LCA for Biomass-to-Liquid Fuels: An Environmental In-Depth Assessment

At present, BtL (Biomass-to-Liquid) fuels are the subject of various R&D projects on 2nd generation biofuels. However, the state of knowledge on the environmental impacts of BtL fuels is very limited. This gap has been filled by ifeu carrying out the first comprehensive study for the environmental assessment of BtL fuels. BtL fuels were compared with fossil fuels and other biofuels with life cycle assessment methodology. Furthermore, the study evaluated the most promising BtL raw materials and production techniques, and identified the most decisive life cycle steps.

Due to the complexity of the BtL systems and the various possibilities for bioenergy supply and use, a multitude of questions has been analysed. The results derived from this study show that BtL have a considerable ecological potential and that there are a number of possibilities for ecological optimisation. However, BtL fuels also compete with other ecologically attractive alternatives for bioenergy production and use. Therefore, a future implementation of BtL pathways has to be considered and optimised in the context of the whole regional or national energy supply system including all renewable energies available.


January 2004 – December 2006


Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (project executing organisation: FNR, Gülzow)

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