Biogas production by means of an anaerobic-digestion plant in France: LCA of greenhouse-gas emissions and other environmental indicators
Cristofari, Christian A.
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The present article assesses the environmental profile of a real-scale anaerobic-digestion plant that has been developed in France. The system utilises 13652 t of different types of feedstock related to food industry, agriculture, etc. The study is based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) according to Global
Warming Potential (GWP), Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), ReCiPe midpoint/endpoint and USEtox. The life-cycle inventory includes real data from various sources of waste as well as the transportation distances. By considering the impact of both anaerobic digestion and transportation for the whole system, the following findings have been found: 6430 t CO2.eq (GWP 100a); 67194 GJprim (CED); 231100 Pts (ReCiPe endpoint single-score: Human health), 146932 Pts (ReCiPe endpoint single-score: Ecosystems), 171568 Pts (ReCiPe endpoint single-score: Resources). Furthermore, USEtox results, for the whole system and by taking into account both anaerobic digestion and transportation, show that based on: 1) Human toxicity/cancer, anaerobic-digestion phase has around 21 times higher value comparing to transportation, 2) Ecotoxicity, anaerobic-digestion phase presents about 77 times higher value than transportation. Regarding the impact of both phases (anaerobic digestion; transportation) per t of waste or per MWh of electricity, the findings show values of 0.5-0.6 t CO2.eq per t of feedstock (or digestate) or per MWh of electricity produced (not net). A separate subsection with comparisons of the present findings with literature studies about LCA of anaerobic-digestion plants has been included. In general, a good agreement has been observed. Moreover, comparisons of the impact of the electricity produced by means of the present biogas system with the impact of conventional electricity mixes of several countries are presented and discussed, proving the environmental benefits of the proposed anaerobic-digestion plant.
Is part ofScience of the Total Environment, 2019, vol. 670, p. 1226-1239
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