Imperial College London

Becky Mawhood

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Visiting Researcher
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 7314rebecca.mawhood

 
 
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Location

 

16 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

14 results found

Mawhood RK, Gazis E, de Jong S, Hoefnagels R, Slade Ret al., 2016, Production pathways for renewable jet fuel: a review of commercialisation status and future prospects, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 10, Pages: 462-484, ISSN: 1932-1031

Aviation is responsible for an increasing share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.Decarbonisation to 2050 is expected to rely on renewable jet fuel (RJF) derived frombiomass, but this represents a radical departure from the existing regime of petroleumbasedfuels. Increased market deployment will require significant cost reductions, alongsideadaptation of existing supply chains and infrastructure.This article maps development and manufacturing efforts for six RJF production pathwaysexpected to reach commercialisation in the next 5-10 years. A Rapid Evidence Assessmentwas conducted to evaluate the technological and commercial maturity of each pathway andprogress towards international certification, using the Commercial Aviation Alternative FuelsInitiative’s Fuel Readiness Level (FRL) framework. Planned and operational facilities havebeen catalogued alongside partnerships with the aviation industry. Policy and economicfactors likely to affect future development and deployment are considered.Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (FRL 9) is the most developed pathway. It is ASTMcertified, has fuelled the majority of RJF flights to date, and is produced at threecommercial-scale facilities. Fischer-Tropsch derived fuels are moving towards the start-up offirst commercial facilities (FRL 7-8), although widespread deployment seems unlikely undercurrent market conditions. The Direct Sugars to Hydrocarbons conversion pathway (FRL 5-7)is being championed by Amyris and Total in Brazil, but has yet to be demonstrated at scale.Other pathways are in the demonstration and pilot phases (FRL 4-6).Despite growing interest in RJF, demand and production volumes remain negligible.Development of supportive policy is likely to be critical to future deployment.

Journal article

McLaughlin O, Mawhood B, Jamieson C, Slade Ret al., 2015, Rice straw for bioenergy: the effectiveness of policymaking and implementation in Asia, 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Publisher: EUBCE

Globally, rice straw is the third largest agricultural residue, behind sugarcane bagasse and maize straw.Approximately one billion tonnes of rice straw are produced annually, but only a small proportion of this is used. Theprimary management strategies of rice straw farmers are burning in the fields and mulching. Burning producesharmful carcinogenic and greenhouse gas emissions and mulching releases high levels of methane which have aneven greater greenhouse gas effect than the CO2 released from burning. In comparison, using rice straw for bioenergyhas considerable advantages.This study examines the barriers to the use of rice straw for bioenergy, and the effectiveness of the existing policymechanisms in seven major rice producing nations: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailandand Vietnam.Data on policy effectiveness was obtained from semi-structured interviews with experts on rice straw use, basedat the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. This was combined with a detailedevaluation of existing government policies and a ranking exercise to identify which policy aspects were consideredmost successful to prohibit burning and encourage bioenergy use.Barriers to the widespread use of rice straw which can be categorised into biochemical, logistical andinfrastructural. The biochemical barriers include the low nutritive quality, high lignin and silica content whichcomplicates the breaking down of rice straw into its useful components. The logistical barriers are the wide dispersalof rice straw and intra-annual fluctuations in availability and the resulting issues created in transporting the resourcein sufficient quantity to where it can be utilised at the right time. The final group of barriers include the culturalpractices of rice straw farmers, fossil fuel subsidies skewing the market and the support systems in place forconventional substitutes of rice straw products, such as the infrastructure in place to proces

Conference paper

Mawhood RK, Slade R, Shah N, 2015, Policy options to promote perennial energy crops: the limitations of the English Energy Crops Scheme and the role for agent-based modelling in policy design, Wellesbourne, UK, Association of Applied Biologists: Biomass and Energy Crops V, Publisher: Association of Applied Biologists, Pages: 143-153, ISSN: 0265-1491

The UK government’s bioenergy strategy anticipates the cultivation of between 300,000 and 900,000 ha of energy crops by 2030. Yet policy incentives to promote uptake of perennial energy crops (PECs), notably the English Energy Crops Scheme (ECS), have had little impact. Less than 10,000 ha of PECs were being grown in 2013. To investigate the barriers to deployment a critical literature review and stakeholder interviews were conducted. These identified numerous substantial obstacles regarding PEC economics, alignment with existing institutions and factors affecting risk perception. Many of these are interdependent and involve a broad range of stakeholders. Agent-based modelling is proposed as an approach to explore the cumulative impacts of individual stakeholders’ behaviours under alternative policy and market conditions.

Conference paper

De Jong S, Hoefnagels R, Faaij A, Slade R, Mawhood RK, Junginger Met al., 2015, The feasibility of short-term production strategies for renewable jet fuels – a comprehensive techno-economic comparison, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1932-104X

This study compares the short-term economic feasibility of six conversion pathways for renewable jet fuel (RJF) production. The assessment combines (i) a harmonized techno-economic analysis of conversion pathways expected to be certified for use in commercial aviation by 2020, (ii) a pioneer plant analysis taking into account technological immaturity, and (iii) a quantified assessment of the merits of co-producing RJF alongside existing European supply chains in the pulp, wheat ethanol, and beet sugar industries. None of the pathways assessed are able to reach price parity with petroleum-derived jet fuel in the short term. The pioneer plant analysis suggests that the hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) pathway is currently the best option; the technology achieves the lowest minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) of 29.3 € GJ−1 (1289 € t−1) and the technology is deployed on commercial scale already. In the short term, nth plant analysis shows hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis emerging as promising alternatives, yielding MFSPs of 21.4 € GJ−1 (939 € t−1) and 30.2 € GJ−1 (1326 € t−1), respectively. The pioneer plant analysis shows considerable MFSP increases for producing drop-in fuels using HTL and pyrolysis as both technologies are relatively immature. Hence, further RD&D efforts into these pathways are recommended. Co-production strategies decrease the MFSP by 4–8% compared to greenfield production. Integration of process units and material and energy flows is expected to lead to further cost reductions. As such, co-production can be a particularly useful strategy to progress emerging technologies to commercial scale.

Journal article

Mawhood RK, Gazis E, Hoefnagels R, De Jong S, Slade Ret al., 2015, Technological and commercial maturity of aviation biofuels: Emerging options to produce jet from lignocellulosic biomass, 14th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET 2015)

The aviation sector is responsible for an increasing share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Wider adoption of aviation biofuels (biojet) is imperative for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, however it represents a radical departure from the existing technological regime of petroleum-based fuels. Further market deployment will require significant techno-economic breakthroughs, as well as adaptation of the existing supply chains and infrastructure.Although a large number of technologies which have the capability to produce such fuels are being developed, many of these are unlikely to be suitable for EU-based production in the short-term. Biojet production pathways vary considerably in terms of their techno-economic features, with the most highly developed being in the very early stages of commercialisation.In this article, the authors map current development and manufacturing efforts within five emerging biojet technological pathways. The research draws upon a comprehensive review of the international academic and grey literature in order to characterise the pathways according to their technological and commercial maturity, as well as progress towards international certification.By implementing the Fuel Readiness Level (FRL) methodology, the authors provide insights regarding not only the current status of the biojet sector, but also potential opportunities for the short-term development of supply chains in the EU.

Conference paper

Mawhood RK, Gross R, 2015, Are Private Markets Effective for Rural Electrification?, Publisher: The Energy Collective

Other

Mawhood RK, Rodriguez Cobas A, Slade R, 2014, Establishing a European renewable jet fuel supply chain: the technoeconomic potential of biomass conversion technologies, Publisher: EIT Climate-KIC and Imperial College London

Working paper

Mawhood R, Gross R, 2014, Institutional barriers to a ‘perfect’ policy: a case study of the Senegalese Rural Electrification Action Plan, Energy Policy, Vol: 73, Pages: 480-490, ISSN: 1873-6777

This paper investigates the political and institutional factors that have influenced the success of the Senegalese Rural Electrification Action Plan (Plan d’Action Sénégalais d’Électrification Rurale, PASER). PASER is of interest because its innovative design attracted extensive offers of finance from donors and independent power providers, however it has had limited effect on electrification levels. This paper examines PASER’s progress and problems in detail, with the aim of informing rural electrification policy internationally. An extensive literature review was combined with 26 semi-structured stakeholder interviews, to produce a snapshot of the Plan’s status after its first decade of operation. PASER’s experiences are compared with other reform-based rural electrification initiatives across Sub-Saharan Africa. PASER has faced significant institutional and political barriers, with delays arising from organisational opposition, inconsistent ministerial support, protracted consultations and the inherent challenges of implementing an innovative policy framework in a country with limited institutional capacity. The development of human and institutional capacity has been compromised by inconsistent political commitment. PASER’s experiences mirror electrification initiatives across Sub-Saharan Africa, demonstrating that the Plan has not resolved common institutional barriers. Whilst PASER’s successes in garnering external support and fundraising are noteworthy, it is not the regional exemplar suggested by early reviews.

Journal article

Wallasch A-K, Lüers S, Vidican G, Breitschopf B, Richter A, Kuntze J-C, Noll J, Lehr U, Martinez S, Ferroukhi R, Lopez-Peña A, Hawila D, Nagpal D, Khalid A, Deutsch M, Klotz E-M, Gross R, Castillo-Castillo A, Mawhood RK, Petrick Ket al., 2014, The socio-economic beneļ¬ts of large-scale solar and wind: an econValue report, Abu Dhabi, Publisher: IRENA and CEM

Report

Nicholls J, Mawhood R, Gross R, Castillo Castillo Ret al., 2014, Evaluating Renewable Energy Policy: A Review of Criteria and Indicators for Assessment, Abu Dhabi, Publisher: IRENA and UKERC

Report

Gross R, Heptonstall P, Speirs J, Mawhood RKet al., 2013, Review of the Fourth Carbon Budget - Call for Evidence: Response from the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London (ICEPT), London, Publisher: Committee on Climate Change

Other

Paggi L, Lane T, Gross R, Greenacre P, Nicholls J, Mawhood RKet al., 2013, How useful are renewable energy toolkits for developing countries? A framework for evaluation., Publisher: ICEPT

Working paper

Mawhood R, Gross R, Nicholls J, 2013, Supporting renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean: lessons to learn from innovation theory, Publisher: ICEPT

Working paper

Mawhood R, 2012, The Senegalese Rural Electrification Action Plan: A ‘good practice’ model for increasing private sector participation in Sub-Saharan rural electrification?

Thesis dissertation

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