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Illustrative scenarios of biofuel policiesfor transport sector in a developingcountry; A case study of Zambia
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The increasing demand for transportion fuels has led most countries around the world to look for alternatives to the predominant fossil fuels in the sector. Furthermore, the needs for security of energy supply, social – economic and sustainable development are among the factors driving the search for alternative fuels with regard to the fact that most oil producing countries are politically unstable. Developing countries are not an exception and are also formulating policies that will enhance development of alternatives to fossil fuels.


This study analyses the opportunities and consequences of the development of the biofuels industry in Zambia from a local, regional and global perspective with regard to policy, technical, socio – economic, environment and sustainability considerations. From analysis of global, regional and local situation, the development of biofuels in Zambia is simulated using Long – range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP) under different policy assumptions with consideration of current and future demands. Furthermore, the socio – economic and environmental consequences are modelled in LEAP using these policies and other assumptions which include demand – cost projections. The environmental loadings are also simulated for the period with the assumption that biofuels are zero net emitters of green house gases. Land requirements are then estimated from these results for the simulated period. A model of illustrative scenarios for implementation of different biofuels policies is developed which can be used to monitor and analyse their consequences by adjusting the major parameters depending on varying circumstances.


The results of this study show that there is considerable potential for feedstock, land, water and mature technology for production of both biodiesel and bioethanol to meet blending demands for the simulated period. There is considerable potential for production of bioethanol from sugar cane and sweet sorghum using the well established fermentation processes. Biodiesel can be produced from jatropha and other oil bearing plants. Most of the current fleet of vehicles in Zambia was manufactured after 1990, thus there is little or no modification required on engines to run on low biofuel blends considered in the simulations. It is clear from the results of the simulation that biofuel demand for blends of 5% in 2015 rising to 10% in 2030 with current yields required for both can be achieved with the available land ad water resources. To achieve the 10% blending target set in the simulated period for bioethanol and biodiesel from sugar cane and jatropha, land required is 4,480Ha and 47,000Ha respectivey for growing this feedstock at current yields for the region. The GHG reduction would be equivalent to the 10% in 2030 if we assume that biofuels are zero net emitters. However, policies have to be formulated and implemented which should include manadatory blending targets and incentives on tax and investments. 


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 138 p.
Keyword [en]
Biofuel, bioethanol, biodiesel, environment, sustainability
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-101485OAI: diva2:548124
Subject / course
Mechanical Engineering
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Energy Engineering
Natural Science, UNZA , Box 32379,Lusaka, Zambia, Lusaka (English)
Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-08-29 Last updated: 2012-09-13Bibliographically approved

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