Decarbonizing Transportation with Low Carbon Fuels
EcoShift conducts well-to-pump and well-to-wheels life cycle assessments (LCA) of low carbon transportation fuels. Recent regulation requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuel. The US EPA requires an LCA of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released by producing fuels to qualify for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and the California Air Resources Board requires an LCA for all transportation pathways in the state under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). We also provide analyses of other environmental impacts of transportation as well as offer opportunities to consult on infrastructure and electricity rate design. As electric vehicles become more widely adopted, refining rate design and planning charging infrastructure becomes critical. Our consultants provide thought leadership and cutting edge analysis to government agencies and private companies to drive change.
Life cycle analysis of low carbon transportation fuels is becoming increasingly important, mostly due to new regulations designed to lower the greenhouse gas impact of transportation. Alternative fuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, biogas, renewable diesel, and other bioenergy sources, usually have a lower carbon intensity than fossil fuels.
Carbon Intensity of Fuel
Carbon intensity is the total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from the production, transport, storage, dispensing and use of a fuel. It is expressed as the amount of carbon per unit energy (technically, grams of CO2 equivalent per megajoule of fuel energy or CO2e/MJ). For example, gasoline has a carbon intensity value of 95.86 gCO2e/MJ, while the values for biodiesel from waste oil and Brazilian sugarcane ethanol are 15.84 gCO2e/MJ and 27.4 gCO2e/MJ, respectively.
New and Impending Regulation
California and the European Union have new legislation in place that aims to increase the percentage of low carbon fuels, and we expect federal legislation to follow. In California, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a regulation that will reduce the life cycle carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10% by 2020. The purpose of the regulation is to incentivize the development of lower carbon fuel for California’s transportation system. Any fuel with 10% less carbon than conventional transportation fuel can generate credits, which must be purchased by fuel producers that are non-compliant with the LCFS.
EcoShift Alternative Fuel LCA Services
EcoShift has specialized LCA consulting services that focus on life cycle analysis of alternative fuels. Since EcoShift is familiar with the various design improvements in the acquisition and processing of fuels, and follows the ISO 14040 life cycle analysis guidelines, we can help you analyze the carbon intensity of your fuel and identify areas to improve the physical pathway used to produce your biofuel. If your company is developing new alternative fuels for which default values have not been computed, you will be required to demonstrate that these fuels reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Our life cycle analysis services can help you analyze the carbon intensity of your fuel manufacturing process. See our Life Cycle Analysis for Biofuels services brochure for more information.