Given the expected rise in the importance and rate of decisions being made in the biofuel sector and the complexity of the system, this paper is focused on an analysis that, although well-established in economic and environmental evaluation theory, has not been widely used yet to assess biodiesel production. The aim of this study, in particular, is to analyze, from a quantitative point of view, the water footprint resulting from the use of various types of crops for the production of Italian biodiesel, combining it with the import costs of these crops, based on the current trade partners, and the crop energy conversion efficiency. The problem from the importing country's point of view is to minimize the total cost related to the import of crop products and, at the same time, to minimize the overall water footprint, ensuring a quantity of biodiesel produced at least equal to the pre-defined target set by the European Union for 2020. The paper provides a first glance at addressing optimal resource allocation and the design of biodiesel imports in the EU regulation context, contributing to reducing the water footprint, without ignoring the economic aspects. The study represents an original contribution for the identification of potential environmental policy drivers in the context of an economic sector characterized by potential growth, serving as a guide for the resolution of the trade-offs between biodiesel demand, import costs of feedstocks and water impact.

An optimization framework for supporting decion making in biodiesel feedstock imports: Water footprint vs. import costs

Silvio Giove;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Given the expected rise in the importance and rate of decisions being made in the biofuel sector and the complexity of the system, this paper is focused on an analysis that, although well-established in economic and environmental evaluation theory, has not been widely used yet to assess biodiesel production. The aim of this study, in particular, is to analyze, from a quantitative point of view, the water footprint resulting from the use of various types of crops for the production of Italian biodiesel, combining it with the import costs of these crops, based on the current trade partners, and the crop energy conversion efficiency. The problem from the importing country's point of view is to minimize the total cost related to the import of crop products and, at the same time, to minimize the overall water footprint, ensuring a quantity of biodiesel produced at least equal to the pre-defined target set by the European Union for 2020. The paper provides a first glance at addressing optimal resource allocation and the design of biodiesel imports in the EU regulation context, contributing to reducing the water footprint, without ignoring the economic aspects. The study represents an original contribution for the identification of potential environmental policy drivers in the context of an economic sector characterized by potential growth, serving as a guide for the resolution of the trade-offs between biodiesel demand, import costs of feedstocks and water impact.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3698362
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