Burnley S.,Open University Milton Keynes |
Phillips R.,Welsh Assembly Government |
Coleman T.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2012
Purpose: The aim of this research was to determine the optimum way of recovering energy from the biodegradable fractions of municipal waste. A part-life cycle study was carried out on the following wastes: paper, food waste, garden waste, wood, non-recyclable mixed municipal waste and refuse-derived fuel. The energy recovery processes considered were incineration, gasification, combustion in dedicated plant, anaerobic digestion and combustion in a cement kiln. Methods: The life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out using WRATE, an LCA tool designed specifically for waste management studies. Additional information on waste composition, waste collection and the performance of the energy recovery processes was obtained from a number of UK-based sources. The results take account of the energy displaced by the waste to energy processes and also the benefits obtained by the associated recycling of digestates, metals and aggregates as appropriate. Results and discussion: For all the waste types considered the maximum benefits in terms of climate change and non-renewable resource depletion would be achieved by using the waste in a cement kiln as a substitute fuel for coal. When considering the impacts in terms of human toxicity, aquatic ecotoxicity, acidification and eutrophication, direct combustion with energy recovery was the best option. The results were found to be highly sensitive to the efficiency of the energy recovery process and the conventional fuel displaced by the recovered energy. Conclusions and recommendations: This study has demonstrated that LCA can be used to determine the benefits and burdens associated with recovering energy from municipal waste fractions. However, the findings were restricted by the lack of reliable data on the performance of waste gasification and anaerobic digestion systems and on the burdens arising from collecting the wastes. It is recommended that further work is carried out to address these data gaps. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Guo M.,Imperial College London |
Littlewood J.,Imperial College London |
Joyce J.,Imperial College London |
Joyce J.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd. |
And 2 more authors.
Green Chemistry | Year: 2014
Although biofuels have the potential for mitigating climate change and enhancing energy security, controversy regarding their overall environmental sustainability is considered a significant bottleneck in their development at both global and EU levels. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to model the current and prospective environmental profiles for poplar-derived bioethanol across various potential EU supply chains (different poplar plantation management, different pretreatment technologies for bioethanol production, five EU locations). LCA modelling indicated that E100 (100% bioethanol) and E85 (85% bioethanol, 15% petrol) fuels derived from Poplar from various locations in the EU had environmental impact scores some 10% to 90% lower than petrol in global warming potential, abiotic depletion potential, ozone depletion potential and photochemical oxidation potential depending upon the exact poplar supply chain and conversion technology modelled. Hybrid poplar clones with higher biomass yields, modified composition and improved cell wall accessibility had a clear potential to deliver a more environmentally sustainable lignocellulosic biorefining industry with environmental scores some 50% lower than with conventional poplar feedstocks. A particular aspect of the present study that warrants further research is the contribution that soil carbon accumulation can make to achieving low-GHG fuels in the future. © 2014 the Partner Organisations.
Burnley S.,Open University Milton Keynes |
Phillips R.,Welsh Assembly Government |
Coleman T.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd |
Rampling T.,7 Thurlow Close
Waste Management | Year: 2011
Waste management policies and legislation in many developed countries call for a reduction in the quantity of biodegradable waste landfilled. Anaerobic digestion, combustion and gasification are options for managing biodegradable waste while generating renewable energy. However, very little research has been carried to establish the overall energy balance of the collection, preparation and energy recovery processes for different types of wastes. Without this information, it is impossible to determine the optimum method for managing a particular waste to recover renewable energy.In this study, energy balances were carried out for the thermal processing of food waste, garden waste, wood, waste paper and the non-recyclable fraction of municipal waste. For all of these wastes, combustion in dedicated facilities or incineration with the municipal waste stream was the most energy-advantageous option. However, we identified a lack of reliable information on the energy consumed in collecting individual wastes and preparing the wastes for thermal processing. There was also little reliable information on the performance and efficiency of anaerobic digestion and gasification facilities for waste. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013
The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-07-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 6.62M | Year: 2016
The DISC project addresses the need to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by developing key technologies for the next generation of high-performance photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules, allowing ultra-low solar electricity costs with minimum environmental impact. DISC focuses on the only way to fully exploit the potential of silicon to its maximum: through the use of carrier selective junctions, i.e., contacts which allow charge carriers to be extracted without recombination. Such contacts allow for simple device architecture as considered in DISC - non-patterned double-side contacted cells which can be fabricated within a lean process flow, either by upgrading existing or within future production lines. In DISC, a unique consortium of experienced industrial actors will collaborate with a set of institutes with demonstrated record devices and worldwide exceptional experience in the R&D field of carrier selective contacts. DISC will target efficiencies >25.5% on large area cell and >22% at module level while demonstrating pilot manufacturing readiness at competitive costs. Together with a reduction of non-abundant material consumption (Ag, In), with an enhancement of the energy yield, with modern module design ensuring outstanding durability, DISC will provide the key elements for achieving in Europe very low Levelized Costs of Electricity between 0.04 0.07$/kWh (depending on the irradiation), with mid-term potential for further reduction, making solar one of the cheapest electricity source. The high efficient PV modules developed in DISC are predestined for rooftop installations, i.e., neutral with respect to land use aspects. A life cycle approach applied in DISC prevents the shifting of environmental or social burdens between impact categories. DISC has a chance to contribute towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving energy access and towards bringing Europe back at the forefront of solar cell science, technology and manufacturing.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016
MacroFuels aims to produce advanced biofuels from seaweed or macro-algae. The targeted biofuels are ethanol, butanol, furanics and biogas. The project will achieve a breakthrough in biofuel production from macroalgae by: Increasing the biomass supply by developing a rotating crop scheme for cultivation of seaweed, using native, highly productive brown, red and green seaweeds. Combined with the use of advanced textile substrates these breakthroughs will result in a year round biomass yield of 25 kg seaweeds (wet weight) per m2 per year harvested at 1000m2/hr; Improving the pre-treatment and storage of seaweed and to yield fermentable and convertible sugars at economically relevant concentrations (10-30%); Increasing the bio-ethanol production to economically viable concentrations of > 4%/l and; Increasing the bio-butanol yield to 15 g./l by developing novel fermenting organisms which metabolize all sugars at 90% efficiency for ethanol and butanol; Increasing the biogas yield to convert 90% of the available carbon in the residues by adapting the organisms to seaweed; Developing the thermochemical conversion of sugars to fuels from the mg. scale to the kg. scale; Performing an integral techno-economic, sustainability and risk assessment of the entire seaweed to biofuel chain. MacroFuels will develop technology for the production of fuels which are suitable as liquid fuels or precursor thereof for the heavy transport sector as well as potentially for the aviation sector. The technology will be taken from TRL3 to TRL 4/5. MacroFuels will expand the biomass available for the production of advanced biofuels. Seaweed does not need fresh water, arable land or fertilizers to grow, which provides environmental benefits, and in addition has a high carbon dioxide reduction potential as well as reduces the demand for natural resources on land. The technology offers many novel opportunities for employment along the entire value chain.
Smith P.,Aquatonics Ltd. |
Snook D.,ASEDA |
Muscutt A.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd. |
Smith A.,Aquatonics Ltd.
Water and Environment Journal | Year: 2010
The impacts of a spill of approximately 9800 L of diesel on a small stream and the River Ray (near Swindon, Wiltshire, UK) were examined using kick-net sampling of freshwater macroinvertebrate families at impacted and reference sites. Initial impacts (10 days after the spill) 50 m downstream of the spill were severe, with only 9% survival of individuals (excluding oligochaete worms) and 56% survival of invertebrate families. The percentage survival of macroinvertebrates increased progressing downstream from the spill, with no detectable impacts beyond approximately 4 km downstream. The crustacean families Asellidae and Gammaridae were particularly sensitive to the diesel spill. The recovery of the macroinvertebrate community was assessed 13.5 months after the spill. At this time, recovery was almost complete, with only minor impacts at the sites closest to the spill. The use of live laboratory sorting of samples from impacted sites provided essential information on the impacts of the diesel spill. © 2009 The Authors. Water and Environment Journal © 2009 CIWEM.
Croft R.,Claire Illingworth Yurdakok |
Crowcroft P.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Caspian Technical Conference and Exhibition, CTCE 2015 | Year: 2015
Oil production from land-based license blocks remains a major focus for operators, and managing environmental liability and taking care of the wider environment associated with such assets is increasingly important. Whether at the entry stage, with acquisition decisions to make, or at the operational and exit stages of a project lifecycle, an operator must have the basic information to assess and manage the financial liabilities which may be posed by impacts on soil, surface water and groundwater. Defining the environmental baseline condition of the land within concession areas at both the start and completion of exploitation and production is essential to: • Being able to define any incremental pollution caused by the operation of the field over its lifetime; • Articulate and manage the environmental liability exposure such impacts represents to operators; and • Aid operators in restoring the land to an acceptable condition in compliance with their permitting and operational licenses and in accordance with sustainable principles to facilitate an orderly exit from the license block. Comprising anything from exploration sites, storage pits, lay-down areas, well-heads, pipelines, flow stations, manifolds, valves, processing plants and waste disposal areas, the assets in question can be hugely variable but each can pose potential environmental risks in their own right. Set this against a background of environmentally diverse land patterns and usages, and the challenge of characterizing any pollution which occurs can be substantial. In addition, it is important to decide on what level of mitigation might ultimately be appropriate - just cleaning up land to remove all incremental impacts may be unsustainable, and a more cost-effective approach would better focus on those aspects of pollution which pose an actual risk of causing harm to human health or the environment, rather than adopting a blanket approach, irrespective of risk. Copyright 2015, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Fletcher P.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd |
Hewett S.S.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd
Society of Petroleum Engineers - 1st SPE African Health, Safety, Security and Environment and Social Responsibility Conference and Exhibition 2014 - Protecting People and the Environment: Getting it Right for the Development of the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa | Year: 2014
Driven by the imperative to replace reserves, buoyant demand and societal need for energy security, the upstream oil and gas industry is investing heavily in exploration - much of this is in Sub-Saharan Africa. Waste management infrastructure in these frontier geographies can be variable. It is often difficult to find waste management facilities that meet companies' corporate environmental requirements and/or those of any funding agencies that might be involved. This paper discusses the challenges faced by the industry and successful approaches that can be adopted for managing exploration and production wastes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Options discussed include: pre-treatment of waste; developing dedicated in-house waste treatment facilities or facilities that are shared with other international oil companies (lOCs); working with existing waste contractors to help raise standards to an acceptable level; and export of waste. The most important point is to plan for how each of the different wastes will be managed. This requires an understanding of the wastes that are expected to be generated by the different stages of a project, proper consideration of how wastes can be minimised and/or made less harmful and a careful assessment of existing and potential capabilities of local waste management facilities. Undertaking a comprehensive assessment of the different options for managing each waste stream will allow a waste management plan to be developed that meets corporate and international finance environmental health and safety (EHS) standards, which significantly reduces potential future liabilities and which enhances local and international reputation. Copyright © 2014, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Fletcher P.,Environmental Resources Management Ltd
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Middle East Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Conf. and Exhibition 2012, MEHSSE - Sustaining World Energy Through an Integrated HSSE and Business Approach | Year: 2012
Environmental impact assessments prepared for proposed oil and gas developments frequently dismiss the potential impacts arising from the wastes generated by a project as being insignificant. They typically indicate that wastes will be managed at suitable approved or licensed facilities - often overlooking the fact that in many countries there simply aren't any 'suitable' waste management facilities for the range of wastes that will be generated - at least none that can meet recognised international standards for health and safety or environmental protection. This paper discusses the challenges that oil and gas companies face when operating in countries that do not have an established waste management infrastructure and how they should fulfil their obligations to ensure that their wastes are managed responsibly. Practical logistical options for managing wastes generated by exploration and production operations are discussed including pre-treatment of waste, developing in-house waste treatment facilities, working with existing waste contractors to help raise standards to an acceptable level and export of waste. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and each has its place in ensuring that a company's wastes are managed safely, effectively and in accordance with good international practice. Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers.