An evaluation of the life cycle cost of rapeseed oil as a straight vegetable oil fuel to replace petroleum diesel in agriculture
Riba Ruiz, Jordi-Roger
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The use of straight vegetable oil (SVO) as biofuel has been recognized as a valid substitute of diesel fuel in the agricultural sector under specific circumstances. Its direct use reduces most of the chemical processes involved when converting it into biodiesel, thus lowering harmful emissions. This study presents the economic analysis of a self-supply farming model that uses rapeseed as its fuel base. This model addresses agricultural environmental concerns and can even minimize dependence on the fluctuating costs of diesel fuel. The use of SVO in agriculture can help reduce farmers’ vulnerability to fossil fuel prices. The economic evaluation of the model proposed in this study shows clear economic benefits of introducing rapeseed to the traditional crop rotation of wheat and barley. The key factors analyzed in this model are diesel fuel price, diesel fuel grants and crop aids. The current situation in Spain favors the use of diesel fuel in agriculture rather than rapeseed SVO due to an 8% profit difference. However, results show that changes in key factors slightly affect the profit margin, calculating a difference of only 3.7% for particular factor combinations. Combined environmental-friendly agriculture supporting policies are necessary to cover this slight profit difference to promote this biofuel.
Is part ofBiomass and bioenergy, 2011, vol. 35, núm. 8, p. 3687-3697
European research projects
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