Development of Optimum Locations and Scales for an Integrated Multi-feedstock Waste-to-value-added Facility through Geographical Information System Modelling

  • Author / Creator
    Patel, Prashant
  • Biomass and municipal solid waste (MSW) management have received significant attention globally of late. This study is focused on the utilization of lignocellulosic biomass (agricultural and forest residue) and MSW. The potentials of lignocellulosic biomass and MSW are used to determine the geographical point source locations for the distributed biomass, and optimal locations for waste-to-value-added (W2VA) facilities in a jurisdiction. A case study for the province of Alberta for the production of valuable products is conducted. Precise estimates of the annual availability of agricultural residue, forest residue, and MSW in Alberta show the potential for 4.1 million oven dry tonnes (odt), 2.1 million odt, and 4.3 million wet tonnes, respectively, of these waste sources. The initial step in optimally locating a W2VA facility is identifying feedstock collection points. MSW is transferred from communities to already established transfer stations (TSs) from where it is further distributed for either landfilling or recycling. On the other hand, agricultural and forest residue do not have dedicated TSs, therefore, this study for the first time developed geographic information system (GIS)-based suitability model to identify point source locations, defined as biomass collection points (BCPs), with geographical latitude and longitude for collecting biomass. The developed model also estimated the annual feedstock potential at identified BCPs and MSW TSs. In case study, the developed framework was used to perform a land suitability analysis, which is defined as a GIS-based process to determine the suitability of a given area for a particular use. Suitability analysis uses various geographical constraints chosen based on economic, environmental, and social factors to identify the most suitable area whereas network analysis identifies the most optimal locations out of various candidate sites to set up a W2VA facility. In this study, one W2VA facility was identified in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland (AIH) and 10 across the province of Alberta. This study also investigates the integration of three types of feedstock – agricultural residue, forest residue, and MSW – along with waste heat in the AIH W2VA facility. A techno-economic model, the FUNdamental ENgineering PrinciplEs-based model for Estimation of Cost of Energy from Biomass and Municipal Solid Waste (FUNNEL-Cost-Bio-MSW), was then used to assess the technical and economical parameters of converting lignocellulosic biomass and MSW into electricity via gasification technology. The availability of biomass and MSW at corresponding collection points, as well as the transportation distances to the W2VA facility, are the key inputs to the model. A particular case of the AIH was considered to assess the technical and economic feasibility of a proposed 199 MW gasification-based W2VA facility. Two scenarios were defined based on whether waste heat is used from one source or more than one source. Scenario I considered W2VA facility next to a single waste heat source whereas Scenario II identifies optimal location of W2VA facility between two waste heat sources in order to address the case where if the waste heat from one source is not sufficient for drying. A techno-economic assessment of Scenario I and II estimated internal rate of returns (IRRs) of 11.8% and 8.1%, respectively. The cost of generating electricity was estimated to be $21.09/MWh and $33.23/MWh for Scenario I and II, respectively. The model also assessed the sensitivities of the calculated results to the key technical and economic parameters. This study can be used as a framework by municipalities/communities in any jurisdiction across the world to geographically locate biomass source/collection points along with their annual capacity, the corresponding optimal location for siting a W2VA facility, and the technical and economic feasibility of setting up a W2VA facility.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
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