Value Chain Analysis of Palm Oil Biodiesel through a Hybrid (ISO-Eco) Life Cycle Assessment Approach


This study assesses the life-cycle impacts of palm oil biodiesel value chain in order to provide insights toward holistic sustainability awareness on the current development of bio-based energy policy. The assessment methodology was performed under a hybrid approach combining ISO-14040 Life Cycle Assessment (ISO-LCA) technique and Ecologically-based Life Cycle Assessment (Eco-LCA) methodology. The scope of this study covers all stages in palm oil biodiesel value chain or is often referred to as “cradle-to-grave” analysis. The functional unit to which all inputs and outputs were calculated is the production of 1 ton of biodiesel. For the analysis, life cycle inventory data were collected from professional databases and from scholarly articles addressing global palm oil supply chains. The inventory analysis yields a linked flow associating the land used, fresh fruit bunch (FFB), crude palm oil (CPO), per functional unit of 1 kg of palm oil biodiesel (POB). The linked flow obtained in the inventory analysis were then normalized and characterized following the characterization model formulated inISO-LCA guidelines. The aggregation of ecological inputs was classified based on the mass and energy associated to each unit process in the value chain, which are cultivation, extraction, conversion, and utilization. It is noted that compared to other unit processes, cultivation is the most crucial unit process within the whole palm oil biodiesel value chain. This study serves as a big picture about the current state of palm oil biodiesel value chain, which will be beneficial for further improving oversight of the policy making and service toward sustainable development.


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