Renewable Energy, Vol.163, 1523-1535, 2021
The corn cob gasification-based renewable energy recovery in the life cycle environmental performance of seed-corn supply chain: An Ecuadorian case study
The influence of energy recovery from corn cob residues on the environmental performance of the seed-corn supply chain was the main research purpose of this work. An experimental and theoretical analysis as research methods were considered. In this way, an experimental study of corn cob gasification by using air as gasifying agent was conducted, while syngas-based power generation was assessed in a typical gas-ICE. Additionally, life cycle assessment (LCA) of two scenarios (combustion and gasification cases of corn cob residues) for the seed-corn supply chain was accomplished. According to results, a syngas yield in the range of 1.23 and 2.35 Nm(3)/kg of corn cob was obtained, with LHV close to 5.32 MJ/Nm(3). Specific energy recovery from corn cob residues showed, an electricity surplus index of 744 kWh/t corn cob. Moreover, the carbon footprint for both combustion and gasification cases was 913 kg CO2-eq/t seed-corn and 797 kg CO2-eq/ t seed-corn, respectively. Integrated thermochemical conversion of corn cob and power generation system represents a technological alternative for its sustainable management. This study provides a holistic inventory, energy balance, and life cycle analysis of corn cob energy utilization. No similar approaches were found in the reviewed literature. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.