Monday, December 6, 2010

Analysis finds Camelina biofuels reduce emissions by 75-80%

[And if indeed this stuff is so cheap and resource-efficient to produce using all this underexploited farmland nobody knew what to do with, how is it that the market and retail prices of vegetable oils remain so much higher than four years ago?  Are the farmers all missing a trick and all dummies?]

Life cycle analysis finds Camelina-based renewable jet fuel reduces GHG emissions by 75%; renewable diesel reduces emissions by 80%

2 December 2010

An updated life cycle analysis of the carbon footprint of camelina-based biojet fuel found that the renewable fuel reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% compared to traditional petroleum-based jet fuel, according to a study by researchers from Michigan Tech University (MTU), Targeted Growth and UOP LLC, a Honeywell company. The study, published in the AIChE journal Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, also found that renewable diesel made through the same process reduces GHG emissions by 80%.
The reductions in GHG were lower than those returned in an earlier MTU study of camelina-based renewable jet and diesel in 2009, which found reductions of 84-89%. (Earlier post.) The research was conducted at Michigan Tech University. The study was based on camelina grown in Montana and processed into biojet fuel using UOP hydroprocessing technology.
Updated estimates of camelina cultivation requirements and commercial scale oil recovery and refining were used to calculate life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy demand for both HRJ and renewable diesel (green diesel, GD). GHG life cycle emissions for GD and HRJ are 18.0 and 22.4 g CO2 equiv/MJ fuel, which represent savings relative to petroleum counterparts of 80% and 75%, respectively. Scenario analyses were conducted to determine response to model assumptions and data uncertainty, including allocation methodology, N fertilizer application rate, N2O emission factor, source of H2, and farm diesel consumption.
—Shonnard et al.

[Article continues:] Camelina grows in rotation with wheat and/or on marginal land, so it does not compete for agricultural land. Camelina meal has been approved for use as livestock and poultry feed, so growing camelina actually contributes to overall food supply.


Journal reference: David R. Shonnard, Larry Williams, Tom N. Kalnes (2010) Camelina-derived jet fuel and diesel: Sustainable advanced biofuels.Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, 29: 382–392. doi: 10.1002/ep.10461

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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