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New biofuel sustainability assessment tool and GHG calculator released
Date:6/16/2011

This release is available in German.

The new tool allows users to perform a self-assessment against the Principles and Criteria of the RSB and a self-risk assessment. The online tool also calculates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biofuels for each lifecycle production step, from farming to final fuel distribution; this calculation can be done according to various methodologies. The development of the new tool, which is directly accessible (free of charge) at http://buiprojekte.f2.htw-berlin.de:1339/, took about two years and was supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The RSB Standard comprises 12 principles and criteria for sustainable biofuel production, including environmental and social principles such as food security and human and labor rights. For instance, "Greenhouse Gas Emissions" aims to mitigate climate change by requiring that biofuels significantly reduce lifecycle GHG emissions compared to fossil fuels. Under this principle, operators along each step in the biofuel production chain must calculate the GHG emissions of their operations.

Such calculations are complex and require a sound knowledge in biofuels' life cycle assessment (LCA). To facilitate the RSB certification process, Empa in collaboration with the HTW Berlin developed a web-based tool allowing for the online calculation of biofuels' GHG emissions. Various GHG calculation methods are implemented, including the Swiss standard (for mineral-oil tax-relief), the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED) standard, the Californian standard and the RSB standard. By allowing a risk assessment of biofuels production and an evaluation based on the RSB sustainability principles, the tool forms the entry point to the RSB sustainability certification. "As such, the tool is targeted at all stakeholders in the biofuels sector, ranging from energ
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Contact: Dr. Rainer Zah
rainer.zah@empa.ch
41-587-654-604
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert

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