Environmental and Economic Performances of Different Technologies for Power Generation from Rice Husks
Prasara-A, J.
Cucek, L.
Varbanov, P.S.
Klemeš, J.J.
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Prasara-A J., Cucek L., Varbanov P., Klemeš J., 2012, Environmental and Economic Performances of Different Technologies for Power Generation from Rice Husks, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 29, 751-756.
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This work compares the environmental impacts and economic performances of different technologies for rice husk-fuelled Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation, in Thailand. A modified integrated model for efficient biomass and bioenergy network optimisation was used based on a previous work by Cucek et al. (2012). This model accounts for the evaluation of environmental footprints and economic performance within the framework of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Rice husk is considered to be one of the main sources of biomass waste in Thailand. More recently, the Thai government has promoted the use of biomass for energy purposes as a substitute for fossil fuel consumption, and to reduce the environmental impacts caused by using fossil fuels. Consequently, rice husk is being widely used for electricity generation on a commercial scale.
This contribution assesses the environmental and economic profiles of different technologies for rice husk-fuelled CHP by employing a wider spectrum of technological options, including combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis systems. The indicators analysed are the key environmental footprints associated with biomass and fossil energy sources: carbon, nitrogen, and water footprints, and are supplemented by the costs. The results show that the best option from amongst the analysed options is pyrolysis, and the use of oil as a substitute for coal in the conventional coal power plants. The aggregated single measurement of sustainability regarding different technological options, the Sustainable Environmental Performance Indicator - SEPI (De Benedetto and Klemeš, 2009), was calculated, having the advantage that the subjective weighting of environmental footprints is unrequired. The results obtained from this work can be exploited by decision makers for selecting appropriate systems in terms of environmental and economic performances.
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