown, but here mostly summer rape. In Estonia the limits of rape growing areahave been reached and production of biodiesel does not create new jobs in the agriculture.From 84,600 tons of rape up to 30,000 tons of biodiesel can be produced that would make alittle over 4% of the estimated light fuel oil and diesel oil demand in 2010. The enterpriserswho intend to produce biodiesel in Estonia plan to import the raw material from the thirdcountries, mostly from Russia.According to the Statistical Office, 81,582 tons of oil cake was used as fodder in 2006,including 43,090 tons of domestic origin.We use energy for the production of biofuels. The energy (usually in the form of fossil fuel) isrequired for the production of fertilizers or pesticides that are used for growing the rawmaterial for biofuels (grain or oil crop), agricultural and transport machinery, producing fuelfrom the agricultural raw material. Also the bioethanol production process is energy intensive.Most of the studies give the result that per one unit of ethanol energy 0.6 to 0.8 units of fossilfuels have been used.The production of biodiesel is less energy intensive. Per one unit of biodiesel energy 0.45energy units of fossil fuel is used.In Estonia the required energy cost for biodiesel production has been evaluated by theEstonian State Control together with the Research Institute of Agriculture. According to theState Control, 1.3 – 1.4 capacity units of biodiesel fuel can be gained from one capacity unitof liquid fuel for the rape yield of 1.5 t/ha.5. BIOMASS PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENTLife Cycle Assessment StandardsMethods for the assessment of product life cycles are based on the Republic of Estoniastandards for the assessment of life cycles EVS-EN ISO 14040:2006 and EVS-EN ISO14044:2006, which are based on respective EU standards EN ISO 14040 and EN ISO 14044.All officially conducted assessments of the life cycles must observe the scheme and principlesprovided in the standards.This International Standard EN ISO 14040 describes the principles and framework for lifecycle assessment (LCA) including a) the goal and scope definition of the LCA, b) the lifecycle inventory analysis (LCI) phase, c) the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase, d) thelife cycle interpretation phase, e) reporting and critical review of the LCA, f) limitations ofthe LCA, g) relationship between the LCA phases, and h) conditions for the use of valuechoices and optional elements.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 16(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


This International Standard EN ISO 14044 specifies the requirements and provides guidelinesfor life cycle assessment (LCA) including a) the goal and scope definition of the LCA, b) thelife cycle inventory analysis (LCI) phase, c) the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase, d)the life cycle interpretation phase, e) reporting and critical review of the LCA.Life cycle of bioenergy productsMany bioenergy products generate large benefits compared to fossil fuels. But, they are notper se advantageous compared to fossil fuels, neither in terms of primary fossil energyconsumption, nor in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. In the worst case, both aspects caneven exceed the energy consumption as well as the emissions resulting from fossil fuels. Inorder to assess benefits from the utilization of bioenergy products (biofuels) compared tofossil fuels, life cycles have to be determined. These life cycles vary largely, depending on thetype of feedstock, choice of location, production of by-products, process technology and onhow the fuel is used. Within this variety, the basic components of life cycles in biofuelprocessing are always the same. The life cycle of biofuels has several vertical process steps:1) biomass production and transport,2) biofuel processing,3) biofuel distribution and4) biofuel consumption.In addition, the industrial process steps of producing fertilizers, seeds and pesticides for theproduction of biomass must be included.In each process step of bioenergy product (biofuels) production different actors are involved.Biomass is produced by farmers. Transport is conducted by farmers, too, but sometimes it isalso conducted by logistic services or by the biomass conversion industry itself. Biofuel isproduced by farmers or industry and distributed by logistic services or by fuel stations.Finally, the last actors in the life cycle of biofuels are the consumers of biofuels.Social and environmental impacts of using biofuels instead of fossil fuels can only beassessed if the whole life cycle is considered. In order to facilitate comparison impactsbetween fossil and renewable fuels, the following life cycle of fossil fuels has to be taken intoaccount:1) exploration;2) transport;3) refining of crude oil;4) storage and5) distribution (fuelling of the vehicle).Ecological impact and dangers related to biomass based energy productsEstimations of the savings in greenhouse gas emissions vary widely. CO 2 savings found instudies and reports lie in the range of 25 to 80 percent for RME. This means that 25 to 80percent less CO 2 is emitted using RME instead of fossil diesel for the same purpose. BesidesCO 2 , another greenhouse gas, N 2 O, is emitted in the biofuel lifecycle, due to the applicationof nitrogen fertilizers. N 2 O has a high potential factor for global warming; about 310 timeshigher than CO 2 . N 2 O emissions are highest for biofuels produced from rapeseed, because ofthe relatively high use of nitrogen fertiliser in rapeseed production. For RME, N 2 O emissionsresult in a loss of about 10 to 15 percent of the equivalent CO 2 savings.In addition to the low level of cost-efficiency and the limited potential for reductions ingreenhouse gas emissions, there are also some environmental risks associated with theproduction of biofuels. The European Commission promotes the cultivation of biofuel cropsTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 17(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


on land which is currently set aside. In fact, this just means an extension of the area used forintensive farming, since the biofuel crops are among the most commonly used of food crops.On set-aside land, which is not used for food production, the cultivation of energy crops willproduce a greater environmental impact on soil and groundwater than leaving it fallow. Whenland is set aside, it recovers at least part of its soil life (invertebrates), but this will be reversedif the land is used once again for intensive production of agricultural crops. Nutrients such asnitrogen and phosphorous, and pesticides used in intensive agriculture, can end up in soil,groundwater or surface waters. Here they can cause eutrophication or toxification ofecosystems, which have consequences for ecosystem health and biodiversity. For instance,pesticides kill invertebrates in the soil, thereby taking away the source of food for birds suchas the grey partridge, corn bunting and skylark.Comparison of Biodiesel and biolubricants with fossil analoguesFor the production of fossil diesel with energy content of 1 MJ they spent 1.2007 MJ ofprimary energy. Hence the energy efficiency of the respective life cycle is 83.28%. It takes1.2314 MJ of primary energy to produce a quantity of biodiesel with the energy content ofone MJ, which makes the energy efficiency of the respective life cycle 80.55%. There are nobig differences in the energy efficiency of biodiesel compared to fossil diesel (83.28% and80.55% respectively).Comparisons of the carbon dioxide emissions of biodiesel and ordinary diesel indicate thatemissions of carbon dioxide from burning biodiesel in the engine are 4.7% bigger than fromburning fossil diesel. At the same time, replacement of fossil diesel with biodiesel reducesmost of the emissions into air during the life cycle. The biggest advantage of biodiesel is itsemission of carbon monoxide (CO). Compared to fossil diesel the respective emission in thecase of pure biodiesel (B100) is 34.5% smaller. And biodiesel B100 has also 32.41% smalleremission of volatile particles (TPM). However, hydro carbonates (THC) were emitted duringthe life cycle of biodiesel B100 35% more than in the lifecycle of fossil diesel. The emissionsof nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are considered particularly hazardous to health, are in thecase of biodiesel worse compared to fossil diesel. The emission of NOx during the life cycleof biodiesel is 13.35% bigger than that of fossil diesel. This can be explained by the use ofnitrogen fertilisers in the agricultural production stage of biodiesel’s life cycle. The emissionof sulphur oxides (SOx) during the life cycle of biodiesel, on the other hand, is 8.03% lowercompared to fossil diesel. Comparisons of waste water quantities created during the life cyclesallow drawing a conclusion that water consumption during the life cycle of fossil dieselexceeds that of biodiesel nearly five times.The substitution of conventional lubricants by biomass-derived lubricants causesenvironmental advantages as well as disadvantages. Advantages are to be seen in savingexhaustible energies and diminishing the greenhouse effect. Disadvantageous are thepotentials of acidification, eutrophication, and ozone depletion. A final objective valuation onthe basis of these aspects is not possible.ConclusionsA comparative analysis of life cycles must take into consideration that results of life cycleanalyses of the same products conducted by different authors at different time and in differentplaces may differ. Considering the complicated nature of the life cycles consisting in themultitude of stages belonging to different spheres, this must be regarded as inevitable.Therefore, one must be careful while making final conclusions on the basis of comparisons ofdata of different surveys and take into consideration that relatively more reliable and accurateare comparisons within one and the same investigation.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 18(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


Considering that the life cycles of biomass products depend on many local factors, one shouldbe careful in automatically extrapolating experiences received elsewhere to Estonianconditions. For obtaining relevant information for taking concrete biomass products relateddecisions one must definitely conduct an in-depth analysis of the life cycles of local biomassproducts in particular conditions.6. ESTONIAN PARTICIPATION IN THE EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORKPROGRAMMES – POSSIBILITIES AND CHOICES FOR THEENERGY SECTORFramework Programme 6 was open in 2002 – 2006. All energy relating topics were collectedunder the umbrella of Sustainable Energy Systems and were coordinated by two directorates –DG RTD (Directorate-General for Research) and DG TREN (Directorate-General forTransport and Energy). Strategic goals of the priority were decreasing the amount ofgreenhouse gases and other emissions, security of energy supply, wider use of renewableenergy sources and enhanced competitiveness of the European industry.Possible activities of the priority were divided between 7 topics:• Clean energy, in particular renewable energy sources and their integration in theenergy system, including storage, distribution and use.• Energy savings and energy efficiency, including those to be achieved through the useof renewable raw materials.• Alternative motor fuels.• Fuel cells, including their applications.• New technologies for energy carriers/ transport and storage, in particular hydrogen.• New and advanced concepts in renewable energy technologies.• Capture and sequestration of CO 2 , associated with cleaner fossil fuel plant.DG RTD opened 8 calls. All submitted 605 proposals were evaluated during 6 evaluationsessions, as a result of which 125 funding contracts were signed including 33 IPs, 5 NoEs, 58STREPs, 15 CAs and 14 SSAs – so the success rate was 20.66%.To the 5 calls launched by DG TREN 5 total 627 proposals were submitted. Four evaluationsessions resulted in 132 signed contracts (success rate 21%), including 36 IPs, 49 STREPs, 8CAs and 39 SSAs.Total 45 proposals were submitted from Estonia involving 54 partners. 14 proposals with 20Estonian partners ranked above the threshold. Estonian partners were involved in 5 integratedprojects, 3 STREPs, 2 coordination actions and 3 SSAs. The share of Estonian partners in theglobal budget of 111.8 M€ was about 5.5 M€, while from the Community contribution of54.4 M€ altogether 2.76 M€ or 5% was received by the Estonian partners. The biggest grantwas 995 126 €, the smallest one – 15 000 €. The highest number of Estonian partners in oneconsortium – 5 can be found in project VISIT 2008.Biomass and bioenergy related topics were covered by 15 proposals submitted with Estonianparticipation, out of which eventually 5 projects were contracted for funding – 4 SSAs and 1CA. Total cost of the projects was 4 577 127 €, with Community contribution of 3 377 519 €.The share of Estonian partners in the global budget was 200 038 €, out of which Communitycontribution was 196 389 €. Activities planned in SSAs include mainly data collection, dataprocessing and comparison and information dissemination. The projects covered thefollowing topics:TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 19(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


1. Measures for increasing the share of renewable fuels for cogeneration of heat andpower in the new member states2. Information dissemination and knowledge transfer from old to new member states onthe newest technologies of efficient co-firing of biomass with fossil fuels3. Possibilities for using combined heat and power plants with heat stores for balancingthe output of wind farms4. Mapping of biomass resource and the methods of its utilisation in Europe. Creation ofnetwork of research institutions involved in biomass co-firing5. Production and dissemination of a film introducing success stories in biomassutilisation and best bioenergy technologies for energy productionApart from the calls of the thematic priority two more projects were funded under SMEspecific initiatives: a CRAFT project dealt with utilisation of sewage water and sludge forefficient biomass production in the plantations of fast rotation energy crops and a CLR projectanalysed the usage of sewage water in the irrigation systems of energy crop plantations. Theseprojects brought to Estonia additional 426 526 €.Framework programme 7 was launched in late 2006 and the first deadlines for submission ofproject proposals were in the first half of 2007. Energy issues of thematic priority 5 is one partof the cooperation programme of FP7, which likewise to FP6 is split between two DGs – DGRTD and DG TREN.The main goals of priority 5 are transforming the current fossil fuel based energy system intoa more sustainable one based on diverse mix of energy sources and energy carriers, includingenhanced usage of new and renewable energy sources combined with more efficient energyusage throughout the energy sector, to meet pressing challenges of security of supply andclimate change, decreasing environmental impact of energy production and increasing thecompetitiveness of Europe’s energy industry.Priority 5 is divided into 9 activities (responsible DG pointed out in each case). Highlightedactivities are related to bioenergy.1. Hydrogen and fuel cells (DG TREN and DG RTD)2. Renewable electricity generation (DG TREN and DG RTD)3. Renewable fuel production (DG TREN and DG RTD)4. Renewables for heating and cooling (DG TREN)5. CO 2 capture and storage for zero emission power generation (DG RTD)6. Clean coal technologies (DG TREN)7. Smart energy networks (DG TREN and DG RTD)8. Energy savings and energy efficiency (DG TREN)9. Knowledge for energy policy making (DG TREN and DG RTD)7. PRODUCTION OF BUILDING MATERIALS, BIOPLASTICS ANDOTHER MATERIALS FROM BIOMASS. USE OF BIOMASS ANDRELEVANT DEVELEOPMENT TRENDSThere are several possibilities to produce various polymers which in European Union areconventionally called bio-based polymers (BBP). A composite material containing one orseveral bio-based polymers is named bioplastic, mainly due to the marketing considerations.Such a composite consists of the blend of different polymers and significant amount ofadditives known as compounders which are of synthetic or mineral origin. Erroneously it is aubiquitous understanding that bioplastics are a priori biodegradable. As a matter of fact, onlyTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 20(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


certain types of bioplastics are biodegradable. Some BBP are extremely stable, both thermallyand chemically as well as mechanically (e.g., Rilsan). In the course of development of themain BBP types, first their biodegradability has been reduced. In many biodegradablecomposites the biodegradability is achieved and modified by respective polymers andadditives that are purely chemically produced.The BBPs are classified in different documents and somewhat according to the interests ofentrepreneurs. That is why polymers composed of so-called potentially bio-based monomersare named BBPs, although due to the price policy, these polymers are actually producedsynthetically.BBPs can be divided according to their biomass ratio:a) natural or chemically modified biopolymers,b) polymers composed of completely or partially bio-based monomers.The only natural biopolymers, which are used purely as bioplastics today, arepolyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). For the production of PHA selected bacteria are cultivated,bacterial biomass is lysed, followed by dissolving PHA from the lysed biomass by chemicalsolvents. There are two large groups of modified BBP which are produced by processingstarch or cellulose, respectively. A large group of various polymers with distinct and differentcharacteristics is based on the both named raw materials. However, the starch modified groupis more important in the meaning of production capacity whereas thermoplastic starch formsits majority. Based on different opinions, the starch-based polymers form altogether 50-80%of the BBP used in bioplastics. The production involves chemical restructuration, severaltypes of (trans)esterification and etherification steps. Despite of a long applicationexperience, during the last decade the application of modified cellulose-based polymers hasbeen remarkably reduced, which is caused by the power and raw materials consumingcellulose purification processes. Although the chemistry of cellulose production is quitesimilar to that of starch, the conditions are harsher.Polylactic acid represents a biopolymer completely produced from biological raw materialand according to the production aspects is defined as polylactide (PLA). The monomer forPLA is produced via glucose fermentation to lactic acid, whereas purification of lactic acidand sequential polymerization are parts of labour-intensive, energy and raw materialconsuming chemical industry. Actually the pure PLA plastic is very rare in the market and theproposed PLA-polymers are to a greater or lesser extent the mixed esters of lactic acid andsynthetic monomers (e.g., the mixed ester of lactic acid and glycolic acid – PLGA). The otherimportant groups of partially bio-based polymers are polyamides and polyurethanes. Theproduction of these plastics is practically identical to the conventional petroplastics; only withthe difference that one raw material is of agricultural origin.The BBP materials have several unique qualities. For example PHA is completelybiodegradable without causing inflammations in human bodies and thus excellent material fortemporary fixatives and structures (e.g. cardiac valves, blood vessels, bone screws, medicalimplants) for the medical use. Chitin, the cellulose like polymer in mushrooms andexoskeleton of insects, has a unique stimulating effect on cell division. As biopolymersconsist of monomers with the same chirality, they can be characterised by the organisedinternal structure assuring good optical and mechanical qualities. Therefore, the realapplication fields of bioplastics should involve biotechnology and medicine,nanotechnological applications and optics.In the present marketing situation in case of bioplastics the emphasisis has been put only tocharacteristics as biodegradability in the open environment (which is often worse than forTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 21(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


synthetic materials) or calculated reduced emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) areemphasized. In the main marketing sectors the BBP-materials have been advertised ascovering materials for the agricultural use, household items and personal care items etc.The weakest aspect of BBP marketing is the price. The price of starch-based plastics wastwice as high as that for synthetic materials until last year at least, the price of PLAcontainingmaterials was at least 6 times higher and that of PHA plastics ca 20 times higherthan for petroplastics. The price can be decreased only by reducing the share of BBP in theplastics, which is actually the most recognizable trend in the development of bioplastics.The market and production of bioplastics are low, probably less than 0.5 million tons per year(making about 0.5% of the present plastics market).The R & D of bioplastics is clearly connected with the supporting policies and measures. Therespective legislative acts are justified with arguments concerning the GHG emission andsustainability. We must keep in mind that bioplastics is a product of chemical industry with itsenvironmental problems and taxes related to it. This contradiction would be encountered incase of planning the respective factories for Estonia. The cultivation of agricultural crops andapplication of plastics have been subsidized governmentally. At the same time the plasticsproducing chemical industry would run across continuous public attack due to causingpollution and wastes.At the global level another, even major problem manifested itself this autumn. The productionof bioplastics and biofuels which are alternative processes in economical terms and trendsexclude each other. About 4/5 of BBP production is starch-based. The main important threeBBPs are derived from starch (starch-based polymers are derived directly from starch andstarch is a source of glucose for the PLA and PHB production). The same regulations plannedto support the application of bioplastics support the production of bioethanol as well. Contraryto the technologically sophisticated chemical production of plastics, the production of ethanolis substantially easier. According to the bioethanol production vision, it has to be cellulosebased.Unfortunately, there is no appropriate technology available. Thus, as the supportingprogrammes have been launched already, at present bioethanol is produced from traditionalraw materials, including starch. Contrariwise to bioplastics, the output of bioethanol increasedrapidly. As starch is a raw material for various purposes there are no additional resources ofstarch available and as a consequence, the prices of grain and starch have risen twice sincethis autumn. This means that the price of bioplastics is going to run high as well and itscompetitiveness among synthetic biodegradable plastics is quite questionable. Theagricultural sector has still a possibility to develop the subsidized economic activities in analternative direction, such as bioenergetics.Therefore presently, when additionally to the abovementioned two problems, a labourshortage prevails in Estonia caused by the rapid economic growth, importing of chemicalindustrial complex to Estonia would not be reasonable and realistic. It would also meanadditional need for the specialists experienced in polymer chemistry.Taking into account the considerable production of rapeseed oil in Estonia, an interest hasarisen to develop the fatty acid-based polyol production. Polyurethanes synthesized frompolyols are the basis for the production of specific materials - ecoplastics which have not beenwidely advertised. A question arises whether the projects of respective applied research wouldbe launched and what would be the results and output of these projects. The appropriate smallscale production could improve the economic efficiency of rapeseed industry, especially inthe situation where the technology of biodisel production will be declared uneconomical andits further subsidizing terminated.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 22(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


8. SUPPORT MEASURES FOR PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION OFBIOMASS ENERGYIn Estonia the measures taken to promote the energy use of biomass have been very modestones. As the result, the impact of these measures has been quite modest as well. The measurestaken can be grouped as follows:• operating support;• investment aid;• indirect measures: tax exemption, pollution charges and some others.Since 1998 a direct scheme for supporting the use of renewable energy sources (RES) forelectricity generation has been in use. At present, the scheme includes an obligation fornetwork operators to purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources (RES-E)applying a special feed-in tariff which has several rates depending on the energy source. Noimpact analysis of this measure has been carried out. In May 2007 an amendment to theElectricity Market Act was made stipulating some important changes in support schemes forRES-E generation, including the increase of feed-in tariffs. Two alternatives were introducedas options for a RES-E utility: either to select the combination of purchase obligation with thefeed-in tariff, or to apply for a special subsidized tariff only. Up to now, wood fuels are notutilized for electricity generation. Nevertheless, at present two or three large cogenerationplants firing wood chips and peat are being constructed.Up to now, the investment aid in the district heating sector may be considered as the bestworking instrument aimed to foster the wider use of biomass based energy. Some projects forfuel switch (e.g. conversion from coal or fuel oil to wood chips) of boilers have receivedfinancial support from the state budget, but a larger amount of financial assistance has beenreceived from foreign aid programmes, both international and bilateral ones. All these supportmeasures (grants, soft loans, etc.) have been project-based only. Some financing has beenprovided in frames of joint implementation (JI), for example replacement of old oil-firedboilers with biomass-firing ones at the district heating boiler houses in Tamsalu, Kadrina andPaide.In Estonia there have been no regular national subsidies granted for production of biomass.Nevertheless, the expansion of the area under energy crops is supported by direct aid providedaccording to the Council Regulation 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct supportschemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes forfarmers. Some investment support for the production of biofuel could be applied for alsounder the Estonian national development plan for the use of EU structural funds – singleprogramming document 2004–2006. Currently, the support measures have been planned inframes of the Development plan 2007−2013 for enhancing the use of biomass and bioenergyand are being provided in frames of the National strategic reference framework 2007–2013.The most general economic measure supporting all investments is related to taxation ofincome – the corporate income tax is imposed only on the amounts collected as profits, i.e.the reinvested profit is not a subject to income tax.The taxation measure aimed directly to promotion of bioenergy is the exemption of biofuelsfrom excise tax. According to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Fuel Excise Duty Act the biofuels areexempted from the fuel excise duty in case the relevant permit has been obtained from theEuropean Commission (EC) for the exemption. The permit was received – by decision of theTTU Department of Thermal Engineering 23(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary


EC Estonia has the right to apply excise tax exemption on biofuels for six years (since 27 July2005).Up to now, the impact of this tax exemption has been marginal: the Tax and Customs Boardhas issued only 11 permits (as of 1 December 2007) for production and releasing forconsumption of biofuel. In 2006, the permit owners have produced almost five thousand tonsof biofuel, 1.17 thousand t of which has been released for consumption – this is an extremelysmall quantity. Nevertheless, some positive changes have taken place: in June 2007construction of a large biodiesel production plant was started in Paldiski. The planned outputof this plant is 300 tons of fuel per day.Another taxation measure supporting use of biomass fuels indirectly is the imposition ofpollution charges on combustion of fuels. In the end of 2005 the Parliament of Estonia –Riigikogu – passed the Environment Charges Act that may be considered as a first element ofecological tax reform in Estonia. The Act provides an obligation for owners of combustionequipment to pay pollution charges for several pollutants emitted into air. The pollutioncharge for release of carbon dioxide into ambient air had been introduced already in 2000.Since 1 January 2008 the CO 2 charge has to be paid by all enterprises producing heat,excluding the ones firing biomass, peat or waste.It has to be noted that the foreign trade of biomass needs more analysis in relation to emissiontrade of GHG. For example, Estonia exports almost all of the quite large production of woodpellets – in 2006 more than 250 thousand tons of pellets were exported. This results in loosingessential amount of potential emission reduction, as in case of utilizing this amount of woodfuels in Estonia (replacing fossil fuels) it could enable to reduce here the CO 2 emission by330 – 620 thousand tons (depending on fuel). Currently, this essential amount of emissionreduction is included in GHG balances of countries importing pellets from Estonia.As a conclusion on current situation, it has to be emphasized that up to present the measuressupporting investments have been of a non-regular character. The measures supportingoperations have been mainly indirect ones, the only exception is the exemption from exciseduty for biofuel. It is recommended to have measures with more stable character, butintroduction of new measures must be preceded by defining national priorities which in turnpresumes thorough impact analysis of various aspects, including life cycle analysis based onenergy, environment and economic aspects considering Estonia’s circumstances. Also, aquestion of 'food versus fuel' must be considered: how much land and other resources areavailable, how should they be used and what are the priorities in this aspect. And, last but notleast, all national support measures for production and use of biomass must comply withCommunity state aid policy, i.e. there should not be undue distortions of competition.TTU Department of Thermal Engineering 24(24) Biomass Technologies – Summary

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines