Climate impacts of biodiesel

With biodiesel the improvements relative to fossil fuel even in the worse case are in the range of more than 50 percent (see figure 13.7). The best result, with effects of more than 100 percent, would be reached if biodiesel was produced from wood as a feedstock, via the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, where byproducts of the process, such as electricity and heat, are considered.

For rapeseed as a feedstock of biodiesel (as RME) the life cycle assessment comes down with benefits for the greenhouse gas balance. Under German conditions, in the case of a 100,000 t plant, the benefit in GWP is 162 g CO2-eq. per kWh compared to fossil diesel (BMELV, 2008).

Figure 13.10 displays the distance related effect of the use of biodiesel instead of fossil based diesel. In the case of the greenhouse gas potential the emissions of about 6 litres of diesel are avoided by application of RME at a distance of 100 km driven. In absolute numbers this amounts about 2.2 kg CO2-eq./l RME (not shown in the figure). This means a clear climate related advantage for biodiesel.

GWP

Benefits for diesel

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