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Final Energy Requirements of Steam for Use in Environmental Life Cycle Assessment

Nieuwlaar, Evert
Roes, Alexander L.
Published in Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2016, vol. 20, no. 4, p. 828-836
Abstract Steam is an important utility that is required in nearly all industrial process chains and hence needs to be modeled in life cycle assessment studies. Industrial steam systems are often very complex, with different steam flows varying in pressure and temperature and being transported over different distances. This should be accounted for when calculating the energy requirements related to steam supply. In this article, we constructed a generic model that allows estimating final energy requirements (i.e., gate-to-gate energy required to generate the steam) of various types of single-fuel steam systems without turbines (i.e., open and closed cycles) with or without flash steam and expressed per tonne (t) of steam supplied to a process (before heat exchange) or per gigajoule (GJ) heat delivered within the process (after heat exchange, i.e., as useful energy). The model focuses on steam provided for covering process heat requirements and hence excludes cogeneration schemes with steam turbines. Based on the final energy requirements estimated with our generic model, primary energy requirements and environmental impacts can be calculated for various circumstances. Depending on the conditions chosen, final energy requirements for natural gas–fueled systems, as estimated in this study, are 2.71 to 3.44 GJ/t produced steam or 1.33 to 1.78 GJ/GJ delivered heat.
Keywords Ecological modelingEnergy analysisFuel efficiencyIndustrial ecologyIndustrial energy useLife cycle assessment (LCA)
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NIEUWLAAR, Evert, ROES, Alexander L., PATEL, Martin Kumar. Final Energy Requirements of Steam for Use in Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2016, vol. 20, n° 4, p. 828-836. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:96530

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Deposited on : 2017-09-06

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