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Energies 2013, 6(1), 329-350; doi:10.3390/en6010329
Review

Sustainability of the Biorefinery Industry for Fuel Production

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Received: 12 November 2012 / Revised: 17 December 2012 / Accepted: 6 January 2013 / Published: 14 January 2013
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Abstract

Biofuels have been extensively explored and applied in the Brazilian market. In Brazil, ethanol and biodiesel are produced on an industrial scale. Ethanol is commercialized and used in engines in both the hydrated form (96% °GL) and the anhydrous form, mixed with gasoline at a proportion of up to 25% by volume. In turn, biodiesel is blended with diesel in a proportion of 5% by volume. Thus, the goal of the use of biofuels is to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases and other pollutants emitted into the atmosphere during burning. This article describes some recent developments in the characterization of the environmental and economic impacts of the production of these biofuels from different biomass sources. On this regard, this review presents results of life-cycle assessments (LCAs), life-cycle cost assessments (LCCAs) and Structural Path Analysis (SPA), this last one depicting a sectorial perspective rather than LCA process level data approaches. The results showed that the inclusion of biofuels in transportation activities can lead to the mitigation of the environmental impacts of certain activities, such as emissions of greenhouse gases. However, greater attention must be paid to the improvement of agricultural management to decrease fuel, fertilizer and herbicide consumption.
Keywords: biorefinary; bio-oils; biodiesel; bioethanol; first- and second-generation ethanol; LCA biorefinary; bio-oils; biodiesel; bioethanol; first- and second-generation ethanol; LCA
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Caldeira-Pires, A.; da Luz, S.M.; Palma-Rojas, S.; Rodrigues, T.O.; Silverio, V.C.; Vilela, F.; Barbosa, P.C.; Alves, A.M. Sustainability of the Biorefinery Industry for Fuel Production. Energies 2013, 6, 329-350.

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