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Net energy, CO2 emission, and life-cycle cost assessment of cassava-based ethanol as an alternative automotive fuel in China

Zhiyuan Hu, Fang Fang, DaoFeng Ben, Gengqiang Pu and Chengtao Wang

Applied Energy, 2004, vol. 78, issue 3, 247-256

Abstract: Assessment on net energy, external cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and cost of using cassava-based ethanol as an alternative automotive fuel has been conducted based on its holistic life-cycle, from feedstock production (source) to fuel combustion. And, a new indicator, figure of merit (FM), is proposed for grading conventional gasoline (CG) and cassava-based ethanol (CE): it links net energy yield, external cost of CO2 emissions, and production cost (the higher the FM reading, the better the total performance). On the life-cycle basis, the net energy yield of CE is found to be 0.37 MJ/MJ, i.e. about 49% that of CG. The external cost to society of CO2 emission of CE is about 83% of CG's, and the production cost of CE is 0.14 RMB/MJ, i.e. about 200% of CG's. The FM of CE is 0.37, i.e. 46% lower than that of CG. From the standpoint of these indicators, CE is currently not competitive with CG, but it has great potential to be improved in the future.

Keywords: Net; energy; External; cost; CO2; emission; Cost; Cassava-based; ethanol; Life; cycle; assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:78:y:2004:i:3:p:247-256