Life cycle assessment of hydrogen production from biomass gasification systems


INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, vol.37, no.19, pp.14026-14039, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 19
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.06.015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.14026-14039
  • Keywords: LCA, Hydrogen, GHG, Gasification, Efficiency, Energy, CO2 EMISSIONS, FUEL-CELL, ELECTROLYSIS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of biomass-based hydrogen production is performed for a period from biomass production to the use of the produced hydrogen in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell vehicles. The system considered is divided into three subsections as pre-treatment of biomass, hydrogen production plant and usage of hydrogen produced. Two different gasification systems, a Downdraft Gasifier (DG) and a Circulating Fluidized Bed Gasifier (CFBG), are considered and analyzed for hydrogen production using actual data taken from the literature. Fossil energy consumption rate and Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) are defined and indicated first. Next, the LCA results of DG and CFBG systems are compared for 1 MJ/s hydrogen production to compare with each other as well as with other hydrogen production systems. While the fossil energy consumption rate and emissions are calculated as 0.088 MJ/s and 6.27 CO2 eqv. g/s in the DG system, they are 0.175 MJ/s and 17.13 CO2 eqv. g/s in the CFBG system, respectively. The Coefficient of Hydrogen Production Performance (CHPP) (newly defined as a ratio of energy content of hydrogen produced from the system to the total energy content of fossil fuels used) of the CFBG and DG systems are then determined to be 5.71 and 11.36, respectively. Thus, the effects of some parameters, such as energy efficiency, ratio of cost of hydrogen, on natural gas and capital investments efficiency are investigated. Finally, the costs of GHG emissions reduction are calculated to be 0.0172 and 0.24 $/g for the DG and CFBG systems, respectively. Copyright (C) 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.