Testing the European Union sustainability criteria for biofuels: Case study of waste-derived ethanol

Kati Koponen, Sampo Soimakallio, E. Sipilä

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    Biofuels are being promoted in many areas of the world including the European Union (EU). The EU directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED) establishes sustainability criteria for biofuels in order to ensure their environmentally sustainable production. The Renewable Energy Directive also establishes a minimum level for the greenhouse gas emission saving gained by using the biofuels instead of the fossil fuels. In this paper, the methodology presented in the RED for assessing the greenhouse gas benefits of biofuels is tested by means of a case study of bioethanol derived from industrial and commercial waste and integrated into a combined heat and power production (CHP) plant. The RED methodology is open to various interpretations. Due to the possibility of different system boundary settings and due to parameter uncertainty, it is difficult to know whether or not the biofuel product is in compliance with the RED criteria. This can be problematic for the successful market introduction of new advanced biofuels concepts. The RED methodology has also methodological problems when it comes to the evaluation of the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels. There is a risk that the use of a simplified general methodology and monitoring guidelines do not necessarily promote biofuels with the most beneficial greenhouse gas impacts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th EBCE
    PublisherETA-Florence Renewable Energies
    ISBN (Print)978-88-89407-56-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event18th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition - Lyon , France
    Duration: 3 May 20107 May 2010


    Conference18th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition


    • European Union
    • sustainability criteria
    • bioethanol
    • waste
    • greenhouse gases


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