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Life Cycle Assessment of landfill biogas management: Sensitivity to diffuse and combustion air emissions

Abstract : Goal and scope: The life cycle inventory of landfill emissions is a key point in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of waste management options and is highly subject to discussion. Result sensitivity to data inventory is accounted for through the implementation of scenarios that help examine how waste landfilling should be modeled in LCA. Method: Four landfill biogas management options are environmentally evaluated in a Life Cycle Assessment perspective: (1) no biogas management (open dump), conventional landfill with (2) flaring, (3) combined heat and power (CHP) production in an internal combustion engine and (4) biogas upgrading for use as a fuel in buses. Average, maximum and minimum literature values are considered both for combustion emission factors in flares and engines and for trace pollutant concentrations in biogas. Results: Biogas upgrading for use as a fuel in buses appears as the most relevant option with respect to most non-toxic impact categories and ecotoxicity, when considering average values for trace gas concentrations and combustion emission factors. Biogas combustion in an engine for CHP production shows the best performances in terms of climate change, but generates significantly higher photochemical oxidant formation and marine eutrophication impact potentials than flaring or biogas upgrading for use as a fuel in buses. Interpretation and discussion: However the calculated environmental impact potentials of landfill biogas management options depend largely on the trace gas concentrations implemented in the model. The use of average or extreme values reported in the literature significantly modifies the impact potential of a given scenario (up to two orders of magnitude for open dumps with respect to human toxicity). This should be taken into account when comparing landfilling with other waste management options. Also, the actual performances of a landfill top cover (in terms of oxidation rates) and combustion technology (in terms of emission factors) appear as key parameters affecting the ranking of biogas management options
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Contributeur : Anne-Marie Pouget <>
Soumis le : vendredi 11 juillet 2014 - 12:16:03
Dernière modification le : jeudi 9 avril 2015 - 15:16:41

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Antoine Beylot, Jacques Villeneuve, Gaël Bellenfant. Life Cycle Assessment of landfill biogas management: Sensitivity to diffuse and combustion air emissions. Waste Management, Elsevier, 2013, 33 (2), pp.401-411. ⟨10.1016/j.wasman.2012.08.017⟩. ⟨hal-01022965⟩

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