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Life Cycle Analysis: Biomass

NETL Fischer-Tropsch Black Box Model Documentation

Date: 9/15/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The purpose of the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Black Box Model is to allow for the screening of the impacts of F-T finished fuels production based on the input of a unique syngas composition. Utilizing the composition of the raw syngas, the model calculates the following outputs based on a facility sized to produce 50,000 bbl/day of liquid product: CO2 emissions, liquid product flows, required syngas input, and the net export electricity from the facility.NETL completed this model/study for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


NETL Fischer-Tropsch Black Box Model

Date: 9/15/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The purpose of the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Black Box Model is to allow for the screening of the impacts of F-T finished fuels production based on the input of a unique syngas composition. Utilizing the composition of the raw syngas, the model calculates the following outputs based on a facility sized to produce 50,000 bbl/day of liquid product: CO2 emissions, liquid product flows, required syngas input, and the net export electricity from the facility. NETL completed this model/study for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


Comprehensive Analysis of Coal and Biomass Conversion to Jet Fuel: Oxygen Blown, Transport Reactor Integrated Gasifier (TRIG) and Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Catalyst Configurations Modeled and Validated Scenarios

Date: 9/8/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This study evaluates the technological/process, life cycle environmental, and economic perspective of 20 discreet F-T jet fuel production scenarios. The technological/process model provides a process level evaluation of the 10 alternate CBTL facility scenarios considered in this study. Aspen Plus simulation models for the CBTL facility scenarios were developed to determine the composition and flows of all of the major streams in the plants. These were used to develop conceptual level cost estimates for capital and operating costs for the major process units. NETL completed this study for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


Comprehensive Analysis of Coal and Biomass Conversion to Jet Fuel: Oxygen Blown, Entrained-Flow Gasifier (EFG) and Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Catalyst Configurations Modeled and Validated Scenarios

Date: 9/8/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This study evaluates the technological/process, life cycle environmental, and economic perspective of 10 discreet F-T jet fuel production scenarios. The technological/process model provides a process level evaluation of the 10 alternate CBTL facility scenarios considered in this study. Aspen Plus simulation models for the CBTL facility scenarios were developed to determine the composition and flows of all of the major streams in the plants. These were used to develop conceptual level cost estimates for capital and operating costs for the major process units. NETL completed this study for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


Coal and Biomass to Liquids (CBTL) Greenhouse Gas Optimization Tool

Date: 3/11/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The purpose of the model is to perform scenario analysis to optimize GHG performance under varies CBTL configurations.  This model expands upon the NETL CBTL Jet Fuel Model by providing the user the ability to choose from three coal types (Illinois No. 6 bituminous coal, Montana Rosebud sub-bituminous coal, or North Dakota Lignite) and three biomass types (Southern pine, switchgrass, or municipal solid waste). The model will also allow the user to adjust the fraction of the captured CO2 that is vented and adjust the overall efficiency of the plant.  The model includes environmental performance data for CBTL plants modeled under the CCAT case studies and two additional NETL studies: Production of Zero Sulfur Diesel Fuel from Domestic Coal: Configurational Options to Reduce Environmental Impact and Cost and Performance Baseline for Fossil Energy Plants Volume 4: Coal-to-Liquids via Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis.


Coal and Biomass to Liquids (CBTL) Greenhouse Gas Optimization Tool Documentation

Date: 3/11/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This report is the user documentation for the NETL CBTL Jet Fuel Model submitted under a separate approval routing. The documentation is intended to accompany the model. The documentation explains how to the use the model. The documentation does not contain any energy analysis findings. NETL completed this model/report as part of a study for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


CBTL Jet Fuel Model

Date: 2/27/2015
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

An Excel-based model was developed to allow in-depth user access to the technological process, economic, and life cycle environmental results that were completed in support of this study, for each of the different CBTL jet fuel production scenarios (total of 49 unique result sets when counting both TRIG and EFG scenarios). The CBTL Jet Fuel Model incorporates a stochastic analysis of modeled results, drawing on input statistical distributions for the 17 environmental and 40 economic parameters. A stochastic analysis was performed by using the Palisade Corporation’s @RISK Excel add-in. NETL completed a CRADA with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to provide techno-economic and life cycle analysis modeling support for CBTL alternative jet fuel production, which forms key references to their report to the Defense Logistics Agency (their project sponsor/funder).


Comprehensive Analysis of Coal and Biomass Conversion to Jet Fuel: Oxygen Blown, Transport Reactor Integrated Gasifier (TRIG) and Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Catalyst Configurations

Date: 2/19/2014
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) has received funding from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy to demonstrate how liquid fuel can be produced from coal and meet the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 greenhouse gas (GHG) requirement for DOD fuel purchases of synthetic fuel. Section 526 of EISA requires that any fuel purchases have a life-cycle CO2 emission less than conventional petroleum fuel. This study evaluates different scenarios for the conversion of coal and biomass to jet fuel using oxygen blown, transport reactor integrated gasifier and Fischer-Tropsch catalyst configurations.


Calculating Uncertainty in Biomass Emissions Model Documentation, CUBE Version 1.0

Date: 1/20/2014
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This report accompanies the Calculating Uncertainty in Biomass Emissions model, version 1.0 (CUBE 1.0), and provides explanation of model content and use. It is intended to complement extensive documentation contained in the model itself. CUBE 1.0 determines the life cycle GHG emissions of biomass feedstocks from planting the biomass to delivery to the bioenergy plant gate ("farm-to-gate"). Included are emissions associated with feedstock production, transportation, and processing. The feedstocks in CUBE 1.0 include three dedicated energy crops (corn grain, switchgrass, and mixed prairie biomass) and two biomass residues (forest residue and mill residue). A free Analytica player for viewing and using CUBE 1.0 can be downloaded from Lumina Decision Systems at: http://www.lumina.com/ana/player.htm.


Co-firing Biomass to Reduce the Environmental Footprint of Coal-fired Heat and Power: A Good Strategy?

Date: 10/2/2013
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The use of biomass as a feedstock for co-fired electricity generation and heat production is attractive because it offers renewable energy derived from a domestically available feedstock and the potential for reductions in greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts. Drivers for the adoption of biomass-based power and heat include the anticipation of forthcoming GHG regulation, compatibility with existing industrial processes and electricity infrastructure, and other potential State or Federal policies. The overarching objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the potential human health and environmental outcomes associated with the use of biomass in electricity generation and combined heat and power operations. Co-firing biomass with coal reduces GHG emissions but can increase some human health and ecosystem impacts. The type of biomass and the location where it is produced are important, making it difficult to generalize the results in all impact categories.


Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the Power Industry Using Domestic Coal and Biomass - Volume 1: IGCC

Date: 2/1/2013
Contact: William Summers

The objective of this study was to simulate biomass co-firing in a dry-fed, entrained-flow gasifier in an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant and examine the resulting performance, environmental response, and economic response. To develop a more complete understanding of the impact of co-feeding biomass, each case was examined using a limited life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis, which examines GHG emissions beyond the plant stack. Included in the limited life cycle GHG analysis were anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from the production, processing, transportation, and fertilization of biomass and from mining, transporting and handling coal.


Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the Power Industry Using Domestic Coal and Biomass - Volume 2: PC Plants

Date: 2/1/2013
Contact: William Summers

The objective of this study was to simulate biomass co-firing in greenfield Pulverized Coal (PC) power plants and examine the resulting performance, environmental response, and economic response. To develop a more complete understanding of the impact of co-feeding biomass, each case was examined using a limited life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis, which examines GHG emissions beyond the plant stack. Included in the limited life cycle GHG analysis were anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from the production, processing, transportation, and fertilization of biomass and from mining, transporting and handling coal.


LCA XII Presentation: Modeling the Uncertainty of Fischer-Tropsch Jet Fuel Life Cycle Inventories with Monte Carlo Simulation

Date: 10/1/2012
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This presentation discusses the use of Monte Carlo simulation to model the uncertainty in a life cycle inventory of the Gasification Systems of coal and biomass. While the inventory is dominated by carbon dioxide emissions from the Adv. Combustion Systems of the fuel, small changes to the feedstocks that are used to make the fuel can make the difference in complying with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.


LCA XII Presentation - Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Technology Assessment Compilation

Date: 10/1/2012
Contact: Robert James

NETL has applied a single set of methods for calculating the environmental, cost, and other aspects of seven options for baseload power generation. LCA is used to calculate environmental results, and life cycle boundaries are also applied to cost results. A set of other technical and non-technical criteria are used to gain a broad understanding of the roles of alternative energy sources in the U.S. energy portfolio.


LCA XII Presentation: Contribution of Biomass to the LCI of Cofiring Power

Date: 9/26/2012
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

Biomass includes agricultural residues, forest thinnings, and dedicated energy crops. Life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions can be accomplished with coal and biomass co-firing only if biomass is produced with high yield rates and there are miniminal changes to land use. Increasing power plant efficiency or using post-combustion carbon dioxide capture and sequestration can lead to larger GHG reductions than co-firing biomass with coal.


Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Pulverized Coal and Biomass Co-firing Technology Assessment (Presentation)

Date: 9/1/2012
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This analysis evaluates the role of coal and biomass co-firing power in the future energy portfolio of the U.S. Coal and biomass co-firing power is evaluated with respect to resource base, growth potential, environmental profile, costs, barriers, risks, and expert opinions. Co-firing is seen as a way of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of existing coal-fired power plants, but the incorporation of biomass into an existing coal-fired system increases the complexity of feedstock acquisition. Further, the acquisition of biomass has unique GHG burdens that offset, in part, the GHG reductions from the displacement of coal with biomass. Due to the higher feedstock prices of biomass, the co-firing of biomass at a 10 percent share of feedstock energy can increase the cost of electricity by as much as 31 percent. Other risks include regulatory uncertainty; without policies that encourage the use of renewable feedstocks, there is no incentive for producers to invest in co-fired systems.


Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Pulverized Coal and Biomass Co-firing Technology Assessment (Report)

Date: 9/1/2012
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This analysis evaluates the role of coal and biomass co-firing power in the future energy portfolio of the U.S. Coal and biomass co-firing power is evaluated with respect to resource base, growth potential, environmental profile, costs, barriers, risks, and expert opinions. Co-firing is seen as a way of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of existing coal-fired power plants, but the incorporation of biomass into an existing coal-fired system increases the complexity of feedstock acquisition. Further, the acquisition of biomass has unique GHG burdens that offset, in part, the GHG reductions from the displacement of coal with biomass. Due to the higher feedstock prices of biomass, the co-firing of biomass at a 10 percent share of feedstock energy can increase the cost of electricity by as much as 31 percent. Other risks include regulatory uncertainty; without policies that encourage the use of renewable feedstocks, there is no incentive for producers to invest in co-fired systems.


Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Pulverized Coal and Biomass Co-firing Technology Assessment (Fact Sheet)

Date: 8/30/2012
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

This analysis evaluates the role of coal and biomass co-firing power in the future energy portfolio of the U.S. Coal and biomass co-firing power is evaluated with respect to resource base, growth potential, environmental profile, costs, barriers, risks, and expert opinions. Co-firing is seen as a way of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of existing coal-fired power plants, but the incorporation of biomass into an existing coal-fired system increases the complexity of feedstock acquisition. Further, the acquisition of biomass has unique GHG burdens that offset, in part, the GHG reductions from the displacement of coal with biomass. Due to the higher feedstock prices of biomass, the co-firing of biomass at a 10 percent share of feedstock energy can increase the cost of electricity by as much as 31 percent. Other risks include regulatory uncertainty; without policies that encourage the use of renewable feedstocks, there is no incentive for producers to invest in co-fired systems.


Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Advanced Jet Propulsion Fuels: F-T Based SPK-1 Case Study (Report)

Date: 12/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

In response to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), NETL conducted an LCA (LCA) of 10 fuel production pathways using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. These pathways use varying combinations of coal and swithgrass feedstocks and two options for carbon management (sequestration or enhanced oil recovery). Only greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are inventoried. Comparative analysis of the results demonstrate that higher percentages of biomass result in lower life cycle GHG emissions when using switchgrass. The choice of carbon management strategy has an effect on the results.


Estimating Freshwater Needs to Meet Future Thermoelectric Generation Requirements - 2011 Update

Date: 10/1/2011
Contact: Erik Shuster

Future freshwater withdrawal and consumption from domestic thermoelectric generation sources were estimated for five cases, using EIA AEO 2011 regional projections for capacity additions and retirements.


Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Advanced Jet Propulsion Fuels: F-T Based SPK-1 Case Study (Presentation)

Date: 9/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The purpose of this report is to provide a framework and guidance for estimating the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions for transportation fuels, specifically aviation fuels derived from coal and biomass. This report is a detailed case study of ten coal and biomass to SPK-1 aviation fuel scenarios. The case study follows the framework and guidance document developed by the Interagency Work Group for Alternative Fuels (IAWG-AF) published in 2010. The report is a product of the workgroup members, was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force and the project was led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The results of this case study are a detailed report and model documenting the methodology, data, and conclusions. A summary presentation is also included with the report and model.


Life Cycle Analysis: Ethanol from Biomass - Appendix

Date: 9/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The Appendix of Life Cycle Analysis of an Ethanol Plant utilizing Biomass develops an Inventory of emissions results and calculates Life Cycle costs.


Life Cycle Analysis: Ethanol from Biomass - Presentation

Date: 9/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The Life Cycle Analysis of an Ethanol Plant utilizing Biomass develops an Inventory of emissions results and calculates Life Cycle costs.


Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Advanced Jet Propulsion Fuels: Fischer Tropsch Based SPK-1 Case Study (Model)

Date: 9/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

In response to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), NETL conducted an LCA of 10 fuel production pathways using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. These pathways use varying combinations of coal and swithgrass feedstocks and two options for carbon management (sequestration or enhanced oil recovery). Only greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are inventoried. Comparative analysis of the results demonstrate that higher percentages of biomass result in lower life cycle GHG emissions when using switchgrass. The choice of carbon management strategy has an effect on the results.


Near-Term Opportunities for Integrating Biomass into the U.S. Electricity Supply: Technical Consider

Date: 8/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

In light of potential regulatory limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, requirements for greater use of renewable fuels, and higher prices for some conventional fossil resources, over the course of the next few decades, biomass is expected to become an increasingly important source of electricity, heat, and liquid fuel. One near-term option for using biomass to generate electricity is to cofire biomass in coal-fired electricity plants. Doing so allows such plants to reduce GHG emissions and, in appropriate regulatory environments, to generate renewable-energy credits to recover costs. This report focuses on two aspects of biomass use: plant-site modifications, changes in operations, and costs associated with cofiring biomass; and the logistical issues associated with delivering biomass to the plant.


Life Cycle Analysis: Ethanol from Biomass

Date: 8/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The Life Cycle Analysis of an Ethanol Plant utilizing Biomass develops an Inventory of emissions results, and calculates Life Cycle costs. This is a life cycle environmental and cost analysis of ethanol using starch and cellulosic feedstocks. It provides a life cycle comparison of three tiers of technology, three types of biomass feedstocks, and two fuel-blending compositions for a total of 18 distinct pathways. When ethanol is blended with gasoline at an 85/15 ratio between ethanol and gasoline, the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are highly variable due to different feedstock types and ethanol production technologies. The biochemical conversion of cellulosic feedstocks to ethanol has the lowest GHG emissions in this analysis, because of the energy recovered at the ethanol plant.


Supplying Biomass to Power Plants: A Model of the Costs of Utilizing Agricultural Biomass in Cofired Power Plants

Date: 8/1/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

U.S. power plants seek to diversify their fuel sources. Biomass energy is a renewable resource, generally with lower emissions than fossil fuels, and has a large, diverse base. To make decisions about investing in a facility that utilizes biomass, prospective users need information about infrastructure, logistics, costs, and constraints for the full biomass life cycle. The model developed in this work is designed to estimate the cost and availability of biomass energy resources from U.S. agricultural lands from the perspective of an individual power plant. It shows that small variations in crop yields can lead to substantial changes in the amount, type, and spatial distribution of land that would produce the lowest-cost biomass for an energy facility. Land and crop choices would be very sensitive to policies governing greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing, and the model demonstrates important implications for total land area requirements for supplying biomass fuel.


CBTL Jet Fuel Model

Date: 2/16/2011
Contact: Timothy J. Skone, P.E.

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) has received funding from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy to demonstrate how liquid fuel can be produced from coal and meet the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 greenhouse gas (GHG) requirement for DOD fuel purchases of synthetic fuel. Section 526 of EISA requires that any fuel purchases have a life-cycle CO2 emission less than conventional petroleum fuel. This model evaluates different scenarios for the conversion of coal and biomass to jet fuel using oxygen blown, transport reactor integrated gasifier and Fischer-Tropsch catalyst configurations.