J.-H. Ng, J. X. Teh, K. Y. Wong, K. H. Wu and C. T. Chong
Abstract: In recent years, biodiesel has arrived at the forefront, as a mainstream alternative energy, due to its advantages properties such as renewability, compatibility with existing automotive infrastructures and diesel engines, cleaner emissions. Many studies have been conducted to improve the maturity of biodiesel production technology, and fuel application. However, the global-scale economical and emissions impacts of first generation biodiesel is still not being adequately addressed. This requires immediate attention as the current economical setback for biodiesel is affected by low crude oil price. In this study, the correlations between the biodiesel production feasibility, crude oil price, and feedstock availability are defined. By using a data-driven predictive model, insights can be drawn for the worldwide profitability, potential level of diesel replacement using biodiesel, and environmental impact. The model allows prediction to be done on potential biodiesel production at a country-region level, at different crude oil prices and fuel blending ratios. It was also predicted that up to 9% of total global diesel consumption could be replaced by profitable biodiesel, if crude oil price rises up to USD 135 per barrel and factoring in refinery cost of USD 0.05 per litre. Countries near the equatorial belt with abundance palm oil feedstock such as Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia could potentially augment their gross domestic products by 10.36%, 7.67% and 5.57%, respectively. If all non- domestic usage feedstock is converted into biodiesel for automotive usage, there will be conclusive reduction of engine-out emissions such as unburnt hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Ultimately, this model proves that there is high potential for mass adoption of biodiesel to supplant fossil diesel globally, allowing the generation of income, improving energy security and produces cleaner automotive emissions.
Keywords:Biodiesel, crude oil price, emissions, refinery cost
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