Cumulative Energy Demand of solid biofuels: a review for the Latin American region
1, Remo Augusto Padovezi Filleti2, Ricardo Musule Lagunes3, Diogo Aparecido Lopes Silva1
1Research Group on Sustainability Engineering, Department of Production Engineering of Sorocaba, Center for Science & Technology Management, Federal University of São Carlos, UFSCar, Sorocaba, SP, Brazil, 2Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba, Campus Santa Bárbara d'Oeste - UNIMEP , 3Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad Morelia. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Biomass is one of the main sources of energy worldwide and appears as one of the main driving forces for the Bioeconomy development. Also, the world market for solid biofuels from renewable sources has increased in the last few years, with special attention to the production of pellets and briquettes in Latin America. This study presents a method for a comparison of different energy systems concerning the overall energy yield during the life cycle of pellets and briquettes produced in Latin America. For this purpose, the Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) based on primary energy was introduced and determined for the following scenarios: biomass briquettes vs. biomass pellets produced in a cradle-to-gate life cycle approach in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. Eight scenarios were found in the Web of Science database: two case studies for briquettes productions in Brazil, and six case studies about pellets productions in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. The CED method was used based on the openLCA software tool application combined with the inventory flows for the eight scenarios. The results for total energy demand for each 1 MJ of pellets/briquettes ranged from -4.01E+01 to 2.38E+03 MJ-eq. Also, approximately 90% of the CED impacts were due to the biomass sources used for the production processes, followed by fossil fuels demanded in the production chain (diesel and electricity consumptions). The best scenario was found for the Brazilian briquettes production, with a CED = -4.01E+01 MJ-eq., an outcome from the adopted life cycle system modeling approach, where the urban forest residues used as raw material was assumed to be as free of negative environmental burdens. On the other hand, the worst-case scenario was for the pellets production from palm fruit brunches in Colombia, as the evaluated system was not dedicated to pellets production and many other products (i.e., palm oil) and coproducts (e.g., kernel) leave the system as well, requiring more resources and generating more waste and emissions in the manufacturing processes. As a preliminary conclusion, it was found environmental benefits in terms of CED for the Brazilian briquettes production from forest residues compared with the remaining case study scenarios.
Palavras-chave: Life Cycle Assessment, Bioeconomy, Pellets and Briquettes
Agradecimentos: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP - Brasil, 2019/16996-4) e ao Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq – Brasil, 302722/2019-0 e 33001014/2020-2)