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WIREs Energy Environ.
Impact Factor: 3.803

Effectiveness of biomass for energy purposes: a fuel cycle approach

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The article presents a methodology that allows the complex evaluation of the energy and economic effectiveness of the different kinds of biomass providing, processing and utilization for energy purposes. The methodology is based on identification of the whole fuel cycle for the individual types of grown biomass and conversion technologies used for production of end‐use energy products (such as biomethane, liquid biofuels, electricity, and heat). The evaluation of energy efficiency is based on the calculation of the net energy effect resulting from the use of 1 ha of agricultural land to grow biomass for energy purposes respecting differences in biomass fuel cycles due to differences in biomass production, conversion technologies, and end‐use energy products. Evaluation of the economic effectiveness of biomass utilization combines efficiency of biomass planting, conversion technologies, and the economic parameters of the individual elements of the fuel cycle. The application of the method is demonstrated on selected cases of biomass fuel cycles in the conditions of the Czech Republic. The methodology can serve as the groundwork for identifying the most effective strategies of biomass utilization for the energy purposes with respect to the limitation of agricultural land availability and the economic effectiveness of end‐use energy products providing. WIREs Energy Environ 2015, 4:575–586. doi: 10.1002/wene.164 This article is categorized under: Bioenergy > Economics and Policy Bioenergy > Science and Materials Bioenergy > Systems and Infrastructure
Structure of the biomass fuel cycle.
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Comparison of net output for individual biomass fuel cycles—case example of the Czech Republic. CHP: combined heat and power.
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Detailed overview of energy flows of biomass utilization—case example of maize as the input in the biogas station for power and heat production (CHP).
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