Life Cycle Land Requirement, Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions of Biodiesel Derived from Microalgae and Jatropha curcas Seeds in China
The aim of this study is to evaluate the land requirement, energy consumption and GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions of microalgal biodiesel (M-BD) and Jatropha curcas seeds (J-BD) based biodiesel from the perspective of life cycle assessment (LCA). Mass and energy balance was used through the whole LCA calculation for each process. Two types of biodiesel (100% biodiesel: BD100, and 20% blends of biodiesel: BD20) were assumed to be combusted in the suitable diesel engine. Displacement method was adopted to measure the co-products credits. The results showed that the land requirement of producing 1 kg biodiesel from microalgae was about 1/31 of that from Jatropha curcas seeds. The well to pump (WTP) stage for microalgal biodiesel had higher fossil energy requirement but lower petroleum energy consumption and GHG emissions compared to Jatropha curcas and conventional diesel (CD). The WTP energy efficiency for J-BD100 and M-BD 100 were 26% and 17.4%, respectively.