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      Gasification of coal and biomass as a net carbon-negative power source for environment-friendly electricity generation in China


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          Deploying coal-bioenergy gasification systems with carbon capture and storage (CBECCS) provides a promising opportunity for China to realize its carbon mitigation and air pollution abatement goals simultaneously. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of CBECCS technology for China, with a focus on plant and fuel configurations (e.g., biomass ratios) and economics, as well as CO 2 and greenhouse gas emissions and cobenefits for air quality. We find significant opportunities for carbon mitigation with air quality cobenefits from deployment of CBECCS systems in regions that are both rich in crop residues and facing urgent needs to curb serious air pollution. The study thus provides critical information for policy makers seeking to exploit the carbon-negative energy opportunities of CBECCS technology.


          Realizing the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 °C by the end of this century will most likely require deployment of carbon-negative technologies. It is particularly important that China, as the world’s top carbon emitter, avoids being locked into carbon-intensive, coal-fired power-generation technologies and undertakes a smooth transition from high- to negative-carbon electricity production. We focus here on deploying a combination of coal and biomass energy to produce electricity in China using an integrated gasification cycle system combined with carbon capture and storage (CBECCS). Such a system will also reduce air pollutant emissions, thus contributing to China’s near-term goal of improving air quality. We evaluate the bus-bar electricity-generation prices for CBECCS with mixing ratios of crop residues varying from 0 to 100%, as well as associated costs for carbon mitigation and cobenefits for air quality. We find that CBECCS systems employing a crop residue ratio of 35% could produce electricity with net-zero life-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases, with a levelized cost of electricity of no more than 9.2 US cents per kilowatt hour. A carbon price of approximately $52.0 per ton would make CBECCS cost-competitive with pulverized coal power plants. Therefore, our results provide critical insights for designing a CBECCS strategy in China to harness near-term air-quality cobenefits while laying the foundation for achieving negative carbon emissions in the long run.

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          Most cited references44

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          Alternative pathways to the 1.5 °C target reduce the need for negative emission technologies

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            An overview of advances in biomass gasification

            The article reviews diverse areas of conventional and advanced biomass gasification discussing their feasibility and sustainability vis-à-vis technological and socio-environmental impacts. Biomass gasification is a widely used thermochemical process for obtaining products with more value and potential applications than the raw material itself. Cutting-edge, innovative and economical gasification techniques with high efficiencies are a prerequisite for the development of this technology. This paper delivers an assessment on the fundamentals such as feedstock types, the impact of different operating parameters, tar formation and cracking, and modelling approaches for biomass gasification. Furthermore, the authors comparatively discuss various conventional mechanisms for gasification as well as recent advances in biomass gasification. Unique gasifiers along with multi-generation strategies are discussed as a means to promote this technology into alternative applications, which require higher flexibility and greater efficiency. A strategy to improve the feasibility and sustainability of biomass gasification is via technological advancement and the minimization of socio-environmental effects. This paper sheds light on diverse areas of biomass gasification as a potentially sustainable and environmentally friendly technology.
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              A review of the primary measures for tar elimination in biomass gasification processes


                Author and article information

                Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
                Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
                National Academy of Sciences
                23 April 2019
                8 April 2019
                8 April 2019
                : 116
                : 17
                : 8206-8213
                [1] aState Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University , 10084 Beijing, People’s Republic of China;
                [2] bState Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex, Tsinghua University , 10084 Beijing, People’s Republic of China;
                [3] cSchool of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland , Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia;
                [4] dState Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University , 210023 Nanjing, People’s Republic of China;
                [5] eSchool of International Affairs, Pennsylvania State University , University Park, PA 16802;
                [6] fDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University , University Park, PA 16802;
                [7] gEnergy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , Berkeley, CA 94720;
                [8] hDepartment of New Energy Science and Technology, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology , 430074 Wuhan, People’s Republic of China;
                [9] iChina-EU Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy, Huazhong University of Science and Technology , 430074 Wuhan, People’s Republic of China;
                [10] jJohn A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University , Cambridge, MA 02138;
                [11] kDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University , Cambridge, MA 02138
                Author notes
                1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: xilu@ 123456tsinghua.edu.cn or mbm@ 123456seas.harvard.edu .

                Edited by Alexis T. Bell, University of California, Berkeley, CA, and approved March 7, 2019 (received for review July 23, 2018)

                Author contributions: X.L. and M.B.M. designed research; X.L. and L.C. performed research; X.L., L.C., J.X., S.W., S.C., and Q.Y. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; X.L., L.C., H.W., W.P., Q.Y., C.P.N., and M.B.M. analyzed data; and X.L., L.C., H.W., W.P., J.X., S.W., B.S., C.P.N., and M.B.M. wrote the paper.

                Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

                This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) 501100001809
                Award ID: 71722003
                Award Recipient : Xi Lu Award Recipient : Liang Cao
                Funded by: Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (MOST) 501100002855
                Award ID: 2016YFC0208901
                Award Recipient : Xi Lu Award Recipient : Liang Cao
                PNAS Plus
                Physical Sciences
                Environmental Sciences
                Social Sciences
                Sustainability Science
                PNAS Plus

                bioenergy,gasification,ccs,air pollution,carbon-negative energy


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