EU Member States are mandated to reach a minimum of 10% renewable energy consumed in transport by 2020. To comply with this goal, biofuels must meet the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability requirements. Further policy developments at the European level are expected to lead to the progressive substitution of first-generation (food crop-based) with second- (non-edible crops-based) and third-generation (algae and microalgae-based) biofuels. This paper explores the economic feasibility and environmental sustainability of producing second-generation biofuel in Italy from Brassica Carinata, a non-edible flowering plant of the Brassicaceae family, in a context of rotation with wheat (and eventually other crops). The framework considered allows to rule out issues of ILUC and is highly relevant in a country where extensive monoculture is extremely widespread and there is a high degree of dependence on foreign imports for both biofuels and biofuels-related raw materials, especially from countries such as Indonesia, where the adverse impacts of first-generation biofuel production on the environment are most felt. Using yield and cost data from 5 experimental fields in Italy and taking into account potential returns from the sale of biodiesel and its byproducts, glycerin and expeller/meal, the economic sustainability of the entire biodiesel production chain (cultivation, oil extraction and oil refining) is confirmed. Implementation of the Argonne National Laboratory's GREET life cycle model, suitably adjusted so as to apply it to the BC case, confirms also an high environmental sustainability. The range of positive economic effects and externalities that may be triggered by the development of a BC-derived biofuel production chain justifies some form of policy intervention.
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|Titolo:||Brassica carinata-derived biodiesel production: economics, sustainability and policies. The Italian Case|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|