Biomass: technical and environmental alternative in the thermoelectric generation process

Alvaro Restrepo, Edson Bazzo


This paper presents a technical (base on exergy) and environmental analysis concerning an existing 50 MWe steam power plant located in the south of Santa Catarina state - Brazil, designed to operate with pulverized coal and modified to operate in co-firing process coal -biomass. In addition to the power plant, the study considered an extended boundary that involves the processes related to the obtaining, transport and handling both coal and biomass. The exergy analysis was focused in the second law of thermodynamics, while the environmental analysis followed the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology took into account as functional unit 1 MWh and the global warming impact category, following the IPCC GWP index over 100 years. For both cases (only coal and co-firing), the exergetic analysis indicated that the power plant is responsible for over 95% of the exergy consumption. Results indicated that for the case of operating only with coal, are emitted 1230 kg of CO2-eq per MWh, whereas for operation in co-firing, with a share of 10% of biomass on energy basis, the value of the issue it is 1103 kg CO2-eq per MWh.


Biomass, Power plants, Exergy, co-firing process, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Greenhouse Gases (GHG).

Full Text:

PDF (Español)


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Creative Commons
This work is registered under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.
Created from


The journal Ingeniería y Universidad is registered under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License. Thus, this work may be reproduced, distributed, and publicly shared in digital format, as long as the names of the authors and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana are acknowledged. Others are allowed to quote, adapt, transform, auto-archive, republish, and create based on this material, for any purpose (even commercial ones), provided the authorship is duly acknowledged, a link to the original work is provided, and it is specified if changes have been made. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana does not hold the rights of published works and the authors are solely responsible for the contents of their works; they keep the moral, intellectual, privacy, and publicity rights.

Approving the intervention of the work (review, copy-editing, translation, layout) and the following outreach, are granted through an use license and not through an assignment of rights. This means the journal and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana cannot be held responsible for any ethical malpractice by the authors. As a consequence of the protection granted by the use license, the journal is not required to publish recantations or modify information already published, unless the errata stems from the editorial management process. Publishing contents in this journal does not generate royalties for contributors.