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High-blend renewable fuels could cut extra 46m tonnes GHG emissions from truck operations in UK by 2030

Argonne study shows range of GHG reductions for electrofuel Fischer-Tropsch; up to 108% reduction

A team at Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center has evaluated the well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Fischer–Tropsch (FT) fuels produced via various electrolytic H2 pathways and CO2 sources; using various process designs (i.e., with and without H2 recycle); and two different system boundaries: a stand-alone plant (with CO2 from any source) and an integrated plant with corn ethanol production (supplying CO2).

In a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that using nuclear or solar/wind electricity, the stand-alone FT fuel production (Naphtha, jet, diesel) from various plant designs can reduce WTW GHG emissions by 90–108%, relative to petroleum fuels.

Es0c05893_0010-1

Zang et al.


When integrating the FT fuel production process with corn ethanol production, the WTW GHG emissions of FT fuels are 57–65% lower compared to petroleum counterparts.

The authors modeled the FT fuel synthesis process using Aspen Plus, which showed that 45% of the carbon in CO2 can be fixed in the FT fuel, with a fuel production energy efficiency of 58%.

This study highlights the sensitivity of the carbon intensity of FT fuels to the system boundary selection (i.e., stand-alone vs integrated), which has different implications under various GHG emission credit frameworks.

—Zang et al.

Resources

  • Guiyan Zang, Pingping Sun, Amgad Elgowainy, Adarsh Bafana, and Michael Wang (2021) “Life Cycle Analysis of Electrofuels: Fischer–Tropsch Fuel Production from Hydrogen and Corn Ethanol Byproduct CO2Environmental Science & Technology doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c05893

Comments

Engineer-Poet

ONLY 45% of the carbon in CO2 can be fixed by these processes?

Ridiculously low.

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