Attributional and consequential environmental assessment of using waste cooking oil- and poultry fat-based biodiesel blends in urban buses: a real-world operation condition study

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Biofuels Research Team (BRTeam), Karaj, Iran.

3 Microbial Biotechnology Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), AREEO, Karaj, Iran.

4 Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Tehran Bus Co., Tehran, Iran.

6 Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Iran.

7 Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural resources, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Urban public transportation sector in general is heavily dependent on fossil-oriented fuels, e.g., diesel. Given the fact that a major proportion of urban pollution and the consequent threats towards public health are attributed to this sector, serious efforts at both technical and political levels have been being made to introduce less-polluting fueling regimes, e.g., partial replacement of diesel with biodiesel. In line with that, the present study was aimed at evaluating the emissions attributed to 5% blends of waste cooking oil (WCO) and poultry fat (PF) biodiesel fuels (i.e., B5-WCO and B5-PF fuel blends) when used in urban buses during idle operation mode. Moreover, the attributional and consequential environmental impacts of using these fuel blends were also investigated through a well to wheel life cycle assessment (LCA) by considering the real-world condition combustion data using ten urban buses. The findings of the ALCA revealed that the application of 1 L B5-WCO fuel blend could potentially reduce the environmental burdens in human health, ecosystem quality, and resources damage categories compared with using the B5-PF fuel blend. The situation was opposite for climate change damage category in which using 1 L B5-PF fuel blend had a lower impact on the environment. Overall, the environmental hotspots in the B5-WCO and B5-PF life cycles were identified as the combustion stage as well as the diesel production and transportation. From the consequential perspective, using 1 L B5-WCO fuel blend could potentially decrease the environmental burdens in human health, ecosystem quality, and resources damage categories. While, the situation was different for climate change damage category where using 1 L B5-PF fuel blend could have a lower impact on the environment. In conclusion, using B5-WCO fuel blend as an alternative for diesel could be an environmentally-friendly decision for the Iranian urban transportation sector at the policy level as long as the marginal suppliers of oil would be the same as the countries considered herein, i.e., Malaysia and Argentina.

Graphical Abstract

Attributional and consequential environmental assessment of using waste cooking oil- and poultry fat-based biodiesel blends in urban buses: a real-world operation condition study

Highlights

  • Emissions attributed to WCO and PF biodiesel blends in urban buses were measured in idle operation mode.
  • Attributional and consequential environmental impacts of the investigated fuels were evaluated by a well to wheel LCA.
  • Compared with B5-PF fuel blend, B5-WCO fuel blend was found eco-friendly diesel alternative for the Iranian urban transportation sector.

Keywords