CSBE-SCGAB

A Comparative Analysis of Co-firing Biomass with Coal and Natural Gas in Western Canada

Authors: Agbor, E., A. Olajire Oyedun, X. Zhang, A. Kumar
Description: Fossil fuel-based power plants contribute significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Displacement of fossil fuel-based power through biomass co-firing has been proposed as a near-term option to reduce the GHG emissions. In this study, biomass feedstock including wood chips, wheat straw and forest residue were co-fired with coal or natural gas on a 500 MW Subcritical Pulverized Coal (PC) plant. Several scenarios with various technologies were comparatively studied to determine their economic potential, costs and to provide insight into the environmental benefit each technology can offer. Preliminary results for the biomass-coal co-firing shows that minimum levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) ($41.77/MWh) and incremental cost of co-firing ($2.64/MWh) can be achieved with wheat straw at 10% co-firing level in a fully paid coal-plant while the highest LCOE ($128.45/MWh) and incremental cost of co-firing ($75.47/MWh) was achieved with wood chips at 75% co-firing level in a partially-paid coal plant. These results with the avoided CO2 cost for each scenario will be comparatively analysed with that of natural gas co-firing. A series of sensitivity analysis will also be conducted to determine the conditions under which each technology is most feasible and to guide experimental efforts toward the areas that could result in the largest costs and GHG emission reductions.
Keywords: Biomass co-firing, coal, natural gas, combustion, GHG emission, power generation, renewable energy, techno-economic assessment
Technical field: Renewable Energy
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB, 5-8 July 2015.
Session name: Bioenergy III - Combustion, Gasification and Co-firing
Citation: Agbor, E., A. Olajire Oyedun, X. Zhang, A. Kumar. 2015. A Comparative Analysis of Co-firing Biomass with Coal and Natural Gas in Western Canada. CSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB, 5-8 July 2015.
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Date: 2015-07-05
Publication type:
  • Technical conference
Type: Text.Article
Identifier: CSBE15068
Coverage: Canada
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering

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