Evaluation report concerning the greenhouse gas balance of biodiesel from Canadian rapeseed

Study not suitable for defining a default value for Canola biodiesel

The Deutsche BiomasseForschungsZentrum gGmbH (DBFZ) has published a brief study of the greenhouse gas balance of biodiesel from Canadian rapeseed in which it evaluated the suitability of the result as new default value for greenhouse gas for biodiesel based on rapeseed from North America within the framework of the EU Directive 2009/28/EC concerning renewable energies. The DBFZ concludes that the study is not suitable for defining a new default for Canola biodiesel.

The aim of the short study was to assess whether the results of the study were suitable for a direct comparison with the default value of biodiesel from the EU Directive as well as the introduction of a new default value for biodiesel produced from Canadian rapeseed.

To evaluate the conformity of the result with respect to the requirements of the EU Directive, one the one hand, the plausibility of the assumptions and data made within the study was compared with typical data sources and, on the other, the methodology used for the greenhouse gas balance was compared to the methodology suggested by the EU Directive.

This evaluation showed that a direct comparison of the study results with the default values of the Directive is impossible due to differences in calculation methodology, particularly in the methodology of dealing with co-products and in relation to the „conservatism“ of the input data used.

The Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RES-D) defined default values of the greenhouse gas emission of certain liquid bioliquids and biofuels. These default values are in regular intervals from time to time in the light of new findings. In 2010, the Canola Council of Canada requested the firm (S&T) Consultants Inc. to prepare a greenhouse gas balance for the production of biodiesel from Canadian rapeseed.

Commenting on the results of this study, the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP) states that competition for the best possible default value for biodiesel on the basis of the evaluation reports had already begun. Basically, this approach is understandable because it might obviate the need for individual certification of agricultural enterprises.

The study can be downloaded here.