Life cycle assessment of waste wood used for energy production – Methodology and case studies

To assess the sustainability along the whole value chain, life cycle-based methodologies have been developed over the last years. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) considers environmental impacts along supply chains, from extraction of raw materials to end-of-life of products (ASI 2006). The aim of this paper is to describe the use of LCA to assess the environmental impacts of the use of waste wood for energy production. Important methodological aspects on the use of LCA for the assessment of waste wood are presented using two different case studies from the H2020 projects STORY (Added value of STOrage in distribution sYstems) and TORERO (TORefying wood with Ethanol as a Renewable Output: large-scale demonstration).

by M. Hingsamer, J. Pucker-Singer, G. Jungmeier, J. Van Bael, J. Al Koussa; W. Van der Stricht, S. Van de Casteele, and F. Norman

The methodological approach of the environmental assessment of waste wood used for energy production is described. Therefore, the approach, two case studies and information on the GHG emissions of the use of waste wood are presented. One case study assesses the environmental impacts of the use of waste wood in a multi-energy grid in an industrial area in Belgium. H2020 project STORY demonstrates the use of waste wood in a wood fired boiler, which is connected to an ORC. This system provides electricity and heat for a district heating network, including hot water storage tanks, to increase the thermal system flexibility. The other case study gives information on the environmental impacts on the use of waste wood integrated in a steel plant. H2020 project TORERO demonstrates a concept for producing bio-ethanol from waste wood, integrated in a large-scale steel mill. The results show, the importance of including the whole value chain and comparing the results to the actual situation to evaluate the total environmental impacts of waste wood use. 

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published: Recy & DepoTech, 11|2020
Keywords: Energy Recovery, Material Recovery