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LCA of HVO Diesel and Comparison with Alternative Fuels

Stefano Bovicelli

LCA of HVO Diesel and Comparison with Alternative Fuels.

Rel. Giovanni Andrea Blengini, Giorgio Bonvicini, Roberta Montesano. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio, 2023


Climate Change is requiring a complex review of the conventional energy supply systems. The transport sector has a heavy weight in energy consumption, representing a fundamental necessity in a so globalized world. The road transportation is currently lead by conventional oil vehicles, but the research effort is pushing to find affordable and more sustainable alternatives. The present thesis, developed in collaboration with RINA Consulting S.p.A, constitutes the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Report for 1 MJ of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) Diesel produced from Recovered Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) by two Italian biorefineries. Moreover, a comparison with various Alternative Fuels for automotive sector is presented, displaying LCA results for 1 km travelled. The HVO assessment included in this report is based on data collected for the reference year 2022, while the investigation on the Alternative Fuels is mainly based on literature review and Ecoinvent 3.8 database integrated in specialist software Sphera GaBi v.10.6. This LCA study is carried out in compliance with the internationally recognized ISO 14040:2021 and ISO 14044:2021, and the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (i.e., ILCD) Handbook. For the HVO Diesel, Cradle-to-Grave LCA is performed. The biofuel subject of the analysis is produced starting from the collection and the initial treatment of RUCO by the local suppliers. The collected RUCO is then transported to the biorefineries. Here the feedstock is first pre-treated by degumming and bleaching processes and then with specific treatments with hydrogen produced onsite. Once produced, the HVO Diesel is stored and then distributed to the end users for the final combustion phase. Subsequently, the analysis is implemented with literature studies about Life Cycle Assessment of three conventional fossil fuels and various Alternative Fuels. The list of the fuels involved is the following: •??Fossil Diesel; •??Fossil Gasoline; •??HVO Diesel; •??Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG); •??Green Hydrogen; •??Synthetic Methane; •??Biomethane; •??Electricity. For the Alternative Fuels analysis, the LCA considers a “Well to Tank” and “Tank to Wheel” approach, investigating only the Production and the Combustion stage, neglecting the transport, storage and distribution, aiming to perform a sensible analysis for the vehicular application and to position the HVO in the fuels environmental sphere. The main processes are described referring to EcoInvent 3.8 Database and scientific papers published by different authors. The declared functional unit of the comparison is 1 km travelled by vehicle, but also results referred to 1 MJ of fuel are presented for completeness. The present study demonstrates that HVO Diesel is a competitive fuel, ready for the market, that owns low environmental impacts compared with traditional fossil fuels. The alternative fuels investigation highlights how the feedstock and/or the production origin influences the overall Life Cycle Assessment. In conclusion, the choice of the feedstock, including the geographical location and so the consequent transportation route, the energy typology used for the processing are the most crucial aspects for the Environmental Impact in the fuel chain. HVO Diesel obtains good results, demonstrating to be valuable and ready alternative for the current automotive market. In general, the production chain highly influences the Global Warming Potential (GWP), but the analysis reveals best results for bio and synthetic fuels, including HVO Diesel.

Relators: Giovanni Andrea Blengini, Giorgio Bonvicini, Roberta Montesano
Academic year: 2023/24
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 116
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-35 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: RINA Consulting S.p.A.
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/29150
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