Science Inventory

Water Consumption Estimates of the Biodiesel Process in the US

Citation:

Tu, Q., M. Lu, J. Yang, AND D. Scott. Water Consumption Estimates of the Biodiesel Process in the US. CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 18(2):507-516, (2016).

Impact/Purpose:

Communicate EPA research results on water usage in energy production to science and technical community

Description:

As a renewable alternative to petroleum diesel, biodiesel has been widely used in the US and around the world. Along with the rapid development of the biodiesel industry, its potential impact on water resources should also be evaluated. This study investigates water consumption from the biodiesel process, which includes three stages: soybean irrigation, soybean-to-soybean oil processing, and biodiesel manufacturing, at both national and state levels. The results suggest that on average irrigation accounts for 79 gallons (gal) of water for a gallon of soybean biodiesel while soybean processing (0.17 gal/gal) and biodiesel production (0.31 gal/gal) stages consume much less. The total water consumption intensity for the biodiesel process is 79.48 gal/gal, which is much lower than those reported in existing literature. However, water consumption from the three stages varies significantly from state to state, which warrants the necessity of state-level water consumption analysis for better decision making in water resources management. Water consumption from potentially water-stressed areas is also investigated.

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10098-015-1032-8   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 02/15/2016
Record Last Revised: 03/18/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 311264

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION

URBAN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT BRANCH