Some researchers of Commodity Science of the University of Bari and Foggia, Italy, have set up a study group aimed at analysing the Italian techno-economic potential of biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel).. They mean to study, more specifically, the benefits connected to their introduction into the transport sector, as a total or partial replacement for the conventional fuels (gasoline and diesel), a choice for our society that cannot be deferred any longer. In this manner it would be possible to face the problems of the exhaustion of fossil fuels (particularly of oil), and of our import dependence, securing the energy supply in the mediumand long-term, besides reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, as scheduled by the Kyoto Protocol. The possibility of reutilizing and exploiting the agricultural products and by-products and the marginal lands is also remarkable. As everybody knows, the techno-scientific researches about the matter date back to the end of the 1800s, before the development of the oil refining industry, when the ethylic alcohol was used as a fuel for the internal combustion engine. With the technological progress in the gasoline production, the problem lost its importance, but the idea of employing ethylic alcohol blended with gasoline was resumed in the United States of America in the 1920-1930s, in Italy at the time of the fascist autarky (1933-1943) and in other European countries during World War II. Also on the occasion of the various oil crises, since 1973, in different circumstances the utilization of this fuel has been encouraged, but without any concrete initiative. In the transport sector Brasil, one of the most important world producers of sugar cane, has been using bioethanol from this source since 1975. Since the end of the 1970s the United States of America, supported by significant tax concessions, are allocating cereals surpluses to the same end, together with other raw materials, such as sugar cane and soybeans. Also the employment of vegetable oils from the oleaginous seeds, as fuel for diesel engines, dates back to the end of the 1800s, when they were used experimentally to tune up an engine alternative to the internal combustion one. Despite a few uses during Word War II, only the oil crisis of the 1970s determined a new interest on these products and on their possible applications. Directive 2003/30/CE of the European Parliament and the Council, promoting the use of biofuels or of other renewable fuels in transports, has recently set up target shares for all Member States in order to achieve such objective. The technical situation is already mature, because most of the vehicles nowadays circulating in the European Union can be fuelled without any problem with a blend containing a low concentration (5- 10%) of biofuels. More recent innovations have also allowed employing blends containing higher concentrations (20-25%) of ethylic alcohol, without any substantial engine modification, while biodiesel can be used alone or blended with fossil diesel in any proportion. However, some modifications to the engine or to the refuelling facilities are required to allow a larger diffusion of these biofuels. That will require the availability of new raw materials and suitable productive processes, and also of other lands, in addition to different and significant tax concessions, at least for the first employment phase. Biofuels use for transports represents a fundamental stage in the direction of a wider biomass utilization, which, in the future, will allow to develop their applications and others which are currently at an experimental stage. All that, besides representing some very important occasions for research and innovation, emphasizes the numerous socio-economic and environmental benefits that a rational, intensive and industrial biomass utilization can produce. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate the Italian productive potential of biofuels with suitable qualitative characteristics, employing the raw materials obtained from the most widespread agricultural cultivations on the Italian territory. The agricultural products in surplus and wastes will also be employed. The research consists of an analysis of the techno-scientific and economic context in which this study is carried out, and of two other researches that will report particular cases study, concerning respectively the production of bioethanol and biodiesel from the single agriculture-derived products examined.

“A techno-economic analysis of the biofuel production potential in Italy"

SPADA, VALERIA
2005

Abstract

Some researchers of Commodity Science of the University of Bari and Foggia, Italy, have set up a study group aimed at analysing the Italian techno-economic potential of biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel).. They mean to study, more specifically, the benefits connected to their introduction into the transport sector, as a total or partial replacement for the conventional fuels (gasoline and diesel), a choice for our society that cannot be deferred any longer. In this manner it would be possible to face the problems of the exhaustion of fossil fuels (particularly of oil), and of our import dependence, securing the energy supply in the mediumand long-term, besides reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, as scheduled by the Kyoto Protocol. The possibility of reutilizing and exploiting the agricultural products and by-products and the marginal lands is also remarkable. As everybody knows, the techno-scientific researches about the matter date back to the end of the 1800s, before the development of the oil refining industry, when the ethylic alcohol was used as a fuel for the internal combustion engine. With the technological progress in the gasoline production, the problem lost its importance, but the idea of employing ethylic alcohol blended with gasoline was resumed in the United States of America in the 1920-1930s, in Italy at the time of the fascist autarky (1933-1943) and in other European countries during World War II. Also on the occasion of the various oil crises, since 1973, in different circumstances the utilization of this fuel has been encouraged, but without any concrete initiative. In the transport sector Brasil, one of the most important world producers of sugar cane, has been using bioethanol from this source since 1975. Since the end of the 1970s the United States of America, supported by significant tax concessions, are allocating cereals surpluses to the same end, together with other raw materials, such as sugar cane and soybeans. Also the employment of vegetable oils from the oleaginous seeds, as fuel for diesel engines, dates back to the end of the 1800s, when they were used experimentally to tune up an engine alternative to the internal combustion one. Despite a few uses during Word War II, only the oil crisis of the 1970s determined a new interest on these products and on their possible applications. Directive 2003/30/CE of the European Parliament and the Council, promoting the use of biofuels or of other renewable fuels in transports, has recently set up target shares for all Member States in order to achieve such objective. The technical situation is already mature, because most of the vehicles nowadays circulating in the European Union can be fuelled without any problem with a blend containing a low concentration (5- 10%) of biofuels. More recent innovations have also allowed employing blends containing higher concentrations (20-25%) of ethylic alcohol, without any substantial engine modification, while biodiesel can be used alone or blended with fossil diesel in any proportion. However, some modifications to the engine or to the refuelling facilities are required to allow a larger diffusion of these biofuels. That will require the availability of new raw materials and suitable productive processes, and also of other lands, in addition to different and significant tax concessions, at least for the first employment phase. Biofuels use for transports represents a fundamental stage in the direction of a wider biomass utilization, which, in the future, will allow to develop their applications and others which are currently at an experimental stage. All that, besides representing some very important occasions for research and innovation, emphasizes the numerous socio-economic and environmental benefits that a rational, intensive and industrial biomass utilization can produce. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate the Italian productive potential of biofuels with suitable qualitative characteristics, employing the raw materials obtained from the most widespread agricultural cultivations on the Italian territory. The agricultural products in surplus and wastes will also be employed. The research consists of an analysis of the techno-scientific and economic context in which this study is carried out, and of two other researches that will report particular cases study, concerning respectively the production of bioethanol and biodiesel from the single agriculture-derived products examined.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11369/11997
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact