Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3390/su12062230
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Greenhouse gas abatement potentials and economics of selected biochemicals in Germany
Author Musonda, F.; Millinger, M.; Thrän, D.
Source Titel Sustainability
Year 2020
Volume 12
Issue 6
Page From art. 2230
Language englisch
Keywords biochemicals; biobased polymers; bioeconomy; greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement; GHG abatement scenario analysis; optimal biomass allocation
UFZ wide themes BEPASO
Abstract In this paper, biochemicals with the potential to substitute fossil reference chemicals in Germany were identified using technological readiness and substitution potential criteria. Their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were quantified by using life cycle assessments (LCA) and their economic viabilities were determined by comparing their minimum selling prices with fossil references’ market prices. A bottom up mathematical optimization model, BioENergy OPTimization (BENOPT) was used to investigate the GHG abatement potential and the corresponding abatement costs for the biochemicals up to 2050. BENOPT determines the optimal biomass allocation pathways based on maximizing GHG abatement under resource, capacity, and demand constraints. The identified biochemicals were bioethylene, succinic acid, polylactic acid (PLA), and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Results show that only succinic acid is economically competitive. Bioethylene which is the least performing in terms of economics breaks even at a carbon price of 420 euros per ton carbon dioxide equivalent (€/tCO2eq). With full tax waivers, a carbon price of 134 €/tCO2eq is necessary. This would result in positive margins for PHA and PLA of 12% and 16%, respectively. From the available agricultural land, modeling results show high sensitivity to assumptions of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration in biochemicals and integrated biochemicals production. GHG abatement for scenarios where these assumptions were disregarded and where they were collectively taken into account increased by 370% resulting in a 75% reduction in the corresponding GHG abatement costs.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Musonda, F., Millinger, M., Thrän, D. (2020):
Greenhouse gas abatement potentials and economics of selected biochemicals in Germany
Sustainability 12 (6), art. 2230 10.3390/su12062230