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There is increased interest in the production and use of algae to produce fuels for the transportation sector. In spite of all of the interest, there has been very little quantification of the energy and emission benefits of such an algae to biodiesel pathway published, although there is some information on the energy and material balances of some of the proposed algae systems. The available literature on algae production systems has been reviewed to gather the data that is required for modelling and the data has been added to an algae to oil pathway and an algae oil to biodiesel pathway, the same combination of systems that we use for other biodiesel systems, in the GHGenius model.
The GHGenius has been modified so that the SuperCetane pathway that was in the model and could process both tallow and canola oil can now process all eight types of vegetable oils or animal fats. The data that is used for the process is now the operating information for the Neste NExBTL and the SuperCetane description has been replaced by a more generic description of hydrotreated renewable diesel (HRD).
The version of the GHGenius model that accompanies this work is version 3.16. There are other changes that have been made to version 3.16 to update the data in the model but these are described in a separate report.
Tags: Algae - Biodiesel - GHGenius 3.16 - HRD - Jatropha - SuperCetane
For the transportation sector there are generally three ways that GHG emissions can be reduced; improve energy efficiency at all stages of the life cycle, use lower carbon intensity fuel sources, or change transportation modes. Combinations of the three approaches are of course also possible.
Renewable fuel producers have some control over the first two categories but they will be looking to maximize the return on investment when they design and build biofuel facilities and not necessarily minimizing GHG emissions. This may lead to the facilities being energy efficient but the types of energy that are used in the facilities may not be optimized.
For this work we are interested in, among other possibilities, the emissions impact that could arise from different farming practices. These practices could result in soil carbon changes and perhaps in changes in above ground biomass. The default values for modelling have therefore been set so that in the base case there is no change in soil carbon, no change in above ground biomass arising from increased crop yields, and no biomass growth resulting from nitrogen run-off lost offsite.
Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Corn - Ethanol - Lignocellulosic - Palm - Soybeans - Sugar Cane - SuperCetane - Tallow - Wheat - Yellow Grease
Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in March 2004
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- Canola Oil or tallow to “SuperCetane”, and
- Used motor oil to diesel fuel, the ROBYS™ process.
Both of these processes have been developed by Natural Resources Canada and are in the process of being commercialized.
The new pathways have been fully integrated into GHGenius and all of the existing functionality of the model has been retained.
The CANMET Energy Technology Centre (CETC), Natural Resources Canada, has developed a novel, patented technology that can convert vegetable oils, waste greases, animal tallow and other feedstocks containing triglycerides and fatty acids into a high cetane, low sulphur diesel fuel blending stock called SuperCetane. This process can transform fats by hydrotreating them to produce paraffins.
The "ROBYS™ Process" purifies and stabilizes reclaimed and refined gas oils. ROBYS™ is designed as an add-on unit to used oil recycling and petroleum refining operations. The process was developed by the CANMET Energy Technology Centre (CETC) and is licensed to Par Excellence Developments (PED) of Sudbury, Ontario for worldwide application. In the course of being recycled, used oils undergo a thermal cracking process to produce gas oil. ROBYS™ then effectively stabilizes and purifies the gas oil.
Used oil has been added to GHGenius as a feedstock. The collection parameters for used oil can be set by the user on the Input Sheet in terms of the modes of transportation employed and the distances involved.
Tags: Canola - GHGenius 2.5 - SuperCetane - Tallow - Used Oil