Thursday, May 24, 2007

UK report shows biodiesel reduces carbon emissions by 94%


Posted by Giles Clark, London
Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Replacing conventional ultra low sulphur diesel with biodiesel can
produce savings in carbon dioxide emissions of 94 per cent and
reductions in energy use of up to 97 per cent. This is according to new
research which has been commissioned by the NorthEast Biofuels
consortium with the LowCVP (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership) and
published by Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA). The independent
research followed the complete life cycle of biodiesel from UK-sourced
oilseed rape seed through production and storage, right up to the pump.

A summary of the research was launched today (23rd May) at a meeting of
the All Party Parliamentary Renewable Fuels Group. The Chairman of
NorthEast Biofuels, John Reynolds, said: "We commissioned this research
to understand more about the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
during the whole production process for biodiesel. The findings are
extremely encouraging and will help us in our future planning to ensure
that we are optimizing our processes to make the maximum possible savings.

"There has been a great deal of publicity around biofuels in recent
months and some of it has cast doubt on whether they really can deliver
the kind of substantial savings which the government is seeking. This
research shows the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to
94 per cent. These are significant savings and fully justify the support
of the government and the investment being made by the industry."

The research took account of the energy used and the greenhouse gases
produced at every stage of the process. This included all the activity
and materials used to produce the crop on the farm, from the time it is
planted through to harvesting, transportation and storage, processing
into biodiesel, and delivery for use.

The research considered a number of different scenarios to ensure that
all factors were taken into account. The option that produced the
greatest savings in energy use and carbon emissions involved using the
oilseed rape meal, produced as a co-product of processing, as an energy
source for co-firing in a power station. The alternative is to use this
meal for animal feed. UK report

Alastair Dickie, Crop Marketing Director at HGCA said: "This research
shows what can be achieved, but like much of the work carried out during
the past few years, it is just the start. The biofuels industry must
continue to improve its practices to ensure that biodiesel and
bioethanol make significant contributions to reversing climate change in
an effective and sustainable way. This kind of initiative will help the
industry to do this throughout the chain."

This leaflet entitled 'Reducing carbon in a biofuel supply chain' can be
downloaded from the NorthEast Biofuels website at


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