Evaluating Sustainability of Biodiesel production Chain | 61122

Bioenergy and Bioresource:Open Access


Evaluating Sustainability of Biodiesel production Chain

Rafael Batista Zortea, Vinícius Gonçalves Maciel*, Jaylton Bonacina de Araujo and Cássia Maria Lie Ugaya

This work provides an evaluating of the life cycle sustainability of biodiesel from soybean in Southern Brazil, one of Brazil's most important production regions of biodiesel and soybean. Life cycle approach and Dashboard of Sustainability (DoS) were applied to identify the hotspots gathering social, environmental and economic dimensions with the intention to obtain a sustainability factor index (SFI). Primary and secondary data were collected (specific and generic) covering all biodiesel soybean factories in Southern Brazil. Three environmental impact categories, three types of costs and four stakeholders were assessed. The results suggest that biodiesel production presented the most positive contribution to the economic dimension among all stages and that transportation had the worst value in all sustainability dimensions. In terms of the biodiesel production chain, the most critical impacts were acidification for environmental, supply costs for economic and the stakeholders’ local community/society (together) for social. Also, issues associated with energy sources, feedstock improvements and shortening distances are key factors that could contribute to the overall sustainability of soybean biodiesel chain. There are opportunities for improving the environmental and economic dimensions together in industrial stage from methanol and electricity. Also, the social dimension can be upgraded in all life cycle if their actors compromise with social policy. The SFI presented was in the direction of sustainability, and it is possible to perceive the social dimension with a higher possibility of improvement. SFI remains similar results throughout of biodiesel chain production. Besides that, the results can support future strategies associates with energy security policy and social, economic, and environmental development of biodiesel production chain.

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