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Selected Publication:

Kral, I; Piringer, G; Saylor, MK; Gronauer, A; Bauer, A.
(2016): Environmental Effects of Steam Explosion Pretreatment on Biogas from Maize-Case Study of a 500-kW Austrian Biogas Facility
BIOENERG RES. 2016; 9(1): 198-207. FullText FullText_BOKU

Potential environmental impacts of biogas electricity from agricultural residues (maize stover) with steam explosion (SE) pretreatment were compared to a typical Austrian biogas system (maize silage) using the method of life cycle assessment. Besides the biogas plant, the system includes substrate production, a combined heat-and-power (CHP) unit, digestate management, and transportation. The stover scenario (including construction and operation of the SE unit) results in lower total climate change impacts than those of the typical biogas system (239 g CO2-eq/kWh electricity vs. 287 g CO2-eq/kWh electricity; 100-year global warming potential (GWP)), and this holds also for the other impact categories (e.g., cumulative energy demand, acidification, eutrophication). While uncertainties in other areas could change the results, based on the uncertainty information considered, the overall results for the two scenarios were significantly different. Methane slip emissions from the CHP exhaust account for the largest GWP share in both scenarios. Other large GWP contributions are from substrate production and grid electricity for plant operations. The findings were robust against worst-case assumptions about the energy requirements of the SE pretreatment.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Bauer Alexander
Gronauer Andreas
Kral Iris
Piringer Gerhard
Saylor Molly

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Life cycle assessment
Agricultural residues
Maize silage

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