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A comparison of the European renewable energy directive default emission values with actual values from operating biodiesel facilities for sunflower, rape and soya oil seeds in Italy

Buratti, C., Barbanera, M., Fantozzi, F.
Biomass and bioenergy 2012 v.47 pp. 26-36
European Union, Helianthus annuus, biodiesel, biomass, case studies, compliance, energy policy, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, rapeseed, soybean oil, soybeans, Italy
The European Union (EU) set a binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for transportation biofuels and other bioliquids. In this study, the GHG emissions of biodiesel chain from sunflower, rapeseed and soybean were calculated in compliance with the European Union Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED). Input data used for the agricultural step were referred to the Umbrian region for sunflower and rapeseed and to the Veneto region for soybean, while data obtained from the main Italian biodiesel plants were employed for the processing step. Results showed that GHG emissions were higher than default values reported in the RED for sunflower and rapeseed and lower for soybean. Only sunflower biodiesel does not reach the minimum value of GHG saving (35%). The main differences with data used in the RED concern cultivation step, while the processing step has overall the same values of GHG emissions. Finally, three case studies were examined in order to identify possible improvements to make the analyzed supply chains more sustainable.