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Methodologies for accounting greenhouse gas emissions of bioethanol production in Brazil
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica, UNICAMP, and Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE), Campinas, SP, Brazil.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7123-1824
Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica, UNICAMP, and Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE), Campinas, SP, Brazil.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many studies have performed life cycle assessment for evaluating GHG balances of biofuels. However, the result of life-cycle GHG emissions varies significantly, depending on LCA approach used, type and characteristics of biomass feedstocks, system boundaries, functional unit, reference energy systems, conversion technologies, treatment of co-products, direct/indirect land-use change, among others. This study shows how these issues have been addressed in the regulatory schemes for accounting GHG emissions. The objective is to review and critically discuss the methodologies and associated parameters used in existing regulatory schemes in the context of developing a unified methodology for calculating GHG emissions. Four regulatory schemes on biofuels are scrutinized in order to compare the GHG calculation methodologies. The European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) of UK describe methodologies for calculation of life-cycle GHG emissions of biofuels, including common biofuel production pathways such as the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. In the US, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program under the Energy Independence and Security Act has introduced the threshold of life-cycle GHG emissions of different biofuels in transport, while the California Air Resource Board has enacted the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to increase the share of low carbon fuels. European (e.g. RED and RTFO) and US (e.g. RFS and LCFS) regulatory schemes have proposed different methodologies for estimating GHG balances. This paper provides an overview of these four accounting methodologies, depicting commonalities and differences among them. We use the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol pathway as reference for the comparison. The comparative analysis helps identify common ground for the development of a unified methodology for sugarcane bioethanol.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
Keyword [en]
Sugarcane bioethanol, GHG emissions, Methodological coherence, Regulatory frameworks
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-80271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-80271DiVA: diva2:496152
Conference
International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels (ISAF XIX), 10-14 October 2011, Verona, Italy
Note
QC 20120210Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-02-09 Last updated: 2012-02-10Bibliographically approved

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