Ethylene production via gasification of wood - what are potential environmental hotspots
Conference contribution, 2013
In an effort to reduce its environmental impact, the chemical industry has started to investigate the use of biomass in order to replace fossil based feed-stocks. This does not only include the investigation of suitable biomass options but also of processes capable of converting the biomass into desired products. Among various options gasification is gaining increasing interest, not least since it can be applied both as an alternative and in combination with other processes such as fermentation.
In this life cycle assessment, we study the environmental impact of a potential industrial scale production of the base chemical ethylene via gasification of woody biomass in Sweden.
Sweden does not only have a strong research and development basis for biomass gasification but also has abundant wood resources. However, the construction of industrial scale biomass gasification plants might take several more years. For this reason, the assessment focuses on the identification of potential environmental hot spots of gasification to ethylene. Knowledge of these hot spots could support the environmentally conscious implementation of this production route.