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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 918514, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/918514
Research Article

Emergy Analysis and Sustainability Efficiency Analysis of Different Crop-Based Biodiesel in Life Cycle Perspective

Department of Industrial Engineering, Quality and Environmental Research Centre (CESQA), University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy

Received 26 March 2013; Accepted 17 April 2013

Academic Editors: A. M. Efstathiou and A. F. Mohedano

Copyright © 2013 Jingzheng Ren et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Biodiesel as a promising alternative energy resource has been a hot spot in chemical engineering nowadays, but there is also an argument about the sustainability of biodiesel. In order to analyze the sustainability of biodiesel production systems and select the most sustainable scenario, various kinds of crop-based biodiesel including soybean-, rapeseed-, sunflower-, jatropha- and palm-based biodiesel production options are studied by emergy analysis; soybean-based scenario is recognized as the most sustainable scenario that should be chosen for further study in China. DEA method is used to evaluate the sustainability efficiencies of these options, and the biodiesel production systems based on soybean, sunflower, and palm are considered as DEA efficient, whereas rapeseed-based and jatropha-based scenarios are needed to be improved, and the improved methods have also been specified.