Comparative Evaluation of Biogas Valorization into Electricity/Heat and Poly(hydroxyalkanoates) in Waste Treatment Plants: Assessing the Influence of Local Commodity Prices and Current Biotechnological Limitations [component]

The transformation of CH4-rich biogas into polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) using methanotrophic bacteria has recently emerged as an attractive and worldwide applicable alternative to its current use as energy source. The influence of the geographical location on the economic performance of combined heat and electricity production (CHP) and/or PHA production from biogas generated in waste treatment plants was evaluated in 13 representative regions of the world. In addition, the sensitivity of PHA
more » ... duction costs towards current biotechnological limitations and commodity prices was evaluated. The geographical analysis showed a high net present value (NPV20) variability around the world (from -7.17 to +16.27 M€). Countries with the lowest NPV20 exhibited also the lowest PHA production costs (4.1 €·kg -1 PHA), which suggested that biopolymer production represents an alternative biogas valorization pathway in regions where CHP is not economically viable. In countries with high energy prices, the use of biogas surplus from anaerobic waste treatment for PHA production enhanced the economic performance and mitigated the electric market dependence of current CHP plants. CH4-elimination capacity in bioreactors and PHA accumulation yield in bacterial cells were identified as the main biotechnological bottlenecks towards a biopolymer production competitive in price (0.2-1.7 €·kg -1 PHA) with their oil-based counterparts.
doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c01543.s001 fatcat:spx5x33p5bcwpiu2yuqsrdwlo4