A trinity of sense: using biomass in the transport sector for climate change mitigation

This thesis analyses two strategies for decreasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: to capture and store CO2, and to increase the use of biomass. First, two concepts for CO2 capture with low capture penalties are evaluated. The concepts are an integrated gasification combined cycle where the oxygen is supplied by a membrane reactor, and a hybrid cycle where the CO2 is captured at elevated pressure. Although the cycles have comparatively high efficiencies and low penalties, they illustrate the inevitable fact that capturing CO2 will always induce significant efficiency penalties. Other strategies are also needed if CO2 emissions are to be forcefully decreased. An alternative is increased use of biomass, which partially could be used for production of motor fuels (biofuels). This work examines arguments for directing biomass to the transport sector, analyses how biofuels (and also some other means) may be used to reduce CO2 emissions and increase security of motor fuel supply. The thesis also explores the possibility of reducing CO2 emissions by comparatively easy and cost-efficient CO2 capture from concentrated CO2 streams available in some types of biofuel plants. Many conclusions of the thesis could be associated with either of three meanings of the word sense: First, there is reason in biofuel production - since it e.g. reduces oil dependence. From a climate change mitigation perspective, however, motor fuel production is often a CO2-inefficient use of biomass, but the thesis explores how biofuels' climate change mitigation effects may be increased by introducing low-cost CO2 capture. Second, the Swedish promotion of biofuels appears to have been governed more by a feeling for attaining other goals than striving for curbing climate change. Third, it seems to have been the prevalent opinion among politicians that the advantages of biofuels - among them their climate change mitigation benefits - are far greater than the disadvantages and that they should be promoted. Another conclusion of the thesis is that biofuels alone are not enough to drastically decrease transport CO2 emissions; a variety of measures are needed such as fuels from renewable electricity and improvements of vehicle fuel economy (A). http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9292.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 68p+app
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 2008:62
    • Publisher: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
    • ISSN: 1654-1081

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01151487
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 978-91-7415-107-7
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2010 8:34AM