Life cycle assessment of palm-derived biodiesel in Taiwan

Abstract

In Taiwan, due to the limited capacity of waste cooking oil, palm oil has been viewed as the potential low-cost imported feedstock for producing biodiesel, in the way of obtaining oil feedstock in Malaysia and producing biodiesel in Taiwan. This study aims to evaluate the cradle-to-grave life cycle environmental performance of palm biodiesel within two different Asian countries, Malaysia and Taiwan. The phases of the life cycle such as direct land-use-change impact, plantation and milling are investigated based on the Malaysia case and those of refining, and fuel production as well as engine combustion is based on Taiwan case. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and energy consumption for the whole life cycle were calculated as −28.29 kg CO2-equiv. and +23.71 MJ/kg of palm-derived biodiesel. We also analyze the impacts of global warming potential (GWP) and the payback time for recovering the GHG emissions when producing and using biodiesel. Various scenarios include (1) clearing rainforest or peat-forest; (2) treating or discharging palm-oil-milling effluent (POME) are further developed to examine the effectiveness of improving the environmental impacts

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Acknowledgments

This project was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, through Grant 104-2628-E-006-007-MY3.

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Correspondence to Wei-Cheng Wang.

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Maharjan, S., Wang, WC. & Teah, H.Y. Life cycle assessment of palm-derived biodiesel in Taiwan. Clean Techn Environ Policy 19, 959–969 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1290-0

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Keywords

  • Life cycle assessment
  • Palm biodiesel
  • Global warming potential
  • Energy consumption
  • Land-use-change
  • Payback time