Lignocellulosic Ethanol Production Potential and Regional Transportation Fuel Demand

Sammanfattning: Road traffic dominates in domestic Swedish transportation and is highly dependent on fossil fuels, petrol and diesel. Currently, the use of renewable fuels in transportation accounts for less than 6% of the total energy use in transport. The demand for bioethanol to fuel transportation is growing and cannot be met through current domestic production alone. Lignocellulosic ethanol derived from agricultural crop residues may be a feasible alternative source of ethanol for securing a consistent regional fuel supply in Swedish climatic conditions.  This licentiate thesis focuses on regional transport fuel supply by considering local small-scale ethanol production from straw. It presents the results of investigations of regional transport fuel supply with respect to minimising regional CO2 emissions, cost estimates for transport fuel supply, and the availability of lignocellulosic resources for small-scale ethanol production. Regional transport fuel demand between the present and 2020 is also estimated. The results presented here show that significant bioethanol can be produced from the straw and Salix available in the studied regions and that this is sufficient to meet the regions’ current ethanol fuel demand.  A cost optimisation model for regional transport fuel supply is developed and applied for two cases in one study region, one when the ethanol production plant is integrated with an existing CHP plant (polygeneration), and one with a standalone ethanol production plant. The results of the optimisation model show that in both cases the changes in ethanol production costs have the biggest influence on the cost of supplying the regional passenger car fleet with transport fuel, followed by the petrol price and straw production costs.  By integrating the ethanol production process with a CHP plant, the costs of supplying regional passenger car fleet with transport fuel can be reduced by up to a third. Moreover, replacing petrol fuel with ethanol can cut regional CO2 emissions from transportation by half.