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Biochar and renewable energy generation from poultry litter waste: A technical and economic analysis based on computational simulations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yaodong WangORCiD, Professor Tony Roskilly


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The technical and economic analysis of generating biochar together with electricity and/or heat from poultry litter (PL) waste is the subject of this study. To carry out this study, the process simulation software ECLIPSE is used. Modelling and simulation have been conducted over the selected system: the pyrolysis/gasification process integrated with an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). The facility will be capable of processing 1500 kg of PL every hour. The simulation shows that when a reference PL is used the yield of biochar from the process is around 398 kg/h with a 38% carbon content. Electricity generated by the ORC system is 388 kW h(e). Recovered low grade heat for space heating is estimated at 1831 kW h(th). The results of the economic analysis suggest that when paying 20 pound/tonne for handling and storing the feedstock without any options of selling either heat or electricity, the break-even selling price (BESP) of biochar is around 218 pound/tonne. If the sale of electricity and heat produced is considered to be around 60 pound/MW he and 5 pound/MW h(th), the BESP will decrease to 178 pound/tonne. The case studies also indicate that when a gate fee of 10 pound/tonne is introduced the BESP can be further reduced to 65 pound/tonne, equivalent to a 63% reduction. On the other hand if biochar generated has an average price of 150 pound/tonne in the market and the plant receives one Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) from the Government, the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for the electricity generation will be 46 pound/MW h(e), which is compatible with electricity generated by fossil fuel power plants. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Huang Y, Anderson M, McIlveen-Wright D, Lyons GA, McRoberts WC, Wang YD, Roskilly AP, Hewitt NJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Energy

Year: 2015

Volume: 160

Pages: 656-663

Print publication date: 15/12/2015

Online publication date: 30/01/2015

Acceptance date: 07/01/2015

ISSN (print): 0306-2619

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9118

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.01.029


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