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Environmental Impacts and Costs of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils, Transesterified Lipids and Woody BTL—A Review
Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Sørhellinga, Høgskoleveien 12, 1430 Ås, Norway
Østfoldforskning AS, Gamle Beddingv. 2B, 1671 Kråkerøy, Norway
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2011; in revised form: 30 March 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Abstract: This article reviews and compares assessments of three biodiesel fuels: (1) transesterified lipids, (2) hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), and (3) woody biomass-to-liquid (BTL) Fischer-Tropsch diesel and selected feedstock options. The article attempts to rank the environmental performance and costs of fuel and feedstock combinations. Due to inter-study differences in goal and study assumptions, the ranking was mostly qualitative and intra-study results are emphasized. Results indicate that HVO made from wastes or by-products such as tall oil, tallow or used cooking oil outperform transesterified lipids and BTL from woody material, both with respect to environmental life cycle impacts and costs. These feedstock options are, however, of limited availability, and to produce larger volumes of biofuels other raw materials must also be used. BTL from woody biomass seems promising with good environmental performance and the ability not to compete with food production. Production of biofuels from agricultural feedstock sources requires much energy and leads to considerable emissions due to agrochemical inputs. Thus, such biodiesel fuels are ranked lowest in this comparison. Production of feedstock is the most important life cycle stage. Avoiding detrimental land use changes and maintaining good agricultural or forestry management practices are the main challenges to ensure that biofuels can be a sustainable option for the future transport sector.
Keywords: biodiesel; HVO; BTL; biofuels; LCA; bioenergy; forestry; energy; security; climate; mitigation; transport
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Sunde, K.; Brekke, A.; Solberg, B. Environmental Impacts and Costs of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils, Transesterified Lipids and Woody BTL—A Review. Energies 2011, 4, 845-877.
Sunde K, Brekke A, Solberg B. Environmental Impacts and Costs of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils, Transesterified Lipids and Woody BTL—A Review. Energies. 2011; 4(6):845-877.
Sunde, Kathrin; Brekke, Andreas; Solberg, Birger. 2011. "Environmental Impacts and Costs of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils, Transesterified Lipids and Woody BTL—A Review." Energies 4, no. 6: 845-877.