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248

Multiple Criteria Decision Aiding/Ade Multicitre la Dcision


(2004). C. Henggeler Antunes, J. Figueira, J. Clmaco (Eds.).
ISBN: 972-569-140-7. Refereed Selected papers from the 56th Meeting of
the European Working Group Decision Multiple Criteria Decision (2002)
1. Introduction

Integrated Economic and Environmental Life Cycle


Optimization: an Application to Biofuel Production in
France
(!)

Fausto Freire(1), Joo Mala(2) and Stelios Rozakis(3)

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University


of Coimbra; DEM Polo II; Portugal; E-mail: fausto.freire@dem.uc.pt
(2)
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, ISEC, Coimbra Polytechnic Institute, Portugal;
E-mail: jmalca@isec.pt
(3)
UMR Economie Publique, INRA, Grignon, France; E-mail:rozakis@grignon.inra.fr

Abstract: In order to attenuate natural resource depletion and reduce


polluting emissions related to the supply of products and services required
by human societies it is necessary to implement more sustainable energy
systems moving towards a closed resource cycle economy. For this
purpose, the entire life-cycle of products has to be considered and different
criteria concerning economic, environmental and energy aspects, need to
be assessed simultaneously. This paper presents an integrated economyenvironment model of biofuel chains. The model combines mathematical
programming formats of a partial equilibrium microeconomic model with
the environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework. The
application of this approach to the French biofuel system is presented and
a systemic description of alternative biofuel production schemes has been
implemented where all these chains compete for the agricultural land
available. The biofuel production includes: i) the arable farm sector
which cultivates dedicated energy crops (namely sugar beet, wheat and
rapeseed), represented in the model by a large number of farms , ii) the
biofuel industry which is divided into two main chains: ETBE (Ethyl
Tertiary Butyl Ether) and biodiesel, each of which has an intermediate
stage (ethanol and seed-oil production, respectively) and iii) a final
transformation stage integrated into the petroleum refinery system. The
model is designed to determine the biofuel activity levels for different
policy options (according to different scenarios). A multicriteria interactive
methodology, based on the reference point method, supports decisionmaking to find compromise solutions in the presence of conflicting
objectives. Conclusions regarding potential applications to environmental
policy and management are discussed.
Keywords: biofuels; life cycle assessment; partial equilibrium chain
modelling; multicriteria optimization.

Ever since the first oil crisis in 1973, biomass has been considered
and in some cases promoted as an alternative source of energy to fossil
fuels. Because of the transport sectors almost exclusive dependence on
oil, particular attention has been given to the potential use of biomass as
the basis for production of an alternative (and renewable) motor vehicle
fuel the biofuel (EC, 2001a). In fact, due to the increasing mobility of
people and things, the transport sector accounts for more than 30% of final
energy consumption in the European Community and is expanding a
trend which is bound to increase, along with carbon dioxide emissions
(EC, 2001a).
Biofuels are originated from plant oils, sugar beets, cereals, organic
waste and the processing of biomass. Sugar beets, cereals and other crops
can be fermented to produce alcohol (bioethanol), to be used in gasoline
engines. Plant oils (colza, soybean, sunflower, etc.) can be converted into a
diesel substitute. The most important liquid biofuels used for
transportation are:
i) Ethanol or its derivative Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) for
spark ignition (gasoline) engines , which can be produced from sugar
beet, cereals and other crops;
ii) Rapeseed Methyl Ester (RME) and Sunflower Methyl Ester (SME)
for diesel engines , which are produced from rapeseed and sunflower
oils, respectively.
Ethanol can either be used as a component in gasoline, as motor fuel in
pure form, or as a gasoline component after being converted to Ethyl
Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) through reaction with isobutene (a refining
by-product). Methyl esters can either be used in a mixture with
conventional diesel or burnt as pure biodiesel. Blends of up to 15% for
gasoline and 5% for diesel could be used by road vehicles in general
without them needing significant changes. Vehicles that can burn "pure"
biofuel are likely to remain largely limited to captive fleets, such as public
transport and taxis, for some years.
The main regions responsible for the production of liquid biofuels are
Brazil, the USA and Europe. Biofuel production and utilization varies
enormously throughout the European Union, but a remarkable increase of
93% in production was recorded between 1997 and 1999 (EC, 2001a).
However, only six Member States make any real contribution to the total
European biofuel production (EC, 2001a). France has the leading position,
with a production of almost 400 thousand tons in 2000, with two types of
biofuels being actually produced: ETBE (extracted from wheat and sugar
beet) and RME (ONIOL, 2001).
The main reasons which motivate the adoption of renewable fuels in
the transportation sector are both security of supply the transport sector

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F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

is practically 100% dependent on oil (EC, 2000) and climate change


CO2 emissions are expected to keep rising, in spite of the agreed objectives
to reduce them, under the Kyoto protocol. In addition, the European Union
Member States (EU-MS) agreed to set aside land obligations through the
revised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in order to control cereal
over-production. This is another important aspect, since the production of
raw materials for biofuels would help to create new sources of income and
to maintain employment in rural areas.
In 2000 the cultivated surface in France reached 400 thousand hectares
and the total amount of biofuels production in France was approximately
400 thousand tons (an increase of 19%, relatively to 1999). Biofuel volume
currently represents approximately 536 thousand tons (considering that 92
thousand tons of ethanol are equivalent to 196 thousand tons of ETBE), i.e.
1.5% of the national liquid fuel consumption. Three more conversion units
are expected to arise due to new agreements between the French
government and the industry. The total production is expected to increase,
reaching the values shown in Table 1 by 2002-2003.
Table 1. Biofuel production in France expected in 2003

Production ETBE (t)


Production RME (t)

sugar beet

wheat

249333

124667

rapeseed

Total

387507

387507

374000

(Source: ONIOL, 2001).


Therefore, a favourable situation has been created for growing nonfood (energy) crops and, consequently, several EU-MS have taken
measures, mainly in the field of taxation, to promote the production and
use of biofuels. This has led to a production increase, which has placed
Europe in third, behind Brazil and the USA, with 6% of the world volume
in 1995, i.e., approximately 900 thousand tons (Sourie and Rozakis, 2001).
The European Commission (EC) has recently proposed new legislation
to promote the use of alternative fuels for transport, starting with the
regulatory and fiscal promotion of biofuels, such as biodiesel and
bioethanol. Bioenergy is seen as a way of reducing the consumption of
fossil fuels at an economic cost, while providing benefits to agriculture, the
environment and security of supply. The regulatory package adopted
includes an action plan and two proposals for Directives which would
establish the minimum biofuel content in transportation fuels (EC, 2001a),
and allow reduced taxation rates for biofuels (EC, 2001b). The reason for
the proposal which allows the EU-MS to apply a reduced rate of excise

250

duty is to make biofuels competitive, since they cost about 300 more per
1000 litres of diesel1. According to the EC, biofuels only compete with
petroleum-based fuels if the oil reaches the price of 70 per barrel.
Economies of scale should reduce this value to about 55 per barrel as
bigger and more efficient units of biofuel production are running (LvyCouveihnes, 2000).
It should be also noted that biofuel commercialization carries other
disadvantages, such as the need to develop new harvesting methods,
constraints on the availability of agricultural feedstock, different land use
options and, in some cases, a lower LHV (Lower Heating Value2), in
comparison with liquid petroleum fuels. In addition, technical difficulties
have to be assessed, such as adjustments of refuelling infrastructures,
minor engine modifications (e.g., fuel injection systems), different
humidity and lubricant oil affinities, among others (Beer et al., 2001).
However, the most controversial issue concerning biofuels promotion
remains the balance of environmental benefit from biofuels when
compared to their fossil fuel equivalents. On one hand, several studies
have concluded that there is an overall final assessment in favour of
biofuel, especially in what concerns greenhouse effect and resource
depletion (Beer et al., 2001, Reinhardt and Jungk, 2001, Calzoni et al.,
2000). On the other hand, according to Calzoni et al. (2000) and Ecobilan
(1999), the comparison of biofuels to their fossil fuel equivalents exhibits
higher environmental impacts for some categories, namely eutrophication,
human toxicity and acidification.
The conflicting views about the balance of environmental benefit from
biofuels have often been mentioned. Some studies, for example ESCEC
(2001), which has analyzed the before-mentioned EC proposal directives,
claim that it is vital to have the best possible information on this aspect and
it needs further study. Others, for example Calzoni et al. (2000), which
promote the environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology to
assess the environmental effects of various biofuels in eight European
countries from 1998 to 2000, and state that for certain biofuels and impact
categories, the differences between countries are relatively small, while for
others they are significantly large. Furthermore, Calzoni et al. (2000) claim
that a final environmental assessment in favour or against a particular fuel
cannot be carried out in general terms.

This figure results from the fact that 1100 litres of biodiesel replace 1000 litres
of normal diesel and 1000 litres of bioethanol replace 1000 litres of petrol
according to the blending conditions authorized in the EU.
LHV stands for lower heating value, which should be distinguished from higher
heating value (HHV). They represent two alternative ways of denoting the
energy content of fuels. The LHV assumes that all the H2O resulting from the
fuel combustion is in the vapour phase.

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251

This introduction has so far described so far the most important issues
associated with biofuels and, in particular, those raised by fossil fuel
substitution for biofuels. The economic question that emerges is: at which
exact level the promotion of biofuels can be justified? and how does one
determine the exact amount of subsidies to be allocated for alternative
biofuel production chains? In particular, the question often raised by the
economists concerns the efficient allocation of the amount of subsidies
among biofuel chains through tax exemptions to the biofuel processors.
However, besides the economic dimension, there are other criteria,
concerning social, environmental and energy aspects that need to be
assessed simultaneously, with the optimal decision depending upon the
focus and priorities of the decision maker.
To facilitate this on the practical level it is, therefore, necessary to
adopt the appropriate approaches and to develop tools that would help
decision-makers understand the trade-offs between these disparate criteria
in different situations. This paper proposes an integrated decision-support
model to be used for the optimization of bioenergy systems. The model
combines the mathematical programming framework of partial equilibrium
microeconomic models with the environmental Life Cycle Assessment
(LCA) framework. The entire life-cycle is considered (as well as its
interactions with the rest of the economical/ecological system). Section 2
gives an overall view of the methodology, including the mathematical
programming framework. The implementation of this modelling approach
to the French biofuel production systems is discussed on section 3, where a
systemic description of the alternative biofuel production schemes is done.
All the biofuel chains compete, on one hand, for the agricultural land and,
on the other, for the transportation fuel market, assuming diesel and
gasoline demand is exogenously fixed. Section 4 presents multicriteria
analysis and discusses the preliminary findings. Conclusions and remarks
for further perspectives close the paper.
2. Mathematical Programming Methodology
This section describes the methodology which is adapted in this study
to be used as a decision-support tool in the optimization of bioenergy
systems. Firstly, the antecedents of this integrated methodology are
surveyed. Secondly, the main characteristics are discussed and, finally, the
mathematics is briefly described. The proposed integrated methodology
has been designated by Life Cycle Activity Analysis (LCAA), being based
on the integration of Activity Analysis a well-known procedure in
economics with the environmental Life Cycle Assessment methodology,
which aims to quantify the environmental impacts of a product from
cradle to grave. A more detailed description of LCAA can be found in
Freire and Thore (2002) and different applications, namely bottled water,
scrap tires and plastic panels mounted on electronic equipment, are

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

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described in Freire et al. (2000, 2001 and 2002).


Tjalling Koopmans (1951, 1957) developed the basic concepts of
Activity Analysis (AA) for this pioneering work Koopmans shared (with
L. Kantorovitch) the 1975 Nobel Prize in economics. The classical
formulation of AA distinguishes three classes of goods: primary goods
(natural resources or materials), intermediate goods and final goods
(outputs). In an AA model, the possible techniques of production available
to a firm, or to the economy as a whole, are given by a finite list of
elementary activities. The AA model, a generalization of Leontiefs
input/output model, can be used to generate a large number of distinct
mathematical programs, depending on the objective function to be chosen
and on the specific set of factor endowments. In this way, Activity
Analysis can be viewed as a tool of partial economic analysis, modelling
the representation of an industry or a sector of the economy and providing
a mathematical framework suitable for the representation of an entire
vertical production chain (Thore, 1991). LCAA extends the concept of
linear activities to embrace mass and energy fluxes over the entire life
cycle of products. In particular, the LCAA approach includes one
additional category of goods: "environmental goods", which represents
environmental burdens that can be further aggregated into a number of
environmental impact categories, such as global warming, ozone depletion,
etc. This establishes the link between Activity Analysis and the Life Cycle
Assessment methodology.
According to Guine et al. (2001), LCA is defined as a tool for the
analysis of the environmental burden of products at all stages in their life
cycle from the extraction of resources, through the production of
materials, product parts and the product itself and the use of the product to
its management after being discarded, either by reuse, recycling or final
disposal (in effect, therefore, from the cradle to the grave). The
environmental burden covers all types of impact upon the environment,
including extractions of different types of resources, emissions of
hazardous substances and different types of land use (Guine et al., 2001).
The LCA methodology has four components: (1) goal definition and
scoping, (2) inventory analysis (also, life cycle inventory), (3) impact
assessment and (4) interpretation. A full life cycle assessment includes
each of these four components. Detailed information about the LCA
methodology can be found, for example, in Guine et al. (2001), and the
ISO 14040/41/42/43.
Whenever products can be manufactured in alternative ways,
distributed through alternative marketing channels or reused there exists
scope for choice and for controlling the environmental impacts. By
combining the LCA approach with mathematical programming techniques,
it is possible to represent these options explicitly along the whole supply

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

253

chain and to solve for optimal economic (e.g. production levels or profit)
and environmental performance (e.g. environmental impacts).
Depending on the type of applications and problems to be addressed,
different types of models can be formulated. For example, many
alternative objective functions can be specified (or even a multi-objective
approach) using linear and non-linear programming techniques. A
simplified version is presented below as an illustrative example of the type
of programming models that can be formulated. This version includes the
possibility of recovery from the foreground to the background. These
concepts proposed within the environmental systems analysis theory are
very useful since they help to distinguish between unit processes of direct
interest in the study (foreground), and other operations with which they
exchange materials and energy (background) (Clift et al. 1999, 2000). In
more detail, the foreground may be defined as the endogenous part of the
production chain, which includes the set of processes whose selection or
mode of operation is affected directly by the decisions of the study. The
background denotes the exogenous parts of the production chain,
comprising all other processes that interact directly with the foreground
system, usually by supplying material or energy to the foreground or
receiving material and energy from it.
The LCAA model uses an input-output format. The superscripts which
are employed together with the notation described below are: P, primary
goods, I, intermediate goods, F, final goods and E, environmental goods:
A
matrix of input coefficients; each element denotes the quantity
of an input required to operate an activity at unit level;
B
matrix of output coefficients; each element is the quantity of
an output obtained when an activity is operated at unit level;
c
row vector of unit costs of operating the various activities, it is
known and given;
d
column vector of final demand, it is known and given;
D
matrix of unit environmental burdens; each element is the
environmental burden generated in the upstream processing,
transportation and manufacture of one unit of primary goods;
g
vector of environmental goals defined in terms of burdens;
p
row vector of unit prices of intermediate goods supplied from
the foreground to the background;
r
row vector of unit prices of final goods;
q
row vector of unit costs of primary goods;
w
column vector of supply levels of primary goods, such as
material and energy from the background system;
x
column vector of unknown activity levels;
y
column vector of unknown levels of intermediate goods

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

254

supplied from the foreground to the background.


A basic mathematical format of LCAA can be written as the following
linear program:
Max rx cx qw + py
subject to
-APx + w

0
(-AI + BI)x y
=
0
BFx

g
(-AE + BE)x + Dw Dy

0
x, y, w
where rx is the revenue of final goods, cx represents the total costs of
operating the activities x, qw is the total cost of primary goods and py
accounts for the net revenue (or net cost) of sub-products or recovered
goods, being intermediate exported to the exogenous part of the model.
A and B are matrices of input and output coefficients, respectively. w
represents a column vector of supply levels of primary goods, such as
material and energy from the background system.
In this example, the crucial feature of the formulation is the
environmental constraint: (-AE + BE)x + Dw Dy g, which requires that
the environmental burdens do not exceed a vector of environmental goals,
g, set for example by a policy- or decision-maker. The model calculates
the total accumulated environmental burdens over the entire life cycle of
the product, including the indirect environmental burdens of primary
goods arising in the background. Thus, the total environmental burdens
arising over the life cycle of the products are equal to the sum of the
foreground (direct) burdens, (AE + BE) x, and the background (indirect)
burdens, Dw, minus the avoided burdens (for example, associated with
intermediate products exported to the foreground), that is Dy.
Environmental burden data characterizing typical processes is obtained
from commercial life-cycle databases, for example the software SimaPro,
developed by the PR-consultants Corporation (website: www.pre.nl). In
the case of specific processes (or materials), or when no commercial data
is available, the environmental burden data is calculated based on (i) the
inputs and outputs calculated for the process and (ii) the material/energy
life-cycle data (obtained from the mentioned databases).
3. Case-Study: An application to biofuel systems in France
In 1993, France launched a biofuel tax exemption program. The tax
exemptions from the ITPP (Interior Tax to Petroleum Products) for
biofuels were set at 35.06 /hl for methyl esters and 50.23 /hl for ethanol

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

255

used in ETBE. In addition, the set aside land obligations introduced by the
revised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of 1992, which aimed at
controlling the over-production of cereals, created a favourable
environment for growing non-food crops. Hence, the decisive factor that
incited farmers to produce energy crops in sufficient quantities to supply
the biofuel industry was induced. Indeed, energy crops cultivated on set
aside land reached 30% of the total set aside land in 1999 (ONIOL, 2001).
Biofuels produced in France comprise Rapeseed Methyl Esters (RME)
for use in diesel engines and Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) extracted
from wheat and/or sugar beet for use in gasoline engines. In 2000, the total
amount of biofuels production in France was approximately 500 thousand
tons (1.0% of the total national liquid fuel consumption) supplied by a
surface area of 320000 hectares that was cultivated (mainly on land set
aside) by energy dedicated crops (Rozakis et al., 2002). The total
production of ETBE and RME is expected to reach 374 and 387 thousand
tons, respectively, by 2002, as new agreements are allocated to the
industry by the government. The conversion of biomass to biofuels is
concentrated in a few plants, whereas the agricultural raw material is
produced by thousands of farms located in different parts of the country at
varying costs.
The increased importance of the biofuel development program in
France has stimulated our interest in improving previously used modelling
tools, which for example have focused on the decentralized scale in order
to capture the diversity of arable farming to evaluate public policy (Sourie
et al., 1997). A partial equilibrium economic model based on mathematical
programming principles (OSCAR3) was built in order to assist in the micro
and macro-economic analyses of the multi-chain system of the biofuel
industry. This approach, which models the existing biofuel chains in
France sugar beet and wheat to ETBE and rapeseed to RME , implies
the following:
that a comprehensive and systemic method is required (due to the
biofuel chains interdependency), not only at the resource production
level but also at the output level;
that detailed modelling of the agricultural supply is required to take
into account the diversity of the arable farming system, agronomic
constraints and production techniques;
that it is possible to proceed with the economic optimization of the
whole system and to use multicriteria methods to assist in policy
making4. First, a micro-economic analysis of biofuel activity is carried
out in order to estimate agents surpluses. These surpluses as well as

OSCAR: Optimisation du Surplus conomique des Carburants Agricoles


Renouvelables.
A Decision Support Tool was applied to biofuels (Rozakis et al., 2001).

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

256

the budgetary cost and the deadweight loss of the activity (total
economic welfare) is measured and compared to the environmental
benefits of reductions in the greenhouse gases emissions. All the
aforementioned aspects being part of the stakeholders interests
represent decision criteria.
In the present study, an extension of a micro-economic model of
supply chains with a life cycle environmental-industry model of biofuel
chains is proposed (ETBE from wheat and sugar beet, rapeseed biodiesel).
The French Biofuel chains ETBE (originated from sugar beet and/or
wheat) and RME , can generally be described by the following main
stages:
the agricultural sector, corresponding to a large variety of farms,
facing very different constraints, namely resource, institutional and
agronomic;
the biomass transformation industry, which is comprised by different
sized plants, makes use of various chemical processes, being subjected
to particular technical and economic conditions;
the petroleum industry, responsible for the refining and mixing
processes necessary to obtain the final combustible;
the fuel energy transportation market, in which biofuel is delivered to
be used in gasoline and diesel engines, replacing their fossil fuel
equivalents.
Fig. 1 illustrates the ETBE chain production using ethanol extracted
from sugar beet and/or wheat. The agricultural production of these two
crops is represented in Fig. 1 by two activities: sugar beet cultivation and
wheat cultivation. However, each activity includes several steps, namely:
soil preparation, fertilization, sowing, pesticides application and
harvesting. The production of ethanol from sugar beet represented in Fig.
1 as one activity comprises two steps: i) green juice and green syrup are
produced, by subjecting biomass to a sequence of processes, namely
washing, diffusion, purification and crystallization; ii) ethanol is produced
at the distillery making use of the following processes: fermentation,
distillation and dehydration. The technological processes involved in the
production of ethanol from sugar beet are not self-dedicated to the
production of ethanol. Instead, the whole chain is shared by the alcohol
and sugar industries. Details concerning the technological description and
the mass and energy balances of these steps can be found in great detail in
Poitrat et al. (1998).

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

Fertilizers

Isobutene

Sugar beet
cultivation
Oil

Gasoline (from fossil fuels)

Fertilizers

Methanol

258

Diesel (from fossil fuels)

Oil
Coal
Natural gas
ETBE
production

Electricity

Pesticides

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

Ethanol
production
from sugar
beet

Coal
Natural gas
Wheat
cultivation

257

Ethanol
production
from wheat

Distilled Dried Grain Solubles (DDGS)

Mixture ETBE
- Gasoline

Combustion:
(gasoline
engines)

Foreground system
Background system

Figure 1. Flowchart illustrating the biofuel (ETBE) chain production from


sugar beet and/or wheat (DDGS: Distilled Dried Grain Solubles).
The production of ethanol from wheat includes a sequence of
mechanical and chemical processes, which can be divided in three main
stages: (i) the grinding of grains, liquefaction and sacharification to obtain
sugar juice; (ii) fermentation and distillation from which DDGS (Distilled
Dried Grain Solubles) is extracted as a by-product and (iii) the
dehydration, producing, as a result, anhydrous ethanol. The production of
ETBE takes place at the petroleum refinery. ETBE is a chemical
compound that is manufactured by the chemical reaction of ethanol and
isobutene. It is an oxygenate used as an additive to gasoline, resulting in a
cleaner burning fuel as it increases the level of oxygen available during
combustion, reducing, thus, the emissions of carbon monoxide and
improving air quality. The maximum amount of ETBE that can be
incorporated in gasoline in order to attain the government tax exemption is
15% by volume.
The flowchart describing the biodiesel life cycle is presented in Fig. 2.
The first activity shown is the cultivation of rapeseed, which is followed
by the grinding of the grains and the degumming/refining in order to
obtain the rapeseed oil. In this operation, cakes are also obtained as a byproduct, which are sold as animals feedstock. Because pure vegetable oil
is unsuitable to be used as fuel (due to its high viscosity), there is an
additional process of converting the oil into biodiesel called esterification.
This conversion to Rapeseed Methyl Ester (RME) is done by using
methanol in the presence of a catalyst, producing glycerin as a by-product.
At last, RME is mixed with petroleum diesel, in blends ranging from 1%
up to 5% RME, and sold for vehicle diesel fuel.

Rapeseed
cultivation

Rapeseed oil
production

RME
production

Electricity

Mixture RME Diesel

Combustion:
(diesel engines)

Foreground system
Pesticides

Cakes

Glycerin

Background system

Figure 2. Flowchart illustrating the biodiesel life cycle.


The flowcharts presented in Figs. 1 and 2 use a life cycle approach by
pursuing the production chains from "cradle" to "grave". Figure 3
integrates (and expands) these life cycles to represent the complete model,
taking into account the entire logistics of the alternative biofuel chains.
This formulation accounts not only for the environmental burdens of
processes in the foreground system but also for impacts in the background
system.
The potential application of the methodology to biofuel systems is
shown below. A systemic description of the alternative biofuel production
schemes has been implemented where all these chains compete for the
agricultural land available. A simplified flowchart is presented in Fig. 3.
The figure illustrates both the spatial dimension (six regions can be
identified: #A, #B, ) and the vertical dimension of the biofuel life cycle,
including:
i) the arable farm sector, which cultivates dedicated energy crops
(namely sugar beet, wheat and rapeseed);
ii) the biofuel industry, which is divided into two main chains: ETBE
and biodiesel, each of which has an intermediate stage (ethanol
and seed-oil production, respectively);
iii) a final transformation stage integrated into the petroleum refinery
system, where biofuels are transformed and mixed with fossil
fuels;
iv) the transportation fuel market, where biofuel competes with
conventional diesel and gasoline within the current institutional
context (tax exemption for biofuels up to 98% of the ITPP).

259

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

Conventional
gasoline

Isobuthene

18

Sugar beet

wheat

ethanol

13

ETBE

14

Gasoline85%
ETBE15%

Rape
seed

#A

10

Rape
Seed
oil

19
#E
Gasoline market

#B

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

RME

11

15

Diesel 95%
RME 5%

#D

#C

20
21
#E
Diesel market

Conventional
diesel

Figure 3. Flowchart illustrating the logistics of the life cycle of the


alternative biofuel chains.
In Fig. 3 the arrows show the direction of the logistics flow. Twentyone activities have been defined in the optimization model, including
seven activities of transportation, whose numbers (#4, #5, #6, #9, #12, #16,
#17), for the sake of simplicity, are not included in the flowchart. A brief
description of biofuel life-cycle activities follows:
#1 Sugar beet agricultural production; #2 Wheat production;
#3 Rapeseed agricultural production; #4 Sugar beet transport;
#5 Wheat transport; #6 Rapeseed transport;
#7 Ethanol production from sugar beet;
#8 Ethanol production from wheat;
#9 Ethanol transport; #10 Rapeseed oil production;
#11 RME production; #12 RME transport;
#13 ETBE production; #14 Mixture ETBE (15%)/Gasoline (85%);
#15 Mixture RME (5%)/Diesel (95%);
#16 ETBE/Gasoline distribution; #17 RME/Diesel distribution;
#18 Conventional gasoline use in the transportation sector;
#19 ETBE/Gasoline mixture use in the transportation sector;
#20 Conventional diesel use in the transportation sector;
#21 RME/Diesel mixture use in the transportation sector.
The micro-economic model represents the agro-energy chain structure
by simulating farmers behaviour with that of industry. It integrates the

260

agricultural sector5 and a biofuel industry model (in this case, the French
multi-chain biofuel system) based on mathematical programming
principles in order to simultaneously optimize economic surplus. The
model proposes a decentralized decision solution based on the agents
behaviour in the respective markets. When industrial capacity is a
continuous variable, OSCAR is a LP (Linear Programming) model.
Otherwise, it becomes a MILP (Mixed Integer Linear Programming) bilevel model, consisting of:
a) The agricultural sector model: A large number of sub-models (each
corresponding to a particular farm) are articulated in a staircase form
enabling the modelling of the agricultural sector. Farmers maximize their
gross margin subject to resource (arable land availability), institutional (set
aside obligation, sugar beet quota) and agronomic (crop rotation)
constraints.
b) Industry sector model: each biofuel chain bB6 can make use of
these available quantities so as to produce biofuels considering technical
and economic conditions of production (including crop prices,
transformation costs, market prices and tax credits granted by
government); capacity rigidities are taken into account and the most recent
plant characteristics have been used. Under these conditions each chain
aims at maximising its own profit.
One or more energy crops can be processed by one or more biofuel
chains. A binary relation R DxB (see footnote 6) indicates which
combinations between energy crops and biofuel chains are considered. The
industrial model includes conditions for the production of these biofuels,
using current conversion technical coefficients, based on a single size
transformation capacity for ETBE and two sizes for wheat-to-ethanol
production units. Ester and ethanol from sugar beet are using existing
capacities. Capacities of transformation units required to process these
quantities, biofuel quantities produced, industry surpluses, and finally total
government spending, can be determined using parameters related to the
biofuel chains examined7.
Selected preliminary input/output data is listed in Table 2. This should
be regarded as a sample from the global model table. This is work on
progress and data is currently being collected, both based on industrial
5

Optimization model with a matrix of technical coefficients of 7500x6800. The


agricultural sector component aggregates 700 elementary arable farm models
located in sugar beet and cereal production regions.

c C index for food crops, (c=1 for sugar beets), dD index for energy crops
( D = {wheat, rape-seed, sugar beet}), ( D = m ), bB index for biofuels (B =

The mathematical formulation of the model is coded in GAMS (Brooke et al.,


1998) and is available upon readers request.

{ethanol, ester, eth_wh, eth_sb, oil, etbe}), ( B = n ).

261

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

practices and obtained from commercial databases.

allow for production levels of up to 375kt of RME as well as up to 167kt


and 249kt of ETBE from wheat and sugar beet respectively). Solutions of
the model maximising total welfare given tax exemption rates (three
scenarios) and fixed greenhouse gases emission targets appear in the Table
3:

Table 2. Extended input-output table, including


environmental impact categories.
Selected Goods
Primary (P)
Methanol
Fertilizer N
(...)
Diesel
Natural Gas
Oil
Electricity
Interm. (I)
Sugar beet
Wheat
Rapeseed
Ethanol
DDGS
(...)
Final (F)
RME
ETBE
Env. (E)
Greenhouse
()

#1

#2

Selected Activities
#7
#3
(...)

-142.5

-211.5

-200.0

-2.4
-2.3
-0.4

-15.4
-27.9
-2.5

-23.6
-66.5
-7.92
-168.4

(...)

1.0

-155.4
-191.0
-1.5
-2331.7

#8

(...)

#11
-0.11

-43.7

Table 3. Policy scenarios and optimal solutions.


Tax exemption ester
Tax exemption ETBE
Ethanol sugar beet level
Ethanol from wheat level
Production level of RME
Farmerssurplus (agr)
Budgetary cost (budget)
Eutrophication (eutr)
Ozone (ozon)
Ecotoxicity (ecotx)
GHG emissions (gheff)
Acidification (acidf)
Smog (smog)
Human toxicity (humtx)
Energy (energy)
Solid materials (solid)
Total welfare (welfare)

-9.0
1.0

-3.6
1.0
(...)

1.0

262

1.0
1.5

1.0
(...)
(to be calculated)
(...)

The partitioned matrices A and B appear in Table 2. Conventionally,


input coefficients are entered with minus sign and outputs with positive
sign. The eight first rows of Table 2 form the matrix -AP, i.e. the quantities
of primary goods required to operate the activities at a unit level. The next
eight rows represent the input/output data for intermediate goods, (-AI +
BI)x y, and so forth. The last rows, matrix -BE, represent the
environmental impacts associated with each activity operated at unit level,
-BE.
4. Multicriteria analysis and results
The analysis is carried over in two distinct steps. Firstly the basic
model (LCAA for biofuel) is solved providing discrete alternative actions,
then the multicriteria algorithm is used to find the compromise solution.
More specifically, the optimisation model allows estimation of the biofuel
chain activity levels for specific tax exemption rates and regulatory
conditions. These latter are imposed on the system in the form of
constraints. The system is constrained to produce quantities higher than
current industry capacities (316kt of RME as well as 124kt and 106kt of
ETBE from wheat and sugar beet respectively) and lower than the new
agreements allocated by the government to the industry in 2002 (which

Units
/l
/l
1000hl
1000hl
1000t
M
M
NP t
ODP t
ECA m3g
GWP t
AP t
POCP t
HCL/HCW
TJ LHV
t
M

scenario A
0.24
0.50
784.35
728.93
316
31.25
-156.71
-19.57
-0.01
-25337.84
-51400
-338.59
-16.46
-440.73
-4966.68
-9851.02
8894.12

scenario B
0.36
0.36
623.12
728.93
351.7
82.93
-207.92
-20.75
-0.01
-26763.42
-54400
-358.1
-17.56
-465.27
-5249.75
-10400.3
8945.79

scenario C
0.30
0.41
1463.75
728.93
349.68
67.99
-221.34
-22.61
-0.01
-29324.38
-59400
-391.6
-18.91
-510.16
-5743.44
-11401.83
8930.86

When solved parametrically8 over different feasible values of the GHG


emissions, always maximising the total welfare, the model adjusted the
activity level for different biofuels in order to conform to the GHG
emission level allowed (Fig. 4). In total, 15 greenhouse gases emission
levels are examined for each tax exemption scenario resulting in a set of 45
different solutions.

GHG emissions vary from their maximum to minimum technical level in discrete
steps. For each value of GHG emissions and a pair of tax exemptions the model
optimises the system regarding total welfare. Each alternative is specified by:
[parameters] the emissions level, the tax exemption levels, [variables] the
activity levels per biofuel, and [criteria] values that measure the performance of
the alternative with respect to the criteria (annex 1, table 5. Set of alternative
solutions).

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

263

tax exemption scenario C (0.30 /l ester, 0.41 /l ethanol)

1600
1400

kt

ethanol_sugar-beet
1200

ethanol_wheat

1000

Rape-seed_Ester

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

requirements: (a) s must generate non-dominated solutions only and (b)


all non-dominated solutions (footnote 11) may be generated by s. The first
requirement holds in this case as solutions vary in the discrete space (the
subset of efficient solutions is known, containing 22 out of 45 alternative
solutions in this case study, Table 6 in the appendix). In order to satisfy the
second requirement, the following scalarising function derived from the
augmented weighted Tchebycheff norm12 is minimised:
_

_
s z , z = max h z h zh -
h =1... p

800
600
400
200

with

-5
1.
4
-5
2.
4
-5
3.
4
-5
4.
4
-5
5.
4
-5
6.
4
-5
7.
4
-5
8.
4
-5
9.
4
-6
0.
4
-6
1.
4
-6
2.
4
-6
3.
4
-6
4.
4
-6
5.
4

and

Figure 4. Biofuel activity levels by chain when setting environmental


constraints (GHG). Tax exemption scenario C (0.30 l-1 ester, 0.41 l-1
ethanol).

agricultural or producer surplus: The aggregate rent defined as the sum of the
differences between the price at the market equilibrium and the marginal cost of
each single producer.
10
trade-off: the trade-off between two criteria means the amount of achievement
of one criterion that must be sacrificed to gain a unitary increase in the other
one.
11
non-dominated solutions: feasible solutions such that no other feasible solution
can achieve the same or better performance for all the criteria under
consideration and strictly better for at least one criterion.

h zh

j =1

p
z*h

The next step is to consider the environmental criteria (to minimise),


the farmers surplus9 (to maximise) and the government expenditure (to
minimise). The corresponding pay-off table is presented in the appendix
(Table 5).
In order to select the best alternative taking into account the
preferences of the decision maker (DM), the reference point approach
(Wierzbicki, 1982) has been selected because it allows an exploration of
the efficient solutions compensating losses with gains implying trade-off
decisions by the decision maker10.
The aspiration levels (see in Table 4) are set by the DM illustrating his
preferences. Projection of aspiration levels expressed by the DM to the
frontier of non-dominated alternatives11 is performed by optimising a minmax scalarising function (s) that has to satisfy the following

(z n )
h

kt CO2

264

nh

reference point representing aspiration levels


number of criteria (objectives)
maximum value on criterion h (ideal point)
small positive number
minimum value on criterion h, over the efficient set of
solutions (nadir point)

As a matter of fact an interactive adjustment of the aspiration levels (on the


basis of solutions generated at previous iterations) can support the DM to
explore the criteria space: In the context of the multiple criteria
optimisation the decision maker could start by aiming at the ideal point
(utopic point where all criteria attain their optimal value). When the ideal
point is the target (reference point), the compromise alternative of 325kt of
RME, 623kt of ETBE from sugar beet, and 729kt ETBE from wheat, is
selected, corresponding to a unitary tax exemption vector of 0.36l-1 for
both ethanol and biodiesel. This solution seems interesting but it could be
improved especially regarding the public spending. New aspiration levels
are set at this new solution point, except for public spending which is
considered at its optimum level. This projection results in lower
expenditures (unitary tax exemptions for ethanol and biodiesel of 0.30l-1
and 0.41l-1 respectively) and reduces slightly some environmental
performances.
The aspiration levels and the compromise solution found by the
reference point procedure for this last set of preferences are illustrated in a
twelve (equal to the number of criteria)-dimension radar graph (Fig. 5). All
magnitudes appear in terms of distances from the ideal point (%). By
12

as suggested in Perny and Vanderpooten (1998) and Teghem et al. (1986).

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

265

revising the aspiration in successive rounds the DM can thus freely and
systematically explore the set of efficient solutions. Table 6 (appendix)
shows the set of alternative solutions (non-dominated).
Table 4. Multicriteria analysis parameters (the coded labels and units of
measurement of performance can be found in the first column of table 3).
to MAX

ideal

anti-ideal

weight

Agr
budget
Eutr
Ozon
ecotx
gheff
acidf
smog
humtx
energy
solid
welfare

103.7
-156.7
-19.6
-0.01
-25311
-51400
-338.5
-16.5
-440
-4963.5
-9838
8966

31.25
-265.7
-24.9
-0.02
-32340
-65400
-431.3
-20.7
-563
-6332.1
-12582
8894

0.0021
0.0014
0.188
100
0.00014
0.00007
0.01077
0.238
0.0081
0.00073
0.00036
0.002

aspiration distance ex post


distance
75.4
61
33
-156.7
100
73
-19.6
100
93
-0.01
100
100
-25311
100
92
-51400
100
93
-338.5
100
93
-16.542
99
95
-440.2
100
92
-4963.5
100
93
-9838.5
100
92
8938
61
33

ideal point: the set with all the objectives achieving their optimum value;
anti-ideal point: the set with all the objectives achieving their least-optimum value
in the pay-off table;
distance: position of the aspiration level between the anti-ideal and the ideal point
expressed in percentage;
ex post distance: position of the compromise solution in percentage from
aspiration level.

agr
100
w elfare

projection to feasible frontier

budget
80
60

solid

eutr

40
target

20
energy

ozon

humtx

feasible

ecotx

smog

gheff
acidf

Figure 5. Results of the interactive multicriteria analysis algorithm.

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

266

5. Conclusions
The work herein presented has focused on describing the potential of
an integrated environmental and economic modelling approach to the
optimization of biofuel systems in France. Illustrative results have been
also presented. This approach combines the advantages of the
environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, that tracks the
environmental consequences of a product, process or service from "cradle"
(resource origin) to "grave" (final disposal), with the advantages of using
mathematical programming framework of economic Activity Analysis.
The methodology allows the use of What if? Scenario analysis and
multicriteria analysis. The reference point method has been applied
allowing exploration of the feasible area, thus enhancing dialogue among
stakeholders during the decision-making process. In this manner, it can be
used to design and evaluate alternative packages of environmental strategy
or policy, including programmes of action for the promotion of bioenergy
systems, with the aim of identifying more sustainable practices.
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31
31
31
75
31
75
31
75
75
75
104

budget
eutr
ozon
ecotx
gheff
acidf
smog
humtx
energy
solid
welfare

a1
a2
a3
a16
a17
a18
a19
a20
a21
a22
a23
a24
a25
a26
a27
a28
a29
a30
a31
a32
a33
a34

alternative #

104

-24.86

-19.59

-19.59

-19.59

-19.57

-19.59

-19.57

-19.59

-19.57

-19.57

-19.57

-24.86

NP t

eutr

-0.0200

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0100

-0.0200

ODP t

ozon

-65400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-51400

-65400

GWP t

gheff

-431.23

-338.45

-338.45

-338.45

-338.59

-338.45

-338.59

-338.45

-338.59

-338.59

-338.59

-431.23

AP t

acidf

smog

270

-20.73

-16.53

-16.53

-16.53

-16.46

-16.53

-16.46

-16.53

-16.46

-16.46

-16.46

-20.73

POCP t

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

-32320.9

-25310.96

-25310.96

-25310.96

-25337.84

-25310.96

-25337.84

-25310.96

-25337.84

-25337.84

-25337.84

-32320.9

ECA m3g

ecotx

energy

-562.54

-440.15

-440.15

-440.15

-440.73

-440.15

-440.73

-440.15

-440.73

-440.73

-440.73

-562.54

-6329.25

-4963.49

-4963.49

-4963.49

-4966.68

-4963.49

-4966.68

-4963.49

-4966.68

-4966.68

-4966.68

-6329.25

HCL/HCW TJ LHV

humtx

defEst
/l ester
0.24
0.24
0.24
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.30
0.30
0.30
0.30

defETBE eth sugb eth wheat ester


/l ethanol 1000 hl 1000 hl 1000t
0.50
784
729
316
0.50
945
729
316
0.50
1106
729
316
0.37
623
729
325
0.37
623
729
334
0.37
623
729
343
0.37
623
729
352
0.37
623
729
361
0.37
623
729
370
0.37
686
729
375
0.37
846
729
375
0.37
1007
729
375
0.37
1168
729
375
0.37
1329
729
375
0.37
1464
740
375
0.37
1464
805
375
0.37
1464
871
375
0.37
1464
937
375
0.41
784
729
316
0.41
945
729
316
0.41
1057
729
319
0.41
1111
729
325

agr
M
31
33
35
75
78
80
83
85
88
90
92
94
95
97
99
101
102
104
53
55
57
59

budget
eutr
NP t
M
-157
-19.57
-164
-19.95
-171
-20.32
-197
-19.59
-201
-19.97
-204
-20.36
-208
-20.75
-212
-21.13
-215
-21.52
-221
-21.9
-228
-22.28
-235
-22.65
-243
-23.02
-250
-23.4
-257
-23.77
-260
-24.13
-263
-24.5
-266
-24.86
-179
-19.57
-186
-19.95
-192
-20.32
-196
-20.71

Table 6 (Part1). Set of alternative non-dominated solutions, identification elements

-265.7

-196.95

-196.95

-196.95

-156.71

-196.95

-156.71

-196.95

-156.71

-156.71

-156.71

-265.7

agr budget
agr

269

Table 5. Pay-off among objectives (in lines maximisation over objective).

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

-12572.38

-9838.52

-9838.52

-9838.52

-9851.02

-9838.52

-9851.02

-9838.52

-9851.02

-9851.02

-9851.02

-12572.38

solid

8966.77

8938.57

8938.57

8938.57

8894.21

8938.57

8894.21

8938.57

8894.21

8894.21

8894.21

8966.77

welfare

a1
a2
a3
a16
a17
a18
a19
a20
a21
a22
a23
a24
a25
a26
a27
a28
a29
a30
a31
a32
a33
a34
6
7
5
2
1

7
3

8
5
2

7
5
2
9
7
6
5
3
2

alternative #

271

ozon
ODP t
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01
-0.01

ecotx
ECA m3g
-25338
-25849
-26360
-25311
-25795
-26279
-26763
-27248
-27732
-28226
-28737
-29248
-29759
-30270
-30782
-31295
-31808
-32321
-25338
-25849
-26352
-26845

gheff
acidf
GWP t
AP t
-51400
-339
-52400
-345
-53400
-352
-51400
-338
-52400
-345
-53400
-352
-54400
-358
-55400
-365
-56400
-371
-57400
-378
-58400
-385
-59400
-391
-60400
-398
-61400
-405
-62400
-411
-63400
-418
-64400
-425
-65400
-431
-51400
-339
-52400
-345
-53400
-352
-54400
-359

smog
humtx energy
POCP t HCL/HCWTJ LHV
-16.46
-441
-4967
-16.73
-450
-5065
-17.01
-459
-5164
-16.53
-440
-4964
-16.87
-449
-5059
-17.21
-457
-5154
-17.56
-465
-5250
-17.9
-474
-5345
-18.24
-482
-5441
-18.56
-491
-5537
-18.84
-500
-5636
-19.11
-509
-5734
-19.39
-518
-5833
-19.66
-526
-5932
-19.93
-535
-6030
-20.2
-544
-6130
-20.46
-554
-6230
-20.73
-563
-6329
-16.46
-441
-4967
-16.73
-450
-5065
-17.03
-459
-5163
-17.35
-467
-5259

solid
t
-9851
-10051
-10251
-9839
-10026
-10213
-10400
-10588
-10775
-10967
-11167
-11366
-11566
-11766
-11966
-12168
-12370
-12572
-9851
-10051
-10247
-10438

Table 6 (Part2). Set of alternative non-dominated solutions, performance values

F. FREIRE. J. MALA, S. ROZAKIS

welfare
M
8894
8896
8898
8939
8941
8944
8946
8948
8951
8953
8955
8957
8959
8960
8962
8964
8965
8967
8916
8918
8920
8922