Sustainability Quick Check for Biofuels (SQCB): A Web-based tool for streamlined biofuels' LCA
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Environmental Informatics and Industrial Environmental Protection: Concepts, Methods and Tools
Environmental Web Applications
Upcoming regulations like the Swiss ordinance on mineral oil tax and development of standards for sustainably produced biofuels like those of the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels usually require calculations of the greenhouse gas emissions or even of the environmental impacts on a LCA basis. For small producers in developing countries, such an evaluation is too costly and would prevent them to enter the market for biofuels. This project developed a web-based tool, the so-called Sustainability Quick Check for Biofuels (SQCB), which allows a “quick check” of common agro-biofuel on a LCA basis. The major goal of the SQCB is (i) to facilitate the market entrance of sustainable biofuels for local producers from developing countries and (ii) to increase for the know-how on the environmental performance of specific agro-biofuel production chains. The SQCB uses a simplified approach. The life cycle inventory is modelled based on a questionnaire including the decisions and factors having the highest influence on the environmental performance of an agro-biofuel value chain. Based on that data, an inventory is modelled and linked with background data from the ecoinvent database for a full Life Cycle Impact Assessment. Results show the greenhouse gas potential (GWP100) as well as overall environmental impacts (UBP06) of the biofuels’ life cycle in relation to a biogenic and a fossil fuel reference both tabular and graphical. On this basis, the user can (i) assess if the biofuels produced comply with the Swiss sustain-ability standards and (ii) determine the hot spots in his biofuel value chain. In addition, the SQCB enables the user interactively to understand the influence and interaction of different decisions and factors on the environmental performance of his biofuel value chain.