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Clearing the air: implications of biomass combustion for district energy in urban areas

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Title: Clearing the air: implications of biomass combustion for district energy in urban areas
Author: Hysop, Adam
Issue Date: 2010-08
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-01-28
Series/Report no. University of British Columbia, Master's Graduating Project
Abstract: This report was prepared to assess the relative merits of biomass combustion as a heat source for district energy systems in Vancouver. The intent is to build the City's capacity to both understand and evaluate options for thermal energy production, and to address citizen and interest group concerns related to air quality. The report is structured as follows and endeavours to answer the pertinent questions below: 1. Introduction 2. District Energy in Vancouver What is the existing state of district energy in Vancouver? What potential exists for the expansion of existing systems and/or introduction of new systems? 3. Biomass Combustion for District Energy Why is biomass combustion considered GHG-neutral? How is biomass currently used in Vancouver? Where else is biomass used for district energy? 4. Air Quality, Contaminants & Regulations What are the health-impacting air contaminants associated with the burning of biomass? What are the locally applicable emission regulations and/or permitting requirements? How do these regulations compare with those of other jurisdictions? 5. Biomass Combustion & Emission Control What burner technologies and air pollutant control measures are available? What are the typical and best achievable emission levels of air pollutants? How do boiler size and fuel type affect emission levels? How do emissions from biomass and natural gas combustion compare? How could these emissions impact ambient air quality? 6. Other Considerations How will the availability and quality of biomass fuels evolve over the coming decades? What strategies for public engagement and involvement are necessary to enable biomass DE systems where appropriate? How can biomass district energy be integrated into design and land use planning decisions? 7. Conclusions/Recommendations What can the City of Vancouver (and other municipalities) do to achieve climate objectives through biomass DE systems without compromising air quality objectives?
Affiliation: Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), School of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/30940
Peer Review Status: Unreviewed

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