Document Detail

Life cycle assessment of a palm oil system with simultaneous production of biodiesel and cooking oil in Cameroon.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20496929     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The use of palm oil as a biofuel has been heavily debated for its land-use conflict with nature and its competition with food production, being the number one cooking oil worldwide. In that context, we present a life cycle assessment of a palm oil production process yielding both biodiesel and cooking oil, incorporating the land-use impact and evaluating the effect of treating the palm oil mill effluent (POME) prior to disposal. The results show that the nonrenewable energy requirement, global warming potential (GWP; exclusive land-use change), and acidification potential are lower than those of the fossil alternative. However, the system triggers an increase in eutrophication potential (EP) compared to the fossil fuel reference. This system shows less energy requirement, global warming and acidification reduction, and less eutrophication increase compared to the reference than the same system converting all palm oil into biodiesel (no cooking oil production). The land occupation of palm oil triggers ecosystem quality (EQ) loss of 30-45% compared to the potential natural vegetation. Furthermore, such land-use change triggers a carbon debt neutralizing the GWP reduction for 45-53 years. The POME treatment scenarios reveal a trade-off between GWP and EP.
Wouter M J Achten; Pieter Vandenbempt; Joana Almeida; Erik Mathijs; Bart Muys
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0013-936X     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-11     Completed Date:  2010-08-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4809-15     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 E Box 2411, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium.
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MeSH Terms
Biofuels / analysis*
Fossil Fuels / analysis
Global Warming
Plant Oils / analysis*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Acids; 0/Biofuels; 0/Fossil Fuels; 0/Plant Oils; 8002-75-3/palm oil

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