Novel biomass conversion routes:ammonia from biomass, and marine macroalgae for energy

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Alexander, Sarah

This thesis presents a techno-economic investigation of the generation of electricity from marine macroalgae (seaweed) in the UK (Part 1), and the production of anhydrous ammonia from synthesis gas (syngas) generated from biomass gasification (Part 2). In Part 1, the study covers the costs from macroalgae production to the generation of electricity via a CHP system. Seven scenarios, which varied the scale and production technique, were investigated to determine the most suitable scale of operation for the UK. Anaerobic digestion was established as the most suitable technology for macroalgae conversion to CHP, based on a number of criteria. All performance and cost data have been taken from published literature. None of the scenarios assessed would be economically viable under present conditions, although the use of large-scale electricity generation has more potential than small-scale localised production. Part 2 covers the costs from the delivery of the wood chip feedstock to the production of ammonia. Four cases, which varied the gasification process used and the scale of production, were investigated to determine the most suitable scale of operation for the UK. Two gasification processes were considered, these were O2-enriched air entrained flow gasification and Fast Internal Circulating Fluidised Bed. All performance and cost data have been taken from published literature, unless otherwise stated. Large-scale (1,200 tpd) ammonia production using O2-enriched air entrained flow gasification was determined as the most suitable system, producing the lowest ammonia-selling price, which was competitive to fossil fuels. Large-scale (1,200 tpd) combined natural gas/biomass syngas ammonia production also generated ammonia at a price competitive to fossil fuels.
  • References (172)
    172 references, page 1 of 18

    Marine Biomass plus activity ...................................................................... 30

    Inshore cultivation ............................................................................... 98 7.2.1.1.1 Inshore cultivation .......................................................................... 121 7.2.1.1.2 Offshore cultivation ........................................................................ 122

    Anaerobic digestion and CHP plant.......................................................... 124

    Land......................................................................................................... 124

    Indirect costs............................................................................................ 124 Operating costs............................................................................................... 125 Anaerobic digestion and biogas usage.............................................. 129 Workforce summary and costs.......................................................... 129 Maintenance ............................................................................................ 130 Water leasing and harvesting permits ...................................................... 130

    Inshore.............................................................................................. 130

    Macroalgae scenarios .............................................................................. 158

    Lowest cost of electricity generation......................................................... 159

    Financial viability...................................................................................... 160

    Additional revenue ................................................................................... 161

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