The renewable energy directive (RED) of the EU sets mandatory targets for increasing the use of renewable energy in EU member states by 2020. The RED introduces sustainability criteria for transportation biofuels and other bioliquids in order to ensure that their increasing production does not cause serious environmental and social problems. Bio-oil production through fast pyrolysis is one technology under development. The aim of this paper is to explore whether bio-oil derived from logging residues in Finland meets the GHG performance criteria set by the EU. The pyrolysis reactor is assumed to be integrated with a combined heat and power production plant (CHP). Special attention is paid to uncertainty analysis. An emission reduction target of 60% as compared to the reference fuel is exceeded if the pyrolysis reactor and the CHP plant are considered as separate units, and changes in soil carbon balances are ignored. On the contrary, the particular target is not met using a 20-year time frame for changes in soil carbon balances. The results depend in large measure on the selection of parameters set and the interpretation of the definitions provided in the RED to set the system boundary for the pyrolysis reactor and the CHP plant.
- greenhouse gas emissions
- renewable energy directive (RED)