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Power Generation from Forest Residues Open Access


Other title
Harvesting Residues
Life Cycle Assessment
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Thakur, Amit
Supervisor and department
Kumar, Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Lieffers, Victor (Renewable Resources)
Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
Kumar, Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The overall objective of this study is to develop techno-economic models for the assessment of power generation cost and optimum power plant size using forest residues as feedstock in Alberta. At the optimum size of the plant, the cost of generation of power is minimum. In this research two supply chains for utilization of forest residues in a centralized power plant were investigated. In the first option, the residues are collected, piled and chipped along the roadside in the forest. In the second option, collected and piled forest residues are compressed and bundled. These bundles are transported to the plant using a standard log haul truck. The theoretical optimal size without the constraint of the unit size of the boiler is 524 MW with a power generation cost of $74.20 /MWh for in-wood chipping. Similarly, for the bundling method, the theoretical optimum is 520 MW with power generation cost $87.30 /MWh. At an unit of boiler of 300 MW, the optimum size of the power plant is same as the unit size of the boiler. The power generation costs at this size are $75.50 and $88.50 /MWh for in-wood chipping and chipping at plant option, respectively. Total life cycle emissions in power generation through the two supply options are: 17.56 gCO2/kWh (in-wood chipping) and 15.8 gCO2/kWh (chipping at plant) at the optimal size. Biomass based power is currently not economical compared to coal based power in Alberta. At an average price of $60 /MWh coal based electricity generation, the carbon credit required for the biomass based power to be competitive for two options are $28.20 /tCO2 and $29.60 /tCO2 at theoretical optimum and 300 MW power plant size for in wood chipping. The same cost was $41.50/tCO2 and $42.90/tCO2 for chipping at plant respectively.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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