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Full carbon accounting: the case of ethanol

Author Affiliations

  • 1Látens Dimenzió Consultancy, Budakeszi, Hungary

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (10), Pages 32-41, October,22 (2017)


Transport needs to be decarbonised, but the lack of a comprehensive carbon accounting framework prevents policy consensus. Policies are moving towards inclusion of indirect effects, but not yet in a comprehensive manner. The engine efficiency improvements of higher octane levels should be included in LCAs. Ethanol is both a fuel and a chemical. A framework of full carbon accounting is suggested. Illustrative calculations are presented for European ethanol. Results show that European ethanol is better than oil. Indirect land use change impacts appear entirely offset by fuel economy improvements. The ethanol portion in E10 (10% ethanol blended in petrol) may have less than one-third the climate footprint of petrol. Furthermore, ethanol in E20, expected in the next decade, may be carbon neutral, if appropriate High Octane Fuels regulations and policies are enacted.


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