Life-Cycle Assessment of Biodiesel versus Petroleum Diesel Fuel

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Transportaion Technologies, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Energy and Ecobalance are carrying out a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment of soy-based diesel fuel (biodiesel) to quantify the environmental aspects of the 'cradle-to-grave' production and use of biodiesel. The purpose of the project(initiated in November 1995) is to produce an analytical tool and database for use by industry and government decision makers involved in alternative fuel use and production. The study also includes a parallel effort to develop a life cycle model for petroleum diesel fuel. The two models are used to compare the life cycle energy and environmental implications of petroleum diesel and biodieselderived from soybean. Several scenarios are studied, analyzing the influence of tranportation distances, agricultural practice and allocation rules used. The results of an LCA such as this are strongly influenced by decisions made at the study outset, related to scoping, modeling, and methodology. Objectivity as well as acceptance of the results depend upon careful definition and considerationof such issues. This paper communicates the project scoping decisions which have been made in reponse to a series of stakeholder peer reviews. At the submission stage of this paper, no intermediate results were available for publication. They will be presented during the conference.
    Original languageAmerican English
    PagesVol. 3: 2140-2143
    Number of pages4
    StatePublished - 1996
    EventIECEC 96: 31st Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference - Washington, D.C.
    Duration: 11 Aug 199616 Aug 1996


    ConferenceIECEC 96: 31st Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
    CityWashington, D.C.

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-580-25485


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