GRFA releases GHG emissions study

By Kris Bevill | December 09, 2009
Report posted Dec. 14, 2009, at 3:36 p.m. CST

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance has released the results of a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions study it recently commissioned. Prepared by (S&T)2 Consultants Inc., "GHG Emission Reductions from World Biofuel Production and Use" confirms that significant GHG reductions can be obtained worldwide through biofuels production, according to the GRFA.

"This landmark report proves yet again that biofuels production and use is already playing a vital, yet too often overlooked, role in reducing harmful GHG emissions around the globe," GRFA spokesman Bliss Baker said.

The GRFA commissioned the study to estimate the global GHG emissions reduction that could be achieved through the production and use of biofuels. To do this, the production of biofuels in each major producing country were documented and combined with an estimate of the GHG emissions associated with producing that type of fuel in that country. The resulting emissions estimates were then compared to the amount of emissions that are avoided from displaced petroleum. Life-cycle analysis models were used to calculate estimates.

The GHG emission estimates do not include indirect emissions for several reasons, according to the GRFA. Among those reasons:

  • There have been no credible assessments undertaken for the indirect effects of petroleum. Biofuels and petroleum can only be compared if the system boundaries are the same.
  • Available estimates for indirect effects of biofuels are not transparent and can't be independently analyzed or verified.
  • A lack of data on what might happen and the impacts of these changes require a large number of assumptions to be made during the estimation process.

    The entire report can be viewed at