Comparing the environmental impacts of ethyl biodiesel production from soybean oil and beef tallow through lca for brazilian conditions

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Rafael Alves Esteves
Roberto Guimarães Pereira


The present paper sought compare the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of biodiesel production obtained from the two raw materials most used in Brazil (soybean oil and beef tallow) through the process ethyl transesterification in an alkaline medium. The reference flow adopted for the work was the generation of power supplied 1GJ from the produced biodiesel. The data used in the inventory life cycle were calculated based on similar scientific papers. The method of assessment of environmental impacts chosen was the CML 2001 modified. Altogether, it were analyzed nine categories of environmental impacts for both processes (abiotic depletion (kg Sb eq), land use (m2a), global warming (kg CO2 eq), ozone layer depletion (kg CFC-11 eq), human toxicity (kg 1,4-DB eq), freshwater ecotoxicity (kg 1,4-DB eq), terrestrial ecotoxicity (kg 1,4-DB eq), acidification (kg SO2 eq) and eutrophication (kg PO43- eq)). The results of evaluation of environmental impacts show that the biodiesel production process from soybean oil presents major environmental damage in seven categories of analyzed impacts (destruction of abiotic resources, destruction of the ozone layer, human toxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, acidification and eutrophication). The production process of biodiesel from tallow presents major environmental damage in two categories of impacts analyzed (land use and global warming). However, the results show that the absolute values of environmental damage caused by impacts of the production process using beef tallow are much more aggressive.


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Author Biographies

Rafael Alves Esteves, Rio de Janeiro State University - UERJ

Ecology Departament, Biology Institute, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - UERJ

Roberto Guimarães Pereira, Federal Fluminense University - UFF

Fluminense Federal University, TEM/PGEB/PGMEC/MSG, Brazil


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