Study highlights GHG reduction potential of butanol, drop-in biofuels

By Staff | October 25, 2013

U.K.-based Element Energy recently published a report finding that advanced biofuels offer a more cost-effective means to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next 17 years, when compared to electric vehicles. The report, titled “The Role of Biofuels Beyond 2020,” was commissioned by BP.

The U.K. has set targets calling for an 80 percent reduction in GHGs by 2050 when compared to a 2050 baseline. While electric plug-in and hydrogen vehicles are expected to play a significant role in realizing GHG reductions in the long term, the analysis shows that the vehicle fleet will continue to be dominated by vehicles with internal combustion engines through at least 2030, which means biofuels will play an important role in meeting emissions goals.

The analysis considers three scenarios. A “low biofuels” case in which conventional biofuels are blended at E10 and B7, a “medium biofuels” case assuming E20 and an increasing share of cellulosic ethanol, and a “high biofuels” case that considers the impact of blending butanol and drop-in biofuels at high rates.