Well-to-wheel analysis of renewable transport fuels: synthetic natural gas from wood gasification and hydrogen from concentrated solar energy [thesis]

Remo Felder, Aldo Steinfeld, Alexander Wokaun
In order to deal with problems such as climate change, an increasing energy demand and the finiteness offossil resources, alternative C02-low technologies have to be found for a sustainable growing future. Laboratories at PSI are conducting research on two pathways delivering such car fuels: synthetic natural gas from wood gasification (SNG) and hydrogen from solar thermochemical ZnO dissociation (STD). The biofuel SNG is produced using wood in an auto-thermal gasification reactor. It can be
more » ... plied to the natural gas-grid and be used in a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle. STD is a long-term Option, using concentrated solar irradiation in a thermochemical reactor, producing zinc as solar energy carrier. Zinc can be used for hydrolysis, in order to produce hydrogen as a locally low-polluting future car fuel. In the frame of the thesis, both fuels are assessed using a life cycle assessment, i.e. investigating all environmental interactions from the extraction of resources over the processing and usage steps to the final disposal. Different methodologies are applied for a rating, compared to alternatives and Standard fuels of today. In addition, costs of the technologies are calculated in order to assess economic competitiveness. The thesis is structured as follows: After an introduction giving an overview (chapter A), the methodology is presented (chapter B). It includesvarious life cycle impact assessment methods Abstract fuel cell car is the most favourable Option, along with SNG, CNG and hydrogen via steam methane reforming. From an economic point of view, the conventional fuels are clearly the best options. With an eco-efficiency approach, CNG and SNG show the most promising results. Conclusions (chapterF) summarize results from the preceding chapter, give an overview of the assessed fuels and discuss the methodology used. Chapter G critically reviews the methodology and the quality of the life cycle inventory. In the Annex (chapter J), further information such as the elaborationofthe data used can be found.
doi:10.3929/ethz-a-005540202 fatcat:7tf6cl7r6fgntj2yem2cysa56u