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Energies 2018, 11(10), 2633; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102633

Biogas and Ethanol from Wheat Grain or Straw: Is There a Trade-Off between Climate Impact, Avoidance of iLUC and Production Cost?

1
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund University, Lund 22100, Sweden
2
Biosystems and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp 23053, Sweden
3
Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala 75007, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Production and Utilization of Biogas)
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Abstract

Current EU policy calls for decreased emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by i.e., replacing fossil fuel in the transportation sector with sustainable biofuels. To avoid indirect land use change (iLUC), the EU at the same time strives to limit the use of crops and to increase the use of residues. In this study we compare climate impact and production cost for biogas and ethanol based on wheat grain and straw, respectively, in a Swedish context. The economic competitiveness for ethanol from straw vs. grain is evaluated based on the mandatory emission reduction for fossil vehicle fuels implemented since July 2018 in Sweden. The result of this study clearly shows that biogas and ethanol from straw have the lowest GHG emissions regardless of the calculation method used, although biofuels from grain also fulfill EU GHG reduction criteria even when suggested iLUC factors are included. It was also shown that the cost of producing straw-based biofuels was higher, thus there is a trade-off between climate impact and costs. The GHG reduction mandate adopted in Sweden partly compensates for this, but is not enough to make ethanol from straw competitive from an economic perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofuel; biogas; ethanol; wheat grain; wheat straw; climate impact; iLUC; economy; policy instruments biofuel; biogas; ethanol; wheat grain; wheat straw; climate impact; iLUC; economy; policy instruments
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Lantz, M.; Prade, T.; Ahlgren, S.; Björnsson, L. Biogas and Ethanol from Wheat Grain or Straw: Is There a Trade-Off between Climate Impact, Avoidance of iLUC and Production Cost? Energies 2018, 11, 2633.

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