Environmental, Social and Economical Sustainability for Bioenergy
Sustainability assessment of technological processes and products from biomass is one of the interdisciplinary research topics addressed by Unit of Bioenergy and Biorrefineries. By this, LNEG plays an important role in either delivery of the collaborative services to the Portuguese industry or actively participate in the National and European R&D projects.
The main research activities are:
Assessment of integrated biorefineries – industrial processes design, mass and energy balances and techno-economic viability analysis:By using process engineering simulation software (Aspen Plus and/or SuperPro Designer), it is performed the process design and optimization, mass and energy balances calculation and the techno-economic assessment of integrated biorefineries. With aim at minimizing the use of fossil fuels, a relevant activity consists of the energy consumption assessment (electricity and utilities) and the heat integration in bioenergy- and bioproducts-oriented biorefineries.
Environmental, social and economic sustainability assessment of biorefineries:Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Social Life Cycle Assessment (S LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) of different bioenergy technologies, from low TRL up to technologies at commercial scale, using LCA software (SimaPro) with the most up-to-date databases (Ecoinvent and others); Green House Gases (GHG) emissions determination and other impact categories, such as soil acidification, land occupation, water eutrophication, or ozone formation and depletion; Development of life cycle assessment models (well-to-wheel) for different value chains under a biorefinery concept.
Land use: Assessment of GHG emissions associated to energetic crops (biomass cultivation for bioenergy); Development of integrated models (environmental, economic and social) of the logistics and supply chain of biomass for bioenergy (heat, power and biofuels).
Public Policies: in the Bioenergy area LNEG contributes to the technical assessment and preparation of strategic national documents for the Environment, Biomass and Bioenergy, e.g. the National Plan for the Promotion of Biorefineries (PNPB), National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNEC-2030), and also has been providing inputs to the development of European renewable energies directives (RED1 and RED2). LNEG is also responsible for the implementation of the sustainability criteria for biofuels in Portugal through The National System for Monitoring the Compliance of Sustainability Criteria of Biofuels and Bioliquids (ECS).