Consequence analysis of scarcity using impacts from resource substitution

Shaun Rimos, Andrew Forbes Alexander Hoadley, David James Brennan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Published data from Australian and international sources are used to compile inputs and outputs for the combined system of fuel extraction and processing and electricity generation, for the cases of conventional natural gas, coal seam gas, and black coal fuels. A new method is being developed to assess the consequences of resource scarcity using mid-point impact indicators derived from established life cycle assessment methodology. When one particular resource such as natural gas is substituted by another resource such as coal, then the difference between the indicators corresponds to the environmental impact associated with this substitution. In this study, these differences are compared for the substitution of conventional gas with either black coal or coal seam gas to generate electricity. The results indicate lower cradle to gate impacts in global warming, acidification, particulates and solid waste generation as well as water consumption when substituting natural gas with coal seam gas. Conversely, substitution of conventional gas with black coal will result in overall higher impacts in these categories. However, coal seam gas involves greater withdrawal of underground water than in the case of the other fuels; this water requires treatment, involving production of a potentially damaging saline effluent. Potential risks may also exist arising from the large number of on-shore coal seam gas wells required per megajoule of fuel.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcedia Engineering
EditorsLaney Zhou
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Pages26 - 34
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)1877-7058
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventEvolving Energy - International-Energy-Foundation International Energy Congress (IEF-IEC) 2012 - Sydney Convention and Exhibition, Darling Harbour, Australia
Duration: 4 Oct 20125 Oct 2012


ConferenceEvolving Energy - International-Energy-Foundation International Energy Congress (IEF-IEC) 2012
Abbreviated titleEIF 2012
CityDarling Harbour
OtherEvolving Energy-IEF International Energy Congress (IEF-IEC2012)
Internet address

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