Fleet News

Calls made to increase biofuels’ green credentials

Concerned over the sustainability of biofuels, the European Parliament’s environment committee has called for European Union (EU) rules to be established to insist that biofuel production is environmentally sound.

The call was made in amendments tabled to proposed reforms to the EU Fuel Quality Directive, aimed at reducing CO2 production by ensuring fuel formulation involves less CO2 being generated upon combustion.

The committee has proposed amendments so that emissions are reduced by at least 2% every two years from 2012 to 2020.

But crucially, the committee also wants greenhouse gas emissions created by the manufacturing and distribution process of fuels – especially biofuels – taken into account, so that pollution reductions through formulation are not counteracted by problems such as the clearing of rain forest for feedstock production.

Its amendment says that the greenhouse gas reduction formula should take into account “CO2 equivalents emitted due to the extraction and production process, transport, distribution and changes of land use”.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Leeds have developed a way to turn by-product sludge created by the production of bio-diesels into hydrogen-rich gas.

The process mixes biodiesel production waste with steam at controlled high temperatures, separating it into hydrogen, water and carbon dioxide with no residues.

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