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A life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from the “niche filling” energy crop camelina in the USA

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  • Krohn, Brian J.
  • Fripp, Matthias

Abstract

Camelina sativa (L.) is a promising crop for biodiesel production that avoids many of the potential pitfalls of traditional biofuel crops, such as land use change (LUC) and food versus fuel. In this study the environmental viability of camelina biodiesel was assessed using life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. The LCA was conducted using the spreadsheet model dubbed KABAM. KABAM found that camelina grown as a niche filling crop (in rotation with wheat or as a double crop) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60% when compared to petroleum diesel. Furthermore, by avoiding LUC emissions, camelina biodiesel emits fewer GHGs than traditional soybean and canola biodiesel. Finally, a sensitivity analysis concluded that in order to maintain and increase the environmental viability of camelina and other niche filling biofuel crops, researchers and policy makers should focus their efforts on achieving satisfactory yields (1000–2000kg/ha) while reducing nitrogen fertilizer inputs.

Suggested Citation

  • Krohn, Brian J. & Fripp, Matthias, 2012. "A life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from the “niche filling” energy crop camelina in the USA," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 92-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:92:y:2012:i:c:p:92-98
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.10.025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoefnagels, Ric & Smeets, Edward & Faaij, André, 2010. "Greenhouse gas footprints of different biofuel production systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(7), pages 1661-1694, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:agisys:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Yang, Liuqing & Takase, Mohammed & Zhang, Min & Zhao, Ting & Wu, Xiangyang, 2014. "Potential non-edible oil feedstock for biodiesel production in Africa: A survey," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 461-477.
    3. Sainger, Manish & Jaiwal, Anjali & Sainger, Poonam Ahlawat & Chaudhary, Darshna & Jaiwal, Ranjana & Jaiwal, Pawan K., 2017. "Advances in genetic improvement of Camelina sativa for biofuel and industrial bio-products," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P1), pages 623-637.
    4. Miller, Patrick & Kumar, Amit, 2013. "Development of emission parameters and net energy ratio for renewable diesel from Canola and Camelina," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 426-437.
    5. repec:eee:renene:v:112:y:2017:i:c:p:444-456 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rajaeifar, Mohammad Ali & Akram, Asadolah & Ghobadian, Barat & Rafiee, Shahin & Heijungs, Reinout & Tabatabaei, Meisam, 2016. "Environmental impact assessment of olive pomace oil biodiesel production and consumption: A comparative lifecycle assessment," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 87-102.
    7. Keshavarz-Afshar, Reza & Mohammed, Yesuf Assen & Chen, Chengci, 2015. "Energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions of dryland camelina as influenced by tillage and nitrogen," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1057-1063.

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