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Biofuels and fossil fuels: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) optimisation through productive resources maximisation

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  • Sobrino, Fernando Hernández
  • Monroy, Carlos Rodríguez
  • Pérez, José Luís Hernández

Abstract

Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) are used to compare biofuels to fossil fuels. These analyses are made according to the ISO 14040-43 standards, which using a defined unit compare mass and energy balances for two or more comparison objects. In Spain, the Spanish government Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, CIEMAT, has performed two LCA's in order to compare ethanol and ethanol mixtures with unleaded gasoline and biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures with fuel-oil according to these standards. Both LCA's conclude that biofuels require less primary energy than fossil fuels to be processed and that CO2 emissions are lower when using biofuels instead of fossil fuels. However, these LCA's have been strongly criticized for several reasons. This report presents a new LCA model which allows the comparison of biofuels and fossil fuels based on the maximisation and optimisation of production resources avoiding the disadvantages of the traditional LCA model based on the ISO 14040-43 standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Sobrino, Fernando Hernández & Monroy, Carlos Rodríguez & Pérez, José Luís Hernández, 2011. "Biofuels and fossil fuels: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) optimisation through productive resources maximisation," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 2621-2628, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:6:p:2621-2628
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sobrino, Fernando Hernández & Monroy, Carlos Rodríguez & Pérez, José Luís Hernández, 2010. "Critical analysis on hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels and biofuels for vehicles in Europe," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 772-780, February.
    2. Sobrino, Fernando Hernández & Monroy, Carlos Rodríguez, 2009. "Critical analysis of the European Union directive which regulates the use of biofuels: An approach to the Spanish case," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(9), pages 2675-2681, December.
    3. Smith, Adam, 2008. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: A Selected Edition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199535927 edited by Sutherland, Kathryn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Lu & Jiang, Dong & Fu, Jingying & Zhuang, Dafang & Huang, Yaohuan & Hao, Mengmeng, 2014. "Evaluating energy benefit of Pistacia chinensis based biodiesel in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 258-264.
    2. Connolly, D. & Mathiesen, B.V. & Ridjan, I., 2014. "A comparison between renewable transport fuels that can supplement or replace biofuels in a 100% renewable energy system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 110-125.
    3. Salvi, B.L. & Subramanian, K.A. & Panwar, N.L., 2013. "Alternative fuels for transportation vehicles: A technical review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 404-419.
    4. Wang, Jiangjiang & Yang, Ying & Mao, Tianzhi & Sui, Jun & Jin, Hongguang, 2015. "Life cycle assessment (LCA) optimization of solar-assisted hybrid CCHP system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 38-52.
    5. Pradhan, Anup & Mbohwa, Charles, 2014. "Development of biofuels in South Africa: Challenges and opportunities," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1089-1100.
    6. Borrion, Aiduan Li & McManus, Marcelle C. & Hammond, Geoffrey P., 2012. "Environmental life cycle assessment of lignocellulosic conversion to ethanol: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(7), pages 4638-4650.

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