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Life Cycle Assessment of a Pilot Scale Farm-Based Biodiesel Plant

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Title: Life Cycle Assessment of a Pilot Scale Farm-Based Biodiesel Plant
Author: Wasserman, Eli Shawn Jordan
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Lubitz, William DavidNicol, RobDias, Goretty
Abstract: This study used environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) to investigate waste vegetable oil (WVO) biodiesel production at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES). CARES production data and Natural Resources Canada’s GHGenius LCA data were utilized to conduct a well-to-gate LCA. A range of scenarios were studied including using soybean oil feedstock and implementing methanol recovery. Results suggest that methanol is the environmental bottleneck of the WVO biodiesel production system. Results also suggest soybean biodiesel production released more GHG emissions and consumed more energy than both WVO biodiesel or petroleum diesel production. LCA is an iterative process. Due to the study’s limited scope, and status as a screening study, it is recommended that the study of the impacts of the CARES facility be redone with more reliable facility data, that it include the anaerobic digester, as well as a well-to-wheels boundary.
Date: 2013-05
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