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Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies

ISBN: 978-1-118-93394-7
400 pages
January 2016
Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies (111893394X) cover image

Description

Over the past decade, renewables-based technology and sustainability assessment methods have grown tremendously. Renewable energy and products have a significant role in the market today, and the same time sustainability assessment methods have advanced, with a growing standardization of environmental sustainability metrics and consideration of social issues as part of the assessment.

Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies is an extensive update and sequel to the 2006 title Renewables-Based Technology: Sustainability Assessment. It discusses the impressive evolution and role renewables have taken in our modern society, highlighting the importance of sustainability principles in the design phase of renewable-based technologies, and presenting a wide range of sustainability assessment methods suitable for renewables-based technologies, together with case studies to demonstrate their applications.

This book is a valuable resource for academics, businesses and policy makers who are active in contributing to more sustainable production and consumption.

For more information on the Wiley Series in Renewable Resources, visit www.wiley.com/go/rrs

Topics covered include:

  • The growing role of renewables in our society
  • Sustainability in the design phase of products and processes
  • Principles of sustainability assessment
  • Land use analysis
  • Water use analysis
  • Material and energy flow analysis
  • Exergy and cumulative exergy analysisCarbon and environmental footprint methods
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), social Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • Case studies: renewable energy, bio-based chemicals and bio-based materials.
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors xvii

Series Editor’s Preface xxiii

Preface xxvii

1 The Growing Role of Biomass for Future Resource Supply—Prospects and Pitfalls 1
Helmut Haberl

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Global Ecological and Socioeconomic Biomass Flows 3

1.3 Global Biomass Potentials in 2050 5

1.4 Critical Socio -Ecological Feedbacks and Sustainability Issues 9

1.5 Conclusions 12

Acknowledgements 12

References 13

2 The Growing Role of Photovoltaic Solar, Wind and Geothermal Energy as Renewables for Electricity Generation 19
W.G.J.H.M. van Sark, J.G. Schepers, and J.D.A.M. van Wees

2.1 General Introduction 19

2.2 Photovoltaic Solar Energy 21

2.3 Wind Energy 24

2.4 Geothermal Energy 28

2.5 Conclusion 33

References 34

3 Assessment of Sustainability within Holistic Process Design 37
Alexei Lapkin, Philipp ]Maximilian Jacob, Polina Yaseneva, Charles Gordon, and Amy Peace

3.1 Introduction: Holistic Process Design from Unit Operations to Systems Science Methods 37

3.2 Use of Life Cycle Assessment in Holistic Process Design 40

3.3 A Decision -Tree Methodology for Complex Process Design 41

3.4 Generation of New Synthesis Routes in Bio -Based Supply Chains 45

3.5 Conclusions 47

Acknowledgements 48

References 48

4 A Mass Balance Approach to Link Sustainable Renewable Resources in Chemical Synthesis with Market Demand 51
Claudius Kormann and Andreas Kicherer

4.1 Introduction 51

4.2 Renewable Feedstock: Market Drivers, Political Frame 52

4.3 Traceability of Biomass as Feedstock in the Chemical Industry 53

4.4 Standard of Mass Balance in Chemical Synthesis 57

4.5 Sustainability Aspects of Renewable Resources 60

4.6 Discussion 61

4.7 Vision and Summary 62

References 63

5 Early R&D Stage Sustainability Assessment: The 5 Pillar Method 65
Akshay D. Patel, John A. Posada, Li Shen, and Martin K. Patel

5.1 Introduction 65

5.2 Methodology 67

5.3 Case Study 73

5.4 Validation Case Study 75

5.5 Critical Review and Outlook 76

5.6 Conclusion 79

References 79

6 Assessing the Sustainability of Land Use: A Systems Approach 81
Miguel Brandão

6.1 Introduction 81

6.2 Methodological Issue 1: Consequential Analysis of Land Use Decisions 82

6.3 Methodological Issue 2: Land Use Impacts on Ecosystems 87

6.4 Methodological Issue 3: Land Use Impacts on Climate 89

6.5 Methodological Issue 4: Economic and Social Impact Assessment 90

6.6 Methodological Issue 5: Integrating Environmental and Economic Assessments 92

6.7 Discussion 93

6.8 Conclusions 94

References 94

7 Water Use Analysis 97
Francesca Verones, Stephan Pfister, and Markus Berger

7.1 Introduction 97

7.2 Methods and Tools for Assessing the Sustainable Use of Water 98

7.3 Case Study: Water Consumption Analysis of Biofuels and Fossil Fuels 102

7.4 Discussion and Conclusion 105

References 106

8 Material Intensity of Food Production and Consumption 109
Lucia Mancini and Michael Lettenmeier

8.1 Introduction 109

8.2 Material Flow Based Approaches for Assessing Sustainable Production and Consumption Systems 110

8.3 MIPS Concept and Methodology 111

8.4 Material Intensity of Food Systems 113

8.5 Results of MIPS for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs 118

8.6 Conclusions 121

References 122

9 Material and Energy Flow Analysis 125
Goto Naohiro, Nova Ulhasanah, Hirotsugu Kamahara, Udin Hasanudin, Ryuichi Tachibana, and Koichi Fujie

9.1 Background 125

9.2 Methodology 128

9.3 Case Study 131

9.4 Conclusion 139

Acknowledgements 139

References 139

10 Exergy and Cumulative Exergy Use Analysis 141
Sofie Huysman, Thomas Schaubroeck, and Jo Dewulf

10.1 What Is Exergy 141

10.2 Calculation of Exergy 142

10.3 Applications of Exergy 144

10.4 Cumulative Exergy Use Analysis 146

10.5 Conclusions 151

References 152

11 Carbon and Environmental Footprint Methods for Renewables based Products and Transition Pathways to 2050 155
Geoffrey P. Hammond

11.1 Introduction 155

11.2 Carbon and Environmental (or Eco) Footprinting 159

11.3 The Relationship between Environmental Footprint Analysis (EFA) and Environmental Life ]Cycle Assessment (LCA) 166

11.4 Carbon and Environmental Footprints Associated with Global Biofuel Production 167

11.5 Carbon and Environmental Footprints of Low Carbon Transition Pathways 171

11.6 Concluding Remarks 174

Acknowledgements 175

References 176

12 Tracking Supply and Demand of Biocapacity through Ecological Footprint Accounting 179
David Lin, Alessandro Galli, Michael Borucke, Elias Lazarus, Nicole Grunewald, Jon Martindill, David Zimmerman, Serena Mancini, Katsunori Iha, and Mathis Wackernagel

12.1 Summary and Rationale 179

12.2 Methodology 182

12.3 Usage Recommendations 193

12.4 Future Developments 195

References 195

13 Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability Supporting Decision Making by Business and Policy 201
Sala Serenella, Fabrice Mathieux, and Rana Pant

13.1 Life Cycle Assessment: A Systemic Approach to Evaluate Impacts 201

13.2 LCA: Supporting Sustainability Assessment 205

13.3 Role of LCA in Supporting Decisions in Business and Policy Context 206

13.4 Tools and Support to Put LCA into Practice 210

13.5 Conclusion and the Way Forward 211

Acknowledgements 211

References 212

14 Life Cycle Costing 215
Andreas Ciroth, Jutta Hildenbrand, and Bengt Steen

14.1 Life Cycle Costing – Definition and Principles 215

14.2 Environmental LCC 216

14.3 Societal LCC 220

14.4 LCC and Renewables 221

14.5 Example Case 222

References 228

15 Social Life Cycle Assessment: Methodologies and Practice 229
Alessandra Zamagni, Pauline Feschet, Anna Irene De Luca, Nathalie Iofrida, and Patrizia Buttol

15.1 Introduction 229

15.2 Social Life Cycle Assessment: Scientific Background 230

15.3 Social Life Cycle Assessment in Practice 232

15.4 SLCA and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Methodological Challenges 234

15.5 Conclusions and Outlook 236

References 237

16 Life Cycle Assessment of Solar Technologies 241
F. Ardente, M. Cellura, S. Longo, and M. Mistretta

16.1 Introduction 241

16.2 Solar Technologies 242

16.3 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Solar Technologies 245

16.3.1 Solar Thermal Plants 246

16.3.2 Photovoltaic Plants 246

16.3.3 Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Plants and Solar Heating/Cooling Plants 249

16.4 Assessment of Solar Technologies 249

16.5 Conclusions 256

References 256

17 Assessing the Sustainability of Geothermal Utilization 259
Ruth Shortall, Gudni Axelsson, and Brynhildur Davidsdottir

17.1 Introduction 259

17.2 Sustainable Geothermal Utilization 260

17.3 Broader Sustainability Assessment of Energy Developments 266

17.4 Sustainability Assessment Framework for Geothermal Power 266

17.5 Conclusion 271

References 271

18 Biofuels from Terrestrial Biomass: Sustainability Assessment of Sugarcane Biorefineries in Brazil 275
Otavio Cavalett, Marcos D.B. Watanabe, Alexandre Souza, Mateus F. Chagas, Tassia L. Junqueira, and Antonio Bonomi

18.1 Introduction 275

18.2 The Virtual Sugarcane Biorefinery (VSB) 276

18.3 Methods Used in the VSB 277

18.4 Biorefinery Scenarios Case Study 279

18.5 Final Remarks 286

Acknowledgements 286

References 287

19 Algae as Promising Biofeedstock; Searching for Sustainable Production Processes and Market Applications 289
Sue Ellen Taelman, Steven De Meester, and Jo Dewulf

19.1 Introduction 289

19.2 Algae Background 290

19.3 Algal Cultivation and Processing Methods 292

19.4 Algae: Production and Potential Applications 294

19.5 Environmental Sustainability of Algae Production 298

19.6 Conclusions 302

References 303

20 Life Cycle Assessment of Biobased and Fossil Based Succinic Acid 307
Marieke Smidt, Jeroen den Hollander, Henk Bosch, Yang Xiang, Maarten van der Graaf, Anne Lambin, and Jean ]Pierre Duda

20.1 Production of Succinic Acid 307

20.2 Life Cycle Assessment: Biobased Succinic Acid and Fossil ]Based Equivalent 310

20.3 Sensitivity Analysis 316

20.4 Conclusions 319

References 320

21 Biobased Poly Vinylchloride (PVC) 323
Rodrigo A.F. Alvarenga, Zdenek Hruska, Alain Wathelet, and Jo Dewulf

21.1 Introduction 323

21.2 Life Cycle Assessment of Biobased PVC 324

21.3 Carbon Footprint of Biobased Product 329

21.4 Environmental Sustainability of Bioethanol Use 330

21.5 Conclusions 331

References 332

22 Evaluation of Wood Cascading 335
Karin Höglmeier, Gabriele Weber -Blaschke, and Klaus Richter

22.1 Introduction 335

22.2 Environmental Assessment of Wood Cascading by LCA 338

22.3 Discussion and Conclusion 343

Acknowledgements 345

References 345

23 Time ]Dependent Life Cycle Assessment of Bio -Based Packaging Materials 347
Maartje N. Sevenster

23.1 Introduction 347

23.2 Methodology 351

23.3 Results 353

23.4 Discussion 357

23.5 Conclusions 358

References 358

24 Conclusions 361
Jo Dewulf

24.1 The Importance of Renewables ]Based Products and Services 361

24.2 The Need for Sustainability Assessment for Renewables: Even More Than in the Past 362

24.3 The Growing Sustainability Assessment Toolbox 363

24.4 Outlook: Pending Challenges 364

Index

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Author Information

Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, JRC, European Commision, Italy and Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium
Professor Dewulf performs research in the areas of environmental chemistry, environmental technology and clean technology at Ghent University. Since December  2013, he has been working as a senior researcher in the Institute for Environment and Sustainability at the Joint Research Institute of the European Commission. Key in his work is managing natural resources in a technically efficient way, performing thermodynamics based sustainability analysis at process, plant and cradle-to-gate level to support the development and assessment of new technologies.

Supported by:

Dr Steven De Meester, Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium
Dr De Meester works on the development of sustainability assessment methodologies for new technologies and applications of Life Cycle Assessment in industry.

Dr Rodrigo Alvarenga, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil

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