An LCA-based evaluation of biomass to transportation fuel production and utilization pathways in a large port’s context

Georgios Archimidis Tsalidis*, Fadhila El Discha, Gijsbert Korevaar, Wim Haije, Wiebren de Jong, Jaap Kiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


This study evaluates whether a transition of large ports facilities to biofuel production for mobility improves the environmental performance and satisfies the renewable energy directive (RED) and it is the first LCA study that considers biofuel production from torrefied wood. The systems studied are wood, torrefied wood, and straw pellets circulating fluidized bed gasification for H2, synthetic natural gas, or Fischer–Tropsch (FT) diesel production and use. These systems are evaluated for their global warming, acidification, eutrophication and particulate matter potentials, as well as, for their aggregated environmental performance. The effects of the electricity mix selection and ecoinvent database’s economic allocation are also analyzed. All biomass systems result in a better aggregated environmental performance and benefits for the global warming potential. However, regarding the acidification, particulate matter, and eutrophication potentials, most biomass systems are inferior to the reference systems. Switching to a zero-emission electricity mix offers benefits for all the biomass and fossil-H2 systems and researchers should use databases cautiously. The bio-H2 and FT diesel of wood-based systems show the best environmental performance and satisfy the current and future RED targets. On one hand, the bio-H2 systems result in the largest benefits regarding the global warming potential, and on the other hand, both wood-based FT diesel systems offer overall benefits which concern not only the sustainable target of CO2 emissions reduction, but also the air quality improvement of the broader area as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-187
JournalInternational Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Gasification
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Straw
  • Torrefaction
  • Transportation fuel
  • Wood


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