Screening Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrotreated Jatropha Oil
The Daimler AG commissioned the ifeu-Institute to conduct a study on the environmental implications associated with hydrotreated Jatropha oil as a supplement to the existing study on Jatropha biodiesel. Just as biodiesel, this new biofuel replaces conventional diesel fuel. However, both biofuels show considerable differences regarding their characteristics and their production processes. The supplementing study balances – also based on a so-called screening life cycle assessment – the environmental impacts of hydrotreated Jatropha oil along the entire life cycle and compares the results to those of conventional diesel fuel. The study covers a number of environmental impact categories such as energy consumption, greenhouse effect, acidification, eutrophication, summer smog and ozone-depleting nitrous oxide emissions. Different scenarios are assessed, e. g. different oil production technologies, and the results are compared to those derived in the study on Jatropha biodiesel.
Hydrotreating has been developed in recent years as an alternative vegetable oil processing technique for producing biofuels. It is expected to play an important role in the future expansion of biofuels. Hydrotreated vegetable oil is a synthetic biofuel which – as well as biodiesel – can replace conventional diesel fuel. However, the new biofuel has some major technical advantages when compared to biodiesel – amongst other regarding its combustion. Here, hydrotreated vegetable oil shows lower emissions than biodiesel, e. g. regarding NOx.