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- PublicationBiofuel Production in Ireland—An Approach to 2020 Targets with a Focus on Algal BiomassUnder the Biofuels Obligation Scheme in Ireland, the biofuels penetration rate target for 2013 was set at 6% by volume from a previous 4% from 2010. In 2012 the fuel blend reached 3%, with approximately 70 million L of biodiesel and 56 million L of ethanol blended with diesel and gasoline, respectively. Up to and including April 2013, the current blend rate in Ireland for biodiesel was 2.3% and for bioethanol was 3.7% which equates to approximately 37.5 million L of biofuel for the first four months of 2013. The target of 10% by 2020 remains, which equates to approximately 420 million L yr−1. Achieving the biofuels target would require 345 ktoe by 2020 (14,400 TJ). Utilizing the indigenous biofuels in Ireland such as tallow, used cooking oil and oil seed rape leaves a shortfall of approximately 12,000 TJ or 350 million L (achieving only 17% of the 10% target) that must be either be imported or met by other renewables. Other solutions seem to suggest that microalgae (for biodiesel) and macroalgae (for bioethanol) could meet this shortfall for indigenous Irish production. This paper aims to review the characteristics of algae for biofuel production based on oil yields, cultivation, harvesting, processing and finally in terms of the European Union (EU) biofuels sustainability criteria, where, up to 2017, a 35% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction is required compared to fossil fuels. From 2017 onwards, a 50% GHG reduction is required for existing installations and from 2018, a 60% reduction for new installations is required.
1263Scopus© Citations 77
- PublicationPotential to Increase Indigenous Biodiesel Production to help meet 2020 Targets - An EU perspective with a focus on IrelandThe biofuels penetration rate target in Ireland for 2013 is 6% by volume. In 2012 the fuel blend reached 3%, with approximately 70 million litres of biodiesel and 56 million litres of ethanol blended with diesel and gasoline respectively. For January and February 2013, the blend rate had only reached 2.7%. The target of 10% by 2020 remains which equates to approximately 420 million litres. Achieving the biofuels target would require 345 ktoe by 2020 (14,400 TJ). Utilising the indigenous biofuels outlined in this paper leaves a shortfall of approximately 12,000 TJ or 350 million litres (achieving 17% of the 10% target) that must be either be imported or met by other renewables. 70% of indigenous production from one biodiesel plant is currently from TME and UCOME. If this remains for 2020 then only 30% remains equating to approximately 10 million litres indigenous production for a second biodiesel plant (30% of 21+13 million litres) which has planned capacity of 40 million litres (36,000 t). In terms of the EU biofuels sustainability criteria, up to 2017, a 35% GHG emissions reduction is required compared to fossil fuels. From 2017 onwards, a 50% GHG reduction is required for existing installations and a 60% reduction for new installations.
1056Scopus© Citations 13
- PublicationPotential Bioethanol Feedstock Availability Around Nine Locations in the Republic of IrelandThe Republic of Ireland, like many other countries is trying to diversify energy sources to counteract environmental, political and social concerns. Bioethanol from domestically grown agricultural crops is an indigenously produced alternative fuel that can potentially go towards meeting the goal of diversified energy supply. The Republic of Ireland’s distribution of existing soils and agricultural land-uses limit arable crop land to around 10% of total agricultural area. Demand for land to produce arable crops is expected to decrease, which could open the opportunity for bioethanol production. Bioethanol production plants are required to be of a sufficient scale in order to compete economically with other fuel sources, it is important therefore to determine if enough land exists around potential ethanol plant locations to meet the potential demands for feedstock. This study determines, through the use of a developed GIS based model, the potential quantities of feedstock that is available in the hinterlands of nine locations in the Republic of Ireland. The results indicate that three locations can meet all its feedstock demands using indigenously grown sugarbeet, while only one location can meet its demands using a combination of indigenous wheat and straw as the two locally sourced feedstocks.
715Scopus© Citations 4
- PublicationThe Impact of Field Size on the Environment and Energy Crop Production Efficiency for a Sustainable Indigenous Bioenergy Supply Chain in the Republic of IrelandThis paper investigates, using the GIS platform, the potential impacts of meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous sources of feedstock on the habitats and carbon stores that exist within Ireland’s field boundaries. A survey of the Republic of Irelands field was conducted in order to estimate and map the size and geographic distribution of the Republic of Ireland’s field boundaries. The planting and harvesting costs associated with possible bioenergy crop production systems were determined using the relationship between the seasonal operating efficiency and the average field size. The results indicate that Ireland will need a large proportion of its current agricultural area (at least 16.5%) in order to its meet national bioenergy targets by 2020. The demand cannot be met by the current area that both has suitable soil type for growing the bioenergy crops and is large enough for the required operating efficiency. The results of this study indicate that implementing and meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous feedstock will likely impact the country’s field boundary resources negatively, as crop producers seek to improve production efficiency through field consolidation and field boundary removal. It was found that such boundary removal results in a loss of up to 6 tC/km2 and 0.7 ha/km of previously permanent habitat where average field size is small. The impact of field consolidation on these resources reduces substantially as larger fields become consolidated.
348Scopus© Citations 11
- PublicationAn economic assessment of potential ethanol production pathways in IrelandAn economic assessment was conducted on five biomass-to-ethanol production pathways utilising the feedstock: wheat, triticale, sugarbeet, miscanthus and straw. The analysis includes the costs and margins for all the stakeholders along the economic chain. This analysis reveals that under current market situations in Ireland, the production of ethanol under the same tax regime as petrol makes it difficult to compete against that fuel, with tax breaks, however, it can compete against petrol. On the other hand, even under favourable tax breaks it will be difficult for indigenously produced ethanol to compete against cheaper sources of imported ethanol. Therefore, the current transport fuel market has no economic reason to consume indigenously produced ethanol made from the indigenously grown feedstock analysed at a price that reflects all the stakeholders’ costs. To deliver a significant penetration of indigenous ethanol into the market would require some form of compulsory inclusion or else considerable financial supports to feedstock and ethanol producers.
Scopus© Citations 12 715