Biofuels: study targets sticking points, gaps in life-cycle calculations

Adding another layer of complexity to life-cycle assessments, a recent paper argues for the inclusion of a new, market-mediated factor in biofuels life-cycle assessments.

In "Indirect Fuel Use Change (IFUC) and the Lifecycle Environmental Impact of Biofuel Policies," Deepak Rajagopal, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and colleagues take issue with the common assumption that biofuels will replace fossil fuel use on a 1-to-1 basis.

"The adoption of renewable fuels will affect the price of fuel and therefore affect total fuel consumption, which may increase or decrease depending on the policy regime and market conditions," the authors explain.

To read the full article by Energy & Environment Reporter Jenny Mandel click here.