79 research outputs found

    Biomass resources and biofuels potential for the production of transportation fuels in Nigeria

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    Solid biomass and waste are major sources of energy. They account for about 80% of total primary energy consumed in Nigeria. This paper assesses the biomass resources (agricultural, forest, urban, and other wastes) available in Nigeria and the potential for biofuel production from first, second, third and fourth generation biomass feedstocks. It reviews the scope of biomass conversion technologies tested within the country and the reports on the technology readiness level of each. Currently, most of the emerging biofuels projects in Nigeria utilize first generation biomass feedstock for biofuel production and are typically located many miles away from the petroleum refineries infrastructures. These feedstocks are predominantly food crops and thus in competition with food production. With significant availability of non-food biomass resources, particularly in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and the petroleum refineries located in the same area, it is pertinent to consider expanding use of the petroleum refinery׳s infrastructure to co-process non-food biomass into bio-intermediate oil for blending with petroleum. This not only addresses the potential food versus fuel conflict challenging biofuel production in Nigeria, but also reduces the cost of setting up new bio-refineries thus eliminating the transportation of ethanol to existing petroleum refineries for blending. In view of this, it is recommended that further research be carried out to assess the feasibility of upgrading existing refineries in Nigeria to co-process bio-based fuels and petroleum products thus achieving the targets set by the Nigeria Energy Commission for biofuel production in the country

    UK Foot and Mouth disease: a systemic risk assessment of existing controls

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    This article details a systemic analysis of the controls in place and possible interventions available to further reduce the risk of a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the United Kingdom. Using a research-based network analysis tool, we identify vulnerabilities within the multibarrier control system and their corresponding critical control points (CCPs). CCPs represent opportunities for active intervention that produce the greatest improvement to United Kingdom's resilience to future FMD outbreaks. Using an adapted ‘features, events, and processes’ (FEPs) methodology and network analysis, our results suggest that movements of animals and goods associated with legal activities significantly influence the system's behavior due to their higher frequency and ability to combine and create scenarios of exposure similar in origin to the U.K. FMD outbreaks of 1967/8 and 2001. The systemic risk assessment highlights areas outside of disease control that are relevant to disease spread. Further, it proves to be a powerful tool for demonstrating the need for implementing disease controls that have not previously been part of the system

    Integrating phytoremediation with biomass valorisation and critical element recovery: A UK contaminated land perspective

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    In the UK, the widespread presence of elemental contaminants such as arsenic and nickel in contaminated sites and more widely release of platinum group metals into the biosphere are growing concerns. Phytoremediation has the potential to treat land contaminated with these elements at low cost. An integrated approach combining land remediation with post-process biomass to energy conversion and high value element recovery is proposed to enhance the financial viability of phytoremediation. An analytical review of plant species suitable for the phytoremediation of nickel, Arsenic and platinum group metals is reported. Additionally, a preliminary model is developed to assess the viability of the proposed approach. A feasibility appraisal using Monte Carlo simulation to analyse project risk suggests high biomass yield plant species can significantly increase the confidence of achieving financial return from the project. The order of financial return from recovering elements was found to be: Ni > Pt > As

    Determination of renewable energy yield from mixed waste material from the use of novel image analysis methods

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    Two novel techniques are presented in this study which together aim to provide a system able to determine the renewable energy potential of mixed waste materials. An image analysis tool was applied to two waste samples prepared using known quantities of source-segregated recyclable materials. The technique was used to determine the composition of the wastes, where through the use of waste component properties the biogenic content of the samples was calculated. The percentage renewable energy determined by image analysis for each sample was accurate to within 5% of the actual values calculated. Microwave-based multiple-point imaging (AutoHarvest) was used to demonstrate the ability of such a technique to determine the moisture content of mixed samples. This proof-of-concept experiment was shown to produce moisture measurement accurate to within 10%. Overall, the image analysis tool was able to determine the renewable energy potential of the mixed samples, and the AutoHarvest should enable the net calorific value calculations through the provision of moisture content measurements. The proposed system is suitable for combustion facilities, and enables the operator to understand the renewable energy potential of the waste prior to combustion

    Solid–gaseous phase transformation of elemental contaminants during the gasification of biomass

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    Disposal of plant biomass removed from heavy metal contaminated land via gasification achieves significant volume reduction and can recover energy. However, these biomass often contain high concentrations of heavy metals leading to hot-corrosion of gasification facilities and toxic gaseous emissions. Therefore, it is of significant interest to gain a further understanding of the solid–gas phase transition of metal(loid)s during gasification. Detailed elemental analyses (C, H, O, N and key metal/metalloid elements) were performed on five plant species collected from a contaminated site. Using multi-phase equilibria modelling software (MTDATA), the analytical data allows modelling of the solid/gas transformation of metal(loid)s during gasification. Thermodynamic modelling based on chemical equilibrium calculations was carried out in this study to predict the fate of metal(loid) elements during typical gasification conditions and to show how these are influenced by metal(loid) composition in the biomass and operational conditions. As, Cd, Zn and Pb tend to transform to their gaseous forms at relatively low temperatures ( 1200 °C). Simulation of pressurised gasification conditions shows that higher pressures increase the temperature at which solid-to-gaseous phase transformations takes place.The authors wish to thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the financial support to carry out this work through grant number EP/K026216/1 (Cleaning Land for Wealth) and a SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub Small Grant

    Critical reflections on designing product service systems

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    In response to unsustainability and the prospect of resource scarcity, lifestyles dominated by resource throughput are being challenged. This paper focuses on a design experiment that sought to introduce alternative resource consumption pathways in the form of product service systems (PSS) to satisfy household demand and reduce consumer durable household waste. In contrast to many other PSS examples this project did not begin with sustainability benefits, rather the preferences of supply and demand actors and the bounded geographical locations represented by two UK housing developments. The paper addresses the process through which the concept PSS were designed, selected and evaluated, alongside the practical and commercial parameters of the project. It proposes the need for a shift to further emphasize the importance of the design imperative in creating different PSS outcomes that reorganize relationships between people, resources and the environment

    Estimating fugitive bioaerosol releases from static compost windrows: feasibility of portable wind tunnel approach

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    An assessment of the fugitive release of bioaerosols from static compost piles was conducted at a green waste composting facility in South East England; this representing the initial stage of a programme of research into the influence of process parameters on bioaerosol emission flux. Wind tunnel experiments conducted on the surface of static windrows generated specific bioaerosol emission rates (SBER2s) at ground level of between 13 - 22 x10 3 cfu/m 2 /s for mesophilic actinomycetes and between 8 - 11 x10 3 cfu/m 2 /s for Aspergillus fumigatus. Air dispersion modelling of these emissions using the SCREEN3 air dispersion model in area source term mode was used to generate source depletion curves downwind of the facility for comparative purposes

    Recent developments in the application of risk analysis to waste technologies.

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    The European waste sector is undergoing a period of unprecedented change driven by business consolidation, new legislation and heightened public and government scrutiny. One feature is the transition of the sector towards a process industry with increased pre-treatment of wastes prior to the disposal of residues and the co-location of technologies at single sites, often also for resource recovery and residuals management. Waste technologies such as in-vessel composting, the thermal treatment of clinical waste, the stabilisation of hazardous wastes, biomass gasification, sludge combustion and the use of wastes as fuel, present operators and regulators with new challenges as to their safe and environmentally responsible operation. A second feature of recent change is an increased regulatory emphasis on public and ecosystem health and the need for assessments of risk to and from waste installations. Public confidence in waste management, secured in part through enforcement of the planning and permitting regimes and sound operational performance, is central to establishing the infrastructure of new waste technologies. Well-informed risk management plays a critical role. We discuss recent developments in risk analysis within the sector and the future needs of risk analysis that are required to respond to the new waste and resource management agenda

    Critical review of real-time methods for solid waste characterisation: Informing material recovery and fuel production

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    Waste management processes generally represent a significant loss of material, energy and economic resources, so legislation and financial incentives are being implemented to improve the recovery of these valuable resources whilst reducing contamination levels. Material recovery and waste derived fuels are potentially valuable options being pursued by industry, using mechanical and biological processes incorporating sensor and sorting technologies developed and optimised for recycling plants. In its current state, waste management presents similarities to other industries that could improve their efficiencies using process analytical technology tools. Existing sensor technologies could be used to measure critical waste characteristics, providing data required by existing legislation, potentially aiding waste treatment processes and assisting stakeholders in decision making. Optical technologies offer the most flexible solution to gather real-time information applicable to each of the waste mechanical and biological treatment processes used by industry. In particular, combinations of optical sensors in the visible and the near-infrared range from 800 nm to 2500 nm of the spectrum, and different mathematical techniques, are able to provide material information and fuel properties with typical performance levels between 80% and 90%. These sensors not only could be used to aid waste processes, but to provide most waste quality indicators required by existing legislation, whilst offering better tools to the stakeholders

    Assessing the perception and reality of arguments against thermal waste treatment plants in terms of property prices

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    The thermal processing of waste materials, although considered to be an essential part of waste management, is often sharply contested in the UK. Arguments such as health, depletion of resources, cost, noise, odours, traffic movement and house prices are often cited as reasons against the development of such facilities. This study aims to review the arguments and identify any effect on property prices due to the public perception of the plant. A selection of existing energy from waste (EfW) facilities in the UK, operational for at least 7 years, was selected and property sales data, within 5 km of the sites, was acquired and analysed in detail. The locations of the properties were calculated in relation to the plant using GIS software (ArcGIS) and the distances split into 5 zones ranging from 0 to 5 km from the site. The local property sale prices, normalised against the local house price index, were compared in two time periods, before and after the facility became operational, across each of the 5 zones. In all cases analysed no significant negative effect was observed on property prices at any distance within 5 km from a modern operational incinerator. This indicated that the perceived negative effect of the thermal processing of waste on local property values is negligible
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