Tools for Carbon Management: Potential Carbon Footprint Reduction Through Fuel Switching
As institutions of higher education try to meet the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment for moving toward a carbon neutral campus, they can utilize a number of carbon management tools, including greenhouse gas accounting protocols, carbon-friendly technologies, and carbon markets. However, carbon management strategies may have substantial costs, and it may be prudent to take a cost/benefit approach to evaluating them. In the case of fuel switching as a greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy, the costs and benefits of switching from fossil fuels to renewable fuels were evaluated for industrial boilers (annual heat input of 450,000 MMBtu/year) servicing a large (5 million gross square feet) campus. Switching from #6 fuel oil to B100 biodiesel led to a substantial (90%) carbon footprint reduction, but at a considerable annual incremental cost ($7.56 million). Switching from #6 fuel oil to a more efficient fossil fuel type (natural gas) resulted in a moderate (31%) carbon footprint reduction at a more reasonable annual incremental cost ($1.3 million).
KeywordsCarbon Market Renewable Fuel Carbon Management Industrial Boiler Fuel Switching
We would like to acknowledge O’Brien & Gere for their encouragement of original technical research.
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