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CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences


CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Research Seminar Mark Staples (MIT)

Research Seminar Mark Staples (MIT)

May 29, 2017 - 16.00 uur

Lokaal Auditorium H5

The global bioenergy resource and its use to mitigate the climate impact of aviation

Dr Mark Staples, Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This talk presents an analysis of the optimal use of global bioenergy resources to offset fossil fuels in 2050. The results indicate that bioenergy could reduce life-cycle emissions from fossil fuel-derived electricity and heat, and liquid fuels, by a maximum of 4.9–38.7 Gt CO2e, or 9–68%, and that offsetting electricity and heat with bioenergy is on average 1.6–3.9 times more effective for emissions mitigation than offsetting liquid fuels. At the same time, liquid fuels make up 18–49% of the optimal allocation of bioenergy in our results for 2050, indicating that a mix of bioenergy end-uses maximizes reductions in global life-cycle emissions.

Biomass-derived liquid fuels represent one of the few near-term technical options available to commercial aviation for decarbonization. However, the potential climate benefit of biomass-derived jet fuel comes at a cost premium of approximately 2-5 times compared to petroleum-derived jet fuel. The second half of this talk presents an analysis of the climate-cost trade-off associated with the large-scale adoption of biomass-derived jet fuels, accounting for time- and path-dependence in the environmental and economic performance of these technologies.