International Journal of Green Energy | VOL. 6

Energy and Environmental Benefits of Rapeseed Oil Replacing Diesel

Publication Date Jun 3, 2009


In this paper the benefits of rapeseed oil (RO) replacing petroleum diesel in transportation are evaluated, demonstrating that RO use displaces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and saves fossil energy. A systemic description of the RO chain in France has been implemented and GHG emissions and energy used throughout the life cycle have been calculated using alternative co-product credit procedures, namely a replacement method, three allocation approaches (mass, energy, economic) and ignoring co-product credits. The results show that the cultivation stage is particularly important, being responsible for 68% of the primary energy requirements and 87% of the GHG emissions of the RO “well-to-tank” system, mainly due to the use of fertilizers and related N2O emissions. Considerable reductions in fossil fuel depletion and GHG emissions can be achieved by replacing petroleum diesel with rapeseed oil (0.9 MJ and 62 g CO2eq per MJ of fossil diesel replaced), but optimum use of co-products is needed.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rapeseed Oil Related N2O Emissions Greenhouse Gas Co-product Credit Use Of Fertilizers Allocation Approaches Cultivation Stage Replacement Method Optimum Use

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