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Comparative life cycle assessment of ethanol production from fast-growing wood crops (black locust, eucalyptus and poplar)

González-García, S, Moreira, MT, Feijoo, G and Murphy, RJ (2012) Comparative life cycle assessment of ethanol production from fast-growing wood crops (black locust, eucalyptus and poplar) Biomass and Bioenergy, 39. pp. 378-388.

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Abstract

A life cycle assessment (LCA) study was carried out to evaluate the environmental implications of the production and use of ethanol from three fast-growing wood crops: eucalyptus, black locust and poplar in flexi-fuel vehicles. The production of a blend rich in ethanol: E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline by volume) was assessed and the results compared with those of conventional gasoline (CG) in an equivalent car. The following environmental categories were evaluated: fossil fuels use (FF), global warming potential over 100 years (GWP 100), photochemical oxidant creation potential (POCP), acidification potential (AP) and eutrophication potential (EP).The use of ethanol derived from black locust was found to be the option with the lowest impact in most categories with reductions of 97%, 42%, 41% and 76% for GWP 100, AP, EP and FF respectively in comparison with CG.Concerning the production stage of ethanol (excluding the stages of blending and use), black locust has the lowest environmental impacts due to the low levels of agricultural inputs during its cultivation. The poplar scenario has higher impacts in AP and EP due to the emission of diffuse substances from fertilizer application and the eucalyptus scenario in GWP 100, POCP and FF due to the use and requirements of heavy machinery during harvesting.The use of the LCA methodology has helped to identify the key areas in the life cycle of ethanol. Special attention should be paid to ethanol production related activities and forest activities oriented to the feedstock production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
González-García, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moreira, MTUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Feijoo, GUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Murphy, RJrj.murphy@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 April 2012
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.01.028
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:02
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 15:07
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/837660

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