Cost-benefit evaluation of using biodiesel as an alternative fuel for fishing boats in Taiwan
Biodiesel, which is manufactured from vegetables oils, animal fats, or algae can be an excellent alternative fuel to petroleum diesel due to its superior fuel properties and lower pollutant emissions. In contrast, fishing-boat fuel generally has much poorer fuel properties and a high sulfur content that can reach several hundred times that of the premium diesel used in land-based vehicles. Pollutant emissions from fishing boats are known to be a significant source of air pollution in the global environment. This study examines the use of biodiesel to replace fishing-boat fuel A to reduce pollutant emissions from fishing boats. The incremental cost, reduction in emissions, and cost-benefit corresponding to various weight proportions of biodiesel to replace fishing-boat fuel A are evaluated. The results show that the annual consumption of fishing-boat fuel A by Taiwanese fishing boats amounts to 649,201 kiloliters (kl) and total emissions from burning the fuel is 958.93 tons per year. If all fishing-boat fuel A were replaced with biodiesel, then pollutant emissions would be decreased by 421.94 tons, or 44.0%. However, this would also result in a USD 144.45 million or 25.85% increase in fuel cost. This study also finds that a replacing 20Â wt% of fishing-boat fuel A with biodiesel has the highest cost-benefit ratio, which implies a larger reduction in emissions with a lower fuel cost increase, and is the most suitable option for fishing boats in Taiwan.
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