Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains

Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands

Paterson McKeough, Yrjö Solantausta, Hilkka Kyllönen, Andre Faaij, Carlo Hamelinck, Martijn Wagener, David Beckman, Björn Kjellström

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study consisted of in-depth techno-economic analyses of biofuel upgrading processes and of whole biotrade chains. The chains encompassed the production of pyrolysis oil or pellets from biomass residues in the source regions, the transportation of the upgraded fuels internationally over long distances and the final utilisation of the fuels. The techno-economic analysis of the biofuel upgrading processes was undertaken primarily to generate techno-economic data that were needed as input data for the assessment of the biotrade chains. The evaluation of pyrolysis-oil production was deemed to be one of the most reliable assessments made to date. The estimated pyrolysis-oil production costs, e.g. below 25 EUR/MWh for stand-alone production from forestry residues, compare favourably with the current consumer-prices of heavy fuel oil in many European countries. Integration of the pyrolysis process with an industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plant would lower the production costs by more than 20%. The production of pellets was assessed to be somewhat more energy-efficient and more cost-efficient than the production of pyrolysis oil. However, the higher production costs of pyrolysis oil would be counteracted by lower costs in connection with product handling and utilisation. Four international biotrade chains were analysed in detail. The chains cover two source regions, North-Western Russia and Eastern Canada, and two traded commodities, pyrolysis oil and pellets. The chains terminate in the Netherlands where the imported biofuels are co-fired with coal in condensing power stations. The costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be in the range 18-30 EUR/MWh, with the costs of pellets about 25% lower than those of pyrolysis oil. The estimated electricity-generation costs displayed little dependence on the type of biofuel - pyrolysis oil or pellets - because the costs associated with the utilisation of the biofuels for co-firing are higher for the pellets. For the Canada-Netherlands chains based on zero-cost sawmilling residues, the costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be about 20% lower, and the electricity-generation costs about 10% lower, than those of the Russia-Netherlands chains. With the electricity consumption calculated as the equivalent amount of fuel that would be needed for its generation, the energy consumptions of the biotrade chains, prior to the end-use of the biofuels, were estimated to be in the range 13-23% of the energy content of the original biomass residues. Local-utilisation alternatives were also evaluated. It was concluded that, particularly when the local reference energy system is carbon intensive, local utilisation can be a more cost-efficient and a more resource-efficient option than international trade and use of biomass resources elsewhere. This type of comparison is, however, very dependent on both the greenhouse-gas emission intensities and the costs of the reference energy systems in the exporting and importing regions. In practice, there are many factors which may limit local utilisation or make utilisation of biomass resources elsewhere more attractive. Obviously, when increased local utilisation is not feasible, exporting surplus biofuel is a highly beneficial and fully justified option. Other drivers for international bio-energy trade, such as improving access to markets, developing biomass production potentials over time and securing stable supply and demand, fuel supply security and other issues were not part of the present work programme. Overall, it was concluded that biotrade will have a definite and important role to play in reducing humankind's dependency on fossil fuels.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages69
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6746-3
ISBN (Print)951-38-6745-5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

NameVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes
PublisherVTT
No.2312
ISSN (Print)1235-0605
ISSN (Electronic)1455-0865

Fingerprint

pyrolysis
economic analysis
biofuels
Russia
Netherlands
Canada
pellets
oils
electricity
production costs
biomass
energy
emissions factor
fuel oils
economics
sawing
energy use and consumption
plant residues
supply balance
power plants

Keywords

  • biofuels
  • upgrading
  • fuel trade
  • pyrolysis oils
  • pellets
  • techno-economy assessment
  • trade chains
  • Russia
  • Netherlands
  • Canada

Cite this

McKeough, P., Solantausta, Y., Kyllönen, H., Faaij, A., Hamelinck, C., Wagener, M., ... Kjellström, B. (2005). Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains: Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes, No. 2312
McKeough, Paterson ; Solantausta, Yrjö ; Kyllönen, Hilkka ; Faaij, Andre ; Hamelinck, Carlo ; Wagener, Martijn ; Beckman, David ; Kjellström, Björn. / Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains : Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2005. 69 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2312).
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McKeough, P, Solantausta, Y, Kyllönen, H, Faaij, A, Hamelinck, C, Wagener, M, Beckman, D & Kjellström, B 2005, Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains: Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands. VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes, no. 2312, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo.

Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains : Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands. / McKeough, Paterson; Solantausta, Yrjö; Kyllönen, Hilkka; Faaij, Andre; Hamelinck, Carlo; Wagener, Martijn; Beckman, David; Kjellström, Björn.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2005. 69 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2312).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

TY - BOOK

T1 - Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains

T2 - Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands

AU - McKeough, Paterson

AU - Solantausta, Yrjö

AU - Kyllönen, Hilkka

AU - Faaij, Andre

AU - Hamelinck, Carlo

AU - Wagener, Martijn

AU - Beckman, David

AU - Kjellström, Björn

N1 - Project code: C1SU00234

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - This study consisted of in-depth techno-economic analyses of biofuel upgrading processes and of whole biotrade chains. The chains encompassed the production of pyrolysis oil or pellets from biomass residues in the source regions, the transportation of the upgraded fuels internationally over long distances and the final utilisation of the fuels. The techno-economic analysis of the biofuel upgrading processes was undertaken primarily to generate techno-economic data that were needed as input data for the assessment of the biotrade chains. The evaluation of pyrolysis-oil production was deemed to be one of the most reliable assessments made to date. The estimated pyrolysis-oil production costs, e.g. below 25 EUR/MWh for stand-alone production from forestry residues, compare favourably with the current consumer-prices of heavy fuel oil in many European countries. Integration of the pyrolysis process with an industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plant would lower the production costs by more than 20%. The production of pellets was assessed to be somewhat more energy-efficient and more cost-efficient than the production of pyrolysis oil. However, the higher production costs of pyrolysis oil would be counteracted by lower costs in connection with product handling and utilisation. Four international biotrade chains were analysed in detail. The chains cover two source regions, North-Western Russia and Eastern Canada, and two traded commodities, pyrolysis oil and pellets. The chains terminate in the Netherlands where the imported biofuels are co-fired with coal in condensing power stations. The costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be in the range 18-30 EUR/MWh, with the costs of pellets about 25% lower than those of pyrolysis oil. The estimated electricity-generation costs displayed little dependence on the type of biofuel - pyrolysis oil or pellets - because the costs associated with the utilisation of the biofuels for co-firing are higher for the pellets. For the Canada-Netherlands chains based on zero-cost sawmilling residues, the costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be about 20% lower, and the electricity-generation costs about 10% lower, than those of the Russia-Netherlands chains. With the electricity consumption calculated as the equivalent amount of fuel that would be needed for its generation, the energy consumptions of the biotrade chains, prior to the end-use of the biofuels, were estimated to be in the range 13-23% of the energy content of the original biomass residues. Local-utilisation alternatives were also evaluated. It was concluded that, particularly when the local reference energy system is carbon intensive, local utilisation can be a more cost-efficient and a more resource-efficient option than international trade and use of biomass resources elsewhere. This type of comparison is, however, very dependent on both the greenhouse-gas emission intensities and the costs of the reference energy systems in the exporting and importing regions. In practice, there are many factors which may limit local utilisation or make utilisation of biomass resources elsewhere more attractive. Obviously, when increased local utilisation is not feasible, exporting surplus biofuel is a highly beneficial and fully justified option. Other drivers for international bio-energy trade, such as improving access to markets, developing biomass production potentials over time and securing stable supply and demand, fuel supply security and other issues were not part of the present work programme. Overall, it was concluded that biotrade will have a definite and important role to play in reducing humankind's dependency on fossil fuels.

AB - This study consisted of in-depth techno-economic analyses of biofuel upgrading processes and of whole biotrade chains. The chains encompassed the production of pyrolysis oil or pellets from biomass residues in the source regions, the transportation of the upgraded fuels internationally over long distances and the final utilisation of the fuels. The techno-economic analysis of the biofuel upgrading processes was undertaken primarily to generate techno-economic data that were needed as input data for the assessment of the biotrade chains. The evaluation of pyrolysis-oil production was deemed to be one of the most reliable assessments made to date. The estimated pyrolysis-oil production costs, e.g. below 25 EUR/MWh for stand-alone production from forestry residues, compare favourably with the current consumer-prices of heavy fuel oil in many European countries. Integration of the pyrolysis process with an industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plant would lower the production costs by more than 20%. The production of pellets was assessed to be somewhat more energy-efficient and more cost-efficient than the production of pyrolysis oil. However, the higher production costs of pyrolysis oil would be counteracted by lower costs in connection with product handling and utilisation. Four international biotrade chains were analysed in detail. The chains cover two source regions, North-Western Russia and Eastern Canada, and two traded commodities, pyrolysis oil and pellets. The chains terminate in the Netherlands where the imported biofuels are co-fired with coal in condensing power stations. The costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be in the range 18-30 EUR/MWh, with the costs of pellets about 25% lower than those of pyrolysis oil. The estimated electricity-generation costs displayed little dependence on the type of biofuel - pyrolysis oil or pellets - because the costs associated with the utilisation of the biofuels for co-firing are higher for the pellets. For the Canada-Netherlands chains based on zero-cost sawmilling residues, the costs of the delivered biofuels were estimated to be about 20% lower, and the electricity-generation costs about 10% lower, than those of the Russia-Netherlands chains. With the electricity consumption calculated as the equivalent amount of fuel that would be needed for its generation, the energy consumptions of the biotrade chains, prior to the end-use of the biofuels, were estimated to be in the range 13-23% of the energy content of the original biomass residues. Local-utilisation alternatives were also evaluated. It was concluded that, particularly when the local reference energy system is carbon intensive, local utilisation can be a more cost-efficient and a more resource-efficient option than international trade and use of biomass resources elsewhere. This type of comparison is, however, very dependent on both the greenhouse-gas emission intensities and the costs of the reference energy systems in the exporting and importing regions. In practice, there are many factors which may limit local utilisation or make utilisation of biomass resources elsewhere more attractive. Obviously, when increased local utilisation is not feasible, exporting surplus biofuel is a highly beneficial and fully justified option. Other drivers for international bio-energy trade, such as improving access to markets, developing biomass production potentials over time and securing stable supply and demand, fuel supply security and other issues were not part of the present work programme. Overall, it was concluded that biotrade will have a definite and important role to play in reducing humankind's dependency on fossil fuels.

KW - biofuels

KW - upgrading

KW - fuel trade

KW - pyrolysis oils

KW - pellets

KW - techno-economy assessment

KW - trade chains

KW - Russia

KW - Netherlands

KW - Canada

M3 - Report

SN - 951-38-6745-5

T3 - VTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes

BT - Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains

PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

CY - Espoo

ER -

McKeough P, Solantausta Y, Kyllönen H, Faaij A, Hamelinck C, Wagener M et al. Techno-economic analysis of biotrade chains: Upgraded biofuels from Russia and from Canada to the Netherlands. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2005. 69 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2312).