Microalgal biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard's greenhouse gas requirement
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires 15.2 billion gallons of domestic alternative fuels per year by 2012, of which 2 billion gallons must be from advanced biofuel and emit 50% less life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than petroleum-based transportation fuels. Microalgal biodiesel, one type of advanced biofuel, has the qualities and potential to meet the RFS's requirement. A comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of four microalgal biodiesel production conditions was investigated using a process LCA model with Monte Carlo simulation to assess global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication, ozone depletion and ecotoxicity potentials. The four conditions represent minimum and maximum production efficiencies and different sources of carbon dioxide and nutrient resources, i.e. synthetic and waste resources. The GWP results of the four CO2 microalgal biodiesel production conditions showed that none of the assumed production conditions meet the RFS's GHG requirement. The GWP results are sensitive to energy consumption in harvesting process. Other impacts such as eutrophication, ozone depletion and ecotoxicity potentials, are sensitive to percent lipid content of microalgae, service lifetime of PBRs and quantity of hexane in extraction process, respectively. Net energy ratio and other emissions should be included in future RFS for a more sustainable fuel.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mata, Teresa M. & Martins, António A. & Caetano, Nidia. S., 2010. "Microalgae for biodiesel production and other applications: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 217-232, January.
- Huang, GuanHua & Chen, Feng & Wei, Dong & Zhang, XueWu & Chen, Gu, 2010. "Biodiesel production by microalgal biotechnology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 38-46, January.
- Shaw, Daigee & Hung, Ming-Feng & Lin, Yi-Hao, 2010. "Using net energy output as the base to develop renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7504-7507, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:46:y:2012:i:c:p:498-510. 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)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.