An energy analysis comparing biomass torrefaction in depots to wind with natural gas combustion for electricity generation

Kristen M. Parkhurst, Christopher M. Saffron, Raymond O. Miller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    • 5 Citations

    Abstract

    Biomass torrefaction and wind power with natural gas are compared to determine which renewable energy system to adopt when both plant biomass and wind are available. The renewability of both systems was compared in terms of energy return on investment (EROI) by quantifying the fossil energy input and renewable energy output. On the basis of a functionally equivalent amount of electrical power (100 MWe) and heat (50 MWth), a breakeven wind velocity of 9.875 m/s resulted in both systems having the same EROI. In regions with available biomass feedstock, facilities suitable for biomass power and wind velocities below 9 m/s, torrefaction is a more renewable approach. Conversely, regions with velocities greater than 10 m/s or little access to biomass sources and facilities, wind combined with natural gas is superior. Due to average wind speeds below 10 m/s and the wide availability of biomass in Michigan, the torrefaction bioenergy system outperforms the wind–natural gas system.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)171-181
    Number of pages11
    JournalApplied Energy
    Volume179
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

    Profile

    energy
    Biomass
    biomass
    natural gas
    Natural gas
    wind velocity
    biomass power
    electrical power
    wind power
    electricity generation
    bioenergy
    combustion
    fossil
    Wind power
    Feedstocks
    Electricity
    Availability

    Keywords

    • Biomass
    • Energy analysis
    • Torrefaction
    • Wind energy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Energy(all)
    • Civil and Structural Engineering

    Cite this

    An energy analysis comparing biomass torrefaction in depots to wind with natural gas combustion for electricity generation. / Parkhurst, Kristen M.; Saffron, Christopher M.; Miller, Raymond O.

    In: Applied Energy, Vol. 179, 01.10.2016, p. 171-181.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Parkhurst, Kristen M.; Saffron, Christopher M.; Miller, Raymond O. / An energy analysis comparing biomass torrefaction in depots to wind with natural gas combustion for electricity generation.

    In: Applied Energy, Vol. 179, 01.10.2016, p. 171-181.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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