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CO2 methanation activated by magnetic heating: life cycle assessment and perspectives for successful renewable energy storage

Abstract : Purpose: Technologies with low environmental impacts and promoting renewable energy sources are required to meet the energetic demand while facing the increase of gas emissions associated to the greenhouse effect and the depletion of fossil fuels. CO2 methanation activated by magnetic heating has recently been reported as a highly efficient and innovative power-to-gas technology in a perspective of successful renewable energy storage and carbon dioxide valorisation. In this work, the life cycle assessment (LCA) of this process is performed, in order to highlight the environmental potential of the technology, and its competitivity with in respect to conventional heating technologies. Methods: The IMPACT 2002+ was used for this LCA. The process studied integrates methanation, water electrolysis and CO2 capture and separation. This “cradle-to-gate” LCA study does not consider the use of methane, which is the reaction product. The functional unit used is the energy content of the produced CH4. The LCA was carried out using the energy mix data for the years 2020 and 2050 as given by the French Agency for Environment and Energy management (ADEME). Consumption data were either collected from literature or obtained from the LPCNO measurements as discussed by Marbaix (2019). The environmental impact of the CO2 methanation activated by magnetic heating was compared with the environmental impact of a power-to-gas plant using conventional heating (Helmeth) and considering the environmental impact of the natural gas extraction. Results: It is shown that the total flow rate of reactants, the source of CO2 and the energy mix play a major role on the environmental impact of sustainable CH4 production, whereas the lifetime of the considered catalyst has no significant influence. As a result of the possible improvements on the above-mentioned parameters, the whole process is expected to reduce by 75% in its environmental impact toward 2050. This illustrates the high environmental potential of the methanation activated by magnetic heating when coupled with industrial exhausts and renewable electricity production. Conclusions: The technology is expected to be environmentally competitive compared with existing similar processes using external heating sources with the additional interest of being extremely dynamic in response, in line with the intermittency of renewable energy production.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 8, 2020 - 6:17:39 PM
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Julien Marbaix, Pauline Kerroux, Ludovic Montastruc, Aikaterini Soulantika, Bruno Chaudret. CO2 methanation activated by magnetic heating: life cycle assessment and perspectives for successful renewable energy storage. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Springer Verlag, 2020, 25 (4), pp.733-743. ⟨10.1007/s11367-020-01734-8⟩. ⟨hal-02481938⟩

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