- Bioenergy products appear to be practical, effective, and environmentally sustainable renewable energy resources which simultaneously reduce fuel-associated environmental impacts and increase economic value of the products. The use of bioproducts may not always have a net positive environmental or economic attributes, therefore, an adequate sustainability evaluation tool for the products which incorporates life-cycle approach is generally desired. This paper presents an informative value analysis which couples concepts of life cycle energy efficiency and production cost ratios, for a feasible assessment of function value for bioenergy products. Bioenergy products that are selected for the value assessment in this study include biodiesel, bioethanol and biocharcoal. This study is divided into two parts: Value factor development along with discussions on the results of value analysis for bioenergy products, and, a sensitivity analysis in determining influential factors for value factor estimations. The results showed that microalgae biodiesel and biochar had the lowest and the highest function values, respectively, among assessed bioenergy systems. This was mainly due to the significant difference in energy input in manufacturing design and production cost. Future improvements in bioenergy production can be anticipated for developing bioenergy products with high value factors which demonstrate high economic viability, environmental performance and social acceptability. This analysis can be of interest to bioenergy production planners for sustainable product development.
- February 1, 2016