HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 ERI Project

HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 ERI  Project
An evaluation of optimal biodiesel in a Northern European Context

Lead PI: Dr Jerry D Murphy

Researcher name: Thannasit Thamasiriroj

Duration of research: 2007-2010

Project description:

It has been shown by this research group that biofuel generated from grass in the form of biomethane requires four times less land than biodiesel from rapeseed to produce the same gross energy. Furthermore grass is a low energy input crop (doesn’t require annual ploughing), which sequesters carbon into the soil (grass is a carbon negative crop). It is suggested that biomethane from grass has the potential to be the optimal indigenous biofuel in Ireland.

However preliminary work by this group suggests that palm oil from tropical countries, such as Thailand, offers great advantages over indigenous liquid biofuels. Yields of 4,000 l/ha/a may be compared with 1,200 l/ha/a for rapeseed oil. Palm oil is a low energy input crop offering yield every year rather than the one year in five from the high energy input crop rapeseed. Furthermore, palm oil systems in Thailand utilise palm oil residues to provide all parasitic energy demands of the system; fossil fuels are not combusted to make a renewable biofuel. This is not the case in producing biodiesel from rapeseed oil in Ireland.

This work will be in the form of a series of papers investigating the merits or otherwise of a selection of biofuel systems analysed from technical, economic and environmental perspectives.


Peer review journal papers

  1. T Thamsiriroj, JD Murphy; “Is it better to import palm oil from Thailand to produce biodiesel than to produce biodiesel from indigenous Irish rape seed?” Appl Energ (2008), doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2008.07.010

  2. Thamsiriroj T, Murphy JD. How much of the 2010 target for biofuels can be met by biodiesel generated from residues in Ireland?. Paper submitted to Fuel, February 2009.

  3. Thamsiriroj T, Murphy JD. The impact of the life cycle analysis methodology on whether biodiesel produced from residues can meet the EU Sustainability Criteria for biofuel facilities constructed after 2017. Paper submitted to Renewable Energy, July 2009.

Conference Papers

  1. Thamsiriroj T, Murphy JD. Technical comparison of biodiesel produced from palm oil with biodiesel produced from rapeseed oil, for use in Ireland. 17th European Biomass Conference, 2-6 June 2008, Valencia, Spain.

  2. Thamsiriroj T, Murphy JD. A technical analysis of bioenergy production from oilseed rape. World Renewable Energy Congress 2009 – Asia. The 3rd International Conference on ‘Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE 2009)’, 18-23 May 2009, Bangkok, Thailand.

  3. Nicholas E. Korres, Catherine O’Brien, Beatrice Smyth, Abdul-Sattar Nizami, Thanasit Thamisirioj, Rogier Schulte & Jerry D. Murphy. (2009). A preliminary analysis of energy balance and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biomethane production as a transport fuel from grass/silage. A case study for Ireland. Proceedings of the SETAC Europe 19th Annual Meeting. 31May-4 June 2009, Goteborg, Sweden.

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