Andra generationens biodrivmedel: en litteraturöversikt

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Hans Antonson

One of the transport policy objectives in Sweden is that the vehicle fleet should be fossil independent by 2030. To achieve this we should replace fossil fuels with renewable fuels based on biomass. The purpose of this report is to make a knowledge-based overview of second-generation biofuels production technologies, use, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions as well as the problems of land use.

First-generation fuels such as ethanol from starch and biodiesel from plant oil have a number of limitations, which means they are not a sustainable solution in the long run. The anticipation is instead that the second-generation biofuels, which use cellulosic material, have a better potential to replace fossil fuels. These biofuels have higher energy efficiency and lower overall greenhouse gas emissions compared with the first-generation biofuels. Also, they use raw materials that do not directly compete with food or with land use for food production. It is also predicted that the new biofuels can replace some of the fuels used in air transport, which is not possible with today's options.

For an increased biofuel production to be sustainable it is important to avoid negative effects on the environment, which for instance can be effects on biodiversity, land degradation, and that the cultivation of crops for biofuels will be on sensitive land areas. To ensure this is not happening there is a European directive stating how this should be performed. In addition, it is important to ensure that production is carried out as efficiently as possible from the perspectives of resources, environment and costs. Other restrictions apply in particular for technical and economic barriers, which will impede the commercialisation in the short run. To have a functioning market within a reasonable time frame, it is also important that the second-generation biofuels are supported by different instruments which will make them competitive. Because no single biofuel is foreseen to provide sufficient quantities to meet a demand of large volumes, it is imperative that the financial and administrative instruments do not lead to solutions that are not justifiable in the long run. And since even renewable raw materials could become scarce, we should not only rely on replacing fossil fuel with more biofuels. It is also important to continue with the making the energy use more efficient in order to reduce total energy needs.

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