Advertisement

Life-Cycle Analysis of Biofuels

  • Michael WangEmail author
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 66)

Abstract

Biofuels are being promoted for their energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction benefits. In general, they can be produced regionally and locally to provide fuels for motor vehicle use, thus reducing reliance on imported petroleum for many countries. Since the carbon in biofuels is taken from the air during biomass growth, biofuels can potentially reduce GHG emissions. It is well recognized that the life cycle of biofuel production and utilization is associated with fossil energy use and GHG emissions. Life-cycle analysis (LCA) of biofuels has become an integral part of a thorough evaluation of the energy and environmental effects of biofuels. While LCA results of biofuels have generally shown the energy and GHG benefits of biofuels relative to petroleum fuels, the magnitude of these benefits is determined by the types of feedstocks and production technologies used. In addition, LCA results are influenced heavily by decisions regarding the system boundary of a given analysis and the method of dealing with co-products of biofuels, among many other factors.

Keywords

Corn Stover Cellulosic Ethanol Computational General Equilibrium Model Ethanol Plant Corn Ethanol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author is with Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne National Laboratory’s work is supported by the US Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.

References

  1. CARB (2009) Proposed regulation for implementing low carbon fuel standards, vol 1. Staff Report: Initial Statement of Reasons, 5 March. California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Chambers RS, Herendeen RA, Joyce JJ, Penner PS (1979) Gasohol: does it or doesn’t it produce positive net energy? Science 206:789–795PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Delucchi MA (1991) Emissions of greenhouse gases from use of transportation fuels and electricity, vol 1. ANL/ESD/TM-22. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  4. Delucchi MA (2003) A lifecycle emissions model (LEM): lifecycle emissions from transportation fuels, motor vehicles, transportation modes, electricity use, heating and cooking fuels, and materials—documentation of methods and data. UCD-ITS-RR-03-17. UC Davis, Davis, CAGoogle Scholar
  5. Hill J, Polasky S, Nelson E, Tilman D, Huo H, Ludwig L, Nuemann J, Zheng H, Bonta D (2009) Climate change and health costs of air emissions from biofuels and gasoline. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:2077–2082PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Huo H, Wang M, Bloyd C, Putsche V (2008) Life-cycle assessment of energy and greenhouse gas effects of soybean-derived biodiesel and renewable fuels. ANL/ESD/08-2. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  7. IPCC (2006) 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventory: vol 4—agriculture, forestry, and other land use. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hayama, Japan.Google Scholar
  8. Keller G, Mintz M, Saricks C, Wang M, Ng H (2007) Acceptance of biodiesel as a clean-burning fuel: a draft report in response to Section 1823 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Prepared for Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the US Department of Energy, Washington, DC, by Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  9. Kim H, Kim S, Dale B (2009) Biofuels, land use change, and greenhouse gas emissions: some unexplored variables. Environ Sci Technol 43:961–967PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. LBST (2008) E3 database: an introduction into the life-cycle analysis calculation tool. Ottobrunn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  11. Liska AJ, Yang HS, Bremer VR, Klopfenstein TJ, Walters DT, Erickson GE, Cassman KG (2009) Improvements in life cycle energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions of corn-ethanol. J Ind Ecol 13:58–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Macedo IC, Sebra JEA, Silva JEAR (2008) Greenhouse gases emissions in the production and use of ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil: the 2005/2006 averages and a prediction for 2020. Biomass Bioenergy 32:582–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. National Biodiesel Board (2009) Estimated US biodiesel production. http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/fuelfactsheets/Production_Graph_Slide.pdfCited 3 March 2009
  14. Pimentel D, Patzek TW (2005) Ethanol production using corn, switchgrass, and wood; biodiesel production using soybean and sunflower. Nat Resour Res 14:65–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Renewable Fuels Association (2009) 2009 Ethanol industry outlook: growing innovation. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Searchinger T, Heimlich R, Houghton RA, Dong F, Elobeid A, Fabiosa J, Tokgoz S, Hayes D, Yu TH (2008) Use of US croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land use change. Science 319:1235–1238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. (S&T)2Consultants (2008) 2008 GHGenius update. Natural Resources, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  18. US EPA (2009) Regulations of fuels and fuels additives: changes to renewable fuel standard program; proposed rule. Federal Register, vol 74, no 99; 24904–25143, May 26Google Scholar
  19. Wang MQ (1996) Development and use of the GREET model to estimate fuel-cycle energy use and emissions of various transportation technologies and fuels. ANL/ESD-31. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  20. Wang M (2008) Life-cycle analysis of biofuels: issues and results. American Chemical Society Congressional Briefing, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  21. Wang MQ, Saricks C, Wu M (1997) Fuel-cycle fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of fuel ethanol produced from US midwest corn. Prepared for Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs by Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  22. Wang M, Wu M, Hong H (2007) Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts of different corn ethanol plant types. Environ Res Lett 2:024001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang M, Wu M, Huo H, Liu J (2008) Well-to-wheels energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol production simulated by using the GREET model. Int Sugar J 110:527–545Google Scholar
  24. Wang M, Huo H, Arora S (2010) Methodologies of dealing with co-products of biofuels in life-cycle analysis and consequent results within the US context. Energy Policy (in press)Google Scholar
  25. Wu M, Wang M, Huo H (2006) Fuel-cycle assessment of selected bioethanol production pathways in the United States. ANL/ESD/06-7. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  26. Wu M, Wang M, Liu J, Huo H (2007) Life-cycle assessment of corn-based butanol as a potential transportation fuel. ANL/ESD/07-10. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar
  27. Wu M, Mintz M, Wang M, Arora S (2009) Consumptive water use in the production of ethanol and petroleum gasoline. ANL/ESD/09-01. Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, ILGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Transportation ResearchArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

Personalised recommendations