Biodiesel can cut greenhouse gas emissions

July 19, 2012, CORDIS
Biodiesel can cut greenhouse gas emissions: study

Researchers in Spain have discovered that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through the use of biodiesel. The group from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain investigated the benefits of using biodiesel by analyzing and quantifying primary and fossil energy consumption on urban buses, as well as by analyzing greenhouse gas emissions. The findings, said the researchers, could help decision makers introduce policies on environmental matters related to road transport.

The UPM's University Institute for Automobile Research (INSIA) researchers, who applied a life-cycle analysis for this study, found that besides fuelling , the road transport industry makes a huge impact on the environment because its growth has triggered the depletion of resources, including natural and petrol gases, in recent years.

It is important that alternative sources of fuel are identified to mitigate this growing problem. Experts are currently investigating alternative novel technologies for the post-treatment of exhaust gases. Can biofuels help? Some believe they can help put this problem to rest.

Biodiesel, for instance, is a renewable resource-generated fuel and includes animal fat and vegetable oil. This latest study paid particular attention to two areas: selective catalytic reduction with urea (SCR+urea) and the recirculation of gas exhaust gas with particulate filter (EGR+DPF).

In their life-cycle analysis, the researchers focused on buses belonging to the Madrid-based group Municipal Transport Company, with each bus equipped with post-treatment of exhaust gases technology. Three types of fuel were combined with the gases: diesel, B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% diesel) and B100 (100% biodiesel).

Their data showed that the use of this type of fuel cuts greenhouse but boosts primary energy consumption. However, they pointed out that just a small percentage of this energy corresponds to fossil energy because biodiesel is generated from non-fossil resources like animal fats.

The team also discovered a boost in nitrogen oxides emissions and a drop in particles. According to them, their tendency is to expand as the mixture increases as well.

The researchers said overall fossil energy consumed by the use of biodiesel is the result of crop processes and transesterification. So crop processes need alternatives in order to cut the consumption of fertilisers. What experts need to do is generate a solid amount of fossil energy. Transesterification, meanwhile, needs to introduce cogeneration systems using renewable energy sources in transesterification plants in order to boost energy efficiency.

Not only can these findings be used to help introduce government policies in terms of environmental issues related to intercity in , but they can provide extracted information from an extensive review of relevant bibliography and from databases that experts call GEMIS or GaBi 4. The GaBi 4 community has upgraded energy balances, mass and emissions of key processes investigated in this study.

Explore further: Biodiesel won't drive down global warming

More information: Garcia-Sánchez, J.A., et al. 'Life cycle analysis of Euro IV urban buses', DYNA, 2012, 87(1), pp. 45-57.

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1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 19, 2012
"a boost in nitrogen oxides emissions "

Not good.

And, the amount of H2O and CO2 is not mentioned ....
5 / 5 (3) Jul 19, 2012
NotParker, do you have a link for this? Argonne scientists have found that once created, PAN can last for many days in the air if the conditions -- especially temperature -- are right. When it's cold, its lifetime is longer.

if so pls send to witsendnj at yahoo thanx
2 / 5 (4) Jul 19, 2012
3rd paragraph from the bottom of the article.
5 / 5 (2) Jul 19, 2012
Why do you care that CO2 isn't mentioned? You maintain that it's not a green house gas, so if it's higher or lower, big deal. Yes water isn't mentioned, but unlike CO2, it can condense and fall out of the atmosphere when levels become high enough, providing temperatures haven't run away due to some global greenhouse effect, which you don't believe in.
1 / 5 (4) Jul 20, 2012
Why do you care that CO2 isn't mentioned? You maintain that it's not a green house gas, so if it's higher or lower, big deal.

It is the hypocrisy. If you put the words bio in front of something, gullible people think it is safer and poduces no CO2 when in fact biofuels are much worse than gasoline in most ways and produce more CO2 for each joule of energy.
5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2012
Biofuels are carbon neutral of course. But their producton may not be. That depends on how much and what type of processing is needed to convert plant material to a fuel.

"in fact biofuels are much worse than gasoline in most ways and produce more CO2 for each joule of energy." - ParkerTard

1 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2012
"Compared to gasoline and diesel, over its whole life cycle, every unit of energy produced with sugar cane produces 10 times as much volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides. The amount PM10s and PM2.5s produced with ethanol fuels is even higher."


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