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Extended “well-to-wheels” assessment of biodiesel for heavy transport vehicles (BioHeavy)

Reference: PTDC/SEN-TRA/117251/2010


Project Objectives


The project has the following specific objectives:

           To select relevant biodiesel systems and to develop a consequential LC inventory modeling framework of biodiesel, in which consideration of land use change (LUC) and/or indirect land use change (ILUC) is crucial for a comprehensive sustainability assessment.

           To perform a comparative attributional and consequential WtT modeling of the selected biofuel systems, to assess and discuss the differences in the results, and to make results transparent and comparable with other LC studies published in the literature, which have usually adopted an attributional approach.

           To develop and implement a robust experimental TtW framework integrating three complementary approaches: fleet data assessment, on-road and engine dynamometer testing to perform an experimental characterization of emissions and energy performance of heavy transport vehicles, fueled with different biodiesel blend.

           To improve the TtW performance of heavy vehicles engines fueled with various biodiesel blends.

           To identify the major sources of uncertainty in the extended WtW assessment of biodiesel systems and the main procedures to reduce this uncertainty, recognizing that results of a LC study can be affected by parameter uncertainty and variability and by scenario uncertainty.

           To make a multi-criteria assessment of biodiesel system alternatives, combining LCA and MCDA and addressing/managing uncertainty.

           To compare the relative merits of biodiesel and petroleum diesel, taking into account the new sustainable criteria defined in the RED and Fuel Quality Directives (EC09), as well as the new EU guidelines for land carbon stock calculation (2010).

To carry out this project, we gathered a multidisciplinary research team with large and diversified experience in LC modeling and assessment of biofuel systems, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts (ADAI-LAETA; Brandão IES-JRC EU, Italy); in the experimental TtW characterization of the environmental and energy performance of vehicles engines, including dynamometer tests, on-road testing, and fleet data analysis (ADAI-LAETA) and with a strong background in the field of MCDA (INESCC) and diversified experience in uncertainty analysis (ADAI-LAETA; INESCC).


Research Team


Principal Investigator

                 - Fausto Miguel Seixas Cereja Freire

            Members of the research team

- Ariovaldo Lopes de Carvalho
- Carla Margarida Saraiva de Oliveira
- Carlos Alberto Henggeler de Carvalho Antunes
- Érica Geraldes Castanheira
- João Manuel Nogueira Malça de Matos Ferreira
- Jorge Campos da Silva André
- Luis Manuel Ventura Serrano
- Luís Miguel Cândido Dias
- Manuel Carlos Gameiro da Silva
- Miguel Mendonça Reis Brandão
- Rita Pinheiro Garcia


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