IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Krohn, Brian J.
  • Fripp, Matthias


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    2. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Escobar, José C. & Lora, Electo S. & Venturini, Osvaldo J. & Yáñez, Edgar E. & Castillo, Edgar F. & Almazan, Oscar, 2009. "Biofuels: Environment, technology and food security," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(6-7), pages 1275-1287, August.
    4. Wang, Michael & Huo, Hong & Arora, Salil, 2011. "Methods of dealing with co-products of biofuels in life-cycle analysis and consequent results within the U.S. context," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 5726-5736, October.
    5. Malça, João & Freire, Fausto, 2006. "Renewability and life-cycle energy efficiency of bioethanol and bio-ethyl tertiary butyl ether (bioETBE): Assessing the implications of allocation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 3362-3380.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:92:y:2012:i:c:p:92-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.