Assessing and choosing the optimum blend of biodiesel, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and petroleum diesel based on sustainability in Indonesia

By Ahmad Syauqi, Alin Halimatussadiah, Widodo Wahyu Purwanto | Publication, Scientific Paper

The trend towards increasing biofuel blending mandates in several countries has raised a sustainability trilemma, especially for biofuels derived from palm oil. This study aims to find the most sustainable hydrogen production technology for the production of hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) and biofuel blending. It assesses the sustainability of palm-oil-derived biofuel blending of biodiesel (FAME), HVO, and petroleum diesel. There are three hydrogen production options for HVO: steam methane reforming (SMR), biomass gasification (BG), and electrolysis from solar energy (PVELC). The use of any production option depends on a combination of fuel quality standards and the prioritized sustainability considerations. The fuel quality aspects consist of constraints on the quality of the blend based on EURO-2, EURO-4, and EURO-5 fuel standards, while sustainability priorities lead to varying policy preferences involving economic, environmental, and social sustainability considerations. There are two approaches to determine the most sustainable blend: using the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method and using the sustainability index. The results show that scenarios that favor the economic dimension tend to produce a higher FAME blend, whereas those that prioritize the environment emphasize higher HVO blending with PVELC as the hydrogen production technology. Finally, any scenario that prefers the social aspects tends to produce higher biofuel blending. Overall, to achieve higher sustainability, higher biofuel blending is needed. The policy analysis section concludes that the biofuel policy direction should focus more on combining HVO and FAME so that each can offset the disadvantages of the other.

Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining