25 April, 2007
A new study published in the journal Chemistry and Industry concludes that biodiesel made from rapeseed will increase rather than reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel. Looking at the full lifecycle emissions of biodiesel and conventional diesel, the authors of the study concluded that biodiesel produces two thirds of its greenhouse gas emissions during the farming of the rapeseed (because nitrous oxide N2O is released into the atmosphere). The authors also looked at the environmental impact of both fuels and concluded that both diesels have similar impacts.
Rapeseed biodiesel is the main biofuel used in Europe. The study says that farmers in Europe would do more to fight climate change if they converted the fields now used to grow rapeseed into forests.
The EU has set itself a mandatory target of 10% biofuels use in 2010.
For more on this story, read CCNMag.com and Scenta.
For an overview of EU policy on biofuels, read EurActiv’s Biofuels LinksDossier.