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Sustainability of rapeseed biodiesel using LCA method


  • Finco, Adele
  • Bentivoglio, Deborah
  • Rasetti, Michele
  • Padella, Monica
  • Polla, Piergiuseppe
  • Cortesi, Davide


The Kyoto protocol and the EU Directive 2009/28/EC focus their attention on the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The use of biofuels in the transport sector is one of the main measures proposed. This paper evaluates the environmental impact, in terms of GHG emissions, of the production and use of rapeseed biodiesel, comparing the results with conventional diesel. The methodology used is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The results of the analysis show that the production of rapeseed biodiesel entails a substantial reduction of the GHG emissions compared to the diesel production system. Furthermore, the agricultural phase is identified as the process which causes the largest amount of GHG emissions in biodiesel life cycle. Therefore it could be possible to improve further the environmental performance of biodiesel intervening properly at that stage.

Suggested Citation

  • Finco, Adele & Bentivoglio, Deborah & Rasetti, Michele & Padella, Monica & Polla, Piergiuseppe & Cortesi, Davide, 2012. "Sustainability of rapeseed biodiesel using LCA method," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126447, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126447

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Perimenis, Anastasios & Walimwipi, Hartley & Zinoviev, Sergey & Müller-Langer, Franziska & Miertus, Stanislav, 2011. "Development of a decision support tool for the assessment of biofuels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1782-1793, March.
    2. Scarlat, Nicolae & Dallemand, Jean-François, 2011. "Recent developments of biofuels/bioenergy sustainability certification: A global overview," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1630-1646, March.
    3. Rocio A., Diaz-Chavez, 2011. "Assessing biofuels: Aiming for sustainable development or complying with the market?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 5763-5769, October.
    4. Lankoski, Jussi & Ollikainen, Markku, 2011. "Biofuel policies and the environment: Do climate benefits warrant increased production from biofuel feedstocks?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 676-687, February.
    5. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2007. "Review of environmental, economic and policy aspects of biofuels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4341, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    Biodiesel; Sustainability criteria; GHG emissions; LCA; Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Q01; Q28; Q42;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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