Methodologies for accounting greenhouse gas emissions of bioethanol production in Brazil
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
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
Sugarcane bioethanol, GHG emissions, Methodological coherence, Regulatory frameworks
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-80271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-80271DiVA: diva2:496152
International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels (ISAF XIX), 10-14 October 2011, Verona, Italy
QC 201202102012-02-092012-02-092012-02-10Bibliographically approved