Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission effects of biodiesel in the United States with induced land use change impacts

This study conducted the updated simulations to depict a life cycle analysis (LCA) of the biodiesel production from soybeans and other feedstocks in the U.S. It addressed in details the interaction between LCA and induced land use change (ILUC) for biodiesel. Relative to the conventional petroleum diesel, soy biodiesel could achieve 76% reduction in GHG emissions without considering ILUC, or 66–72% reduction in overall GHG emissions when various ILUC cases were considered. Soy biodiesel’s fossil fuel consumption rate was also 80% lower than its petroleum counterpart. Furthermore, this study examined the cause and the implication of each key para- meter affecting biodiesel LCA results using a sensitivity analysis, which identified the hot spots for fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions of biodiesel so that future efforts can be made accordingly. Finally, biodiesel produced from other feedstocks (canola oil and tallow) were also investigated to contrast with soy biodiesel and petroleum diesel.