Sustainability assessment of straw direct combustion power generation in China: From the environmental and economic perspectives of straw substitute to coal

Zhanwu Wang, Zhenfeng Wang, Guangyin Xu, Jingzheng Ren, Heng Wang, Jin Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Straw power generation (SPG) can not only reduce dependence on coal, but also can convert agricultural waste into energy and alleviate environmental pollution. In order to address the major challenges such as sustainability of the SPG and to provide scientific ground from environmental and economic perspectives, a sustainability assessment model was established to evaluate the performance of SPG. Life cycle assessment (LCA), life-cycle cost (LCC) and the best-worst method (BWM) were integrated in the model. Four SPG scenarios were studied. The results showed that straw alternative coal-fired power generation had weak economic sustainability, the ratio of benefit to cost of SPG was 0.8752–1.1866. While, for the environmental dimension, a strong sustainability was obtained, the greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement potential of −0.8903 t CO2-eq t−1 straw. The findings obtained from the four SPG scenarios suggested that direct combustion SPG had great sustainability potential in China, and several factors such as straw supply chain model, pollutant treatment technology, transport vehicles and straw purchase cost were the main factors which lead to unfavorable economic performance. We suggest that the SPG schemes, transport models and financial subsidies should be carefully designed to improve the sustainability of straw power generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122890
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020


  • Best-worst method
  • Direct combustion straw power generation
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Straw supply chain
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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