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Biobutanol as a Potential Sustainable Biofuel - Assessment of Lignocellulosic and Waste-based Feedstocks

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 58-77
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2013.01.0005
Johanna Niemisto1 , Paula Saavalainen1, Eva Pongracz2, Riitta L. Keiski1
1 Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu, Finland
2 Thule Institute, NorTech Oulu, University of Oulu, Finland

This paper introduces the production process of an alternative transportation biofuel, biobutanol. European legislation concerning biofuels and their sustainability criteria are also briefly described. The need to develop methods to ensure more sustainable and efficient biofuel production processes is recommended. In addition, the assessment method to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels is considered and sustainability assessment of selected feedstocks for biobutanol production is performed. The benefits and potential of using lignocellulosic and waste materials as feedstocks in the biobutanol production process are also discussed. Sustainability assessment in this paper includes cultivation, harvest/collection and upstream processing (pretreatment) of feedstocks, comparing four main biomass sources: food crops, non-food crops, food industry by-product and wood-based biomass. It can be concluded that the highest sustainable potential in Finland is when biobutanol production is integrated into pulp & paper mills.

Keywords: Biofuels, Biobutanol, Lignocellulosics, Waste, Biomass, Sustainability assessment, Renewable Energy Directive (RED)

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