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International shipping in the Arctic region is one of the key contributors to changes in the region due to the generated air emissions from marine fuels combustion, usage of forest-based biofuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels in marine shipping seem as an attractive alternative. However, a system analysis perspective is needed to ensure its sustainability. Life cycle assessment was used to estimate the environmental impacts of the production and use of two forest-based biofuels. These fuels, biodiesel and bioethanol, were derived from pulp and paper mills for use by marine shipping. They were compared to fossil fuels currently used by the marine shipping industry, those being Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). Future projection scenarios in 2030 and 2050 for estimating the environmental impacts of a transition from fossil fuels to biofuels in Arctic shipping were studied as well. The results indicate that a holistic view is very important for biofuel use. The production and use of forest-based bioethanol (BE) had a significantly lower impact on climate change (CC) potential, but had a higher impact on Human toxicity non-cancer effects (HTX), Human toxicity cancer effects (CE), Particulate matter (PM), Photochemical ozone formation (POF), Acidification potential (AP), Terrestrial eutrophication (TE), Freshwater Eutrophication (FE), Marine eutrophication (ME) and Freshwater Ecotoxicity (FEC). Replacing HFO with forest-based biodiesel reduced the potential AP by 55%. It also had a lower impact on the categories CC, PM, POF, TE, ME and FEC. Furthermore, a reduction in emissions generated by shipping in the Arctic and a better overall environmental performance can be achieved by using blends of MGO with BE.
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Assessment of forest-based biofuels for Arctic marine shipping
Dalia M.M. Yacout
, Mats Tysklind
, Venkata K.K. Upadhyayula
Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden
Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), E-750 07 Uppsala Sweden
Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology, SLU, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden
Forest-based biofuels
Arctic marine shipping
Life cycle assessment
International shipping in the Arctic region is one of the key contributors to changes in the region due to the
generated air emissions from marine fuels combustion, usage of forest-based biofuels as an alternative to con-
ventional fossil fuels in marine shipping seem as an attractive alternative. However, a system analysis perspective
is needed to ensure its sustainability.
Life cycle assessment was used to estimate the environmental impacts of the production and use of two forest-
based biofuels. These fuels, biodiesel and bioethanol, were derived from pulp and paper mills for use by marine
shipping. They were compared to fossil fuels currently used by the marine shipping industry, those being Marine
Gas Oil (MGO) and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). Future projection scenarios in 2030 and 2050 for estimating the
environmental impacts of a transition from fossil fuels to biofuels in Arctic shipping were studied as well.
The results indicate that a holistic view is very important for biofuel use. The production and use of forest-
based bioethanol (BE) had a signicantly lower impact on climate change (CC) potential, but had a higher
impact on Human toxicity non-cancer effects (HTX), Human toxicity cancer effects (CE), Particulate matter (PM),
Photochemical ozone formation (POF), Acidication potential (AP), Terrestrial eutrophication (TE), Freshwater
Eutrophication (FE), Marine eutrophication (ME) and Freshwater Ecotoxicity (FEC). Replacing HFO with forest-
based biodiesel reduced the potential AP by 55%. It also had a lower impact on the categories CC, PM, POF, TE,
ME and FEC. Furthermore, a reduction in emissions generated by shipping in the Arctic and a better overall
environmental performance can be achieved by using blends of MGO with BE.
1. Marine shipping and Arctic
At present, the Arctic region is one of the most affected regions by
climate change. Global warming has led to thinning of the polar ice to
the point where increasing numbers of ships are using Arctic shipping
routes. The main consequences of an increase in shipping in the Arctic
are an increase of black carbon (BC), an increase in greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions, and the risk of spillage and burning of heavy fuel oil
(HFO). International shipping transportation is one of the top contrib-
utors to air emissions, generating 2% of global BC emissions and 3% of
global GHG emissions (Fridell, 2019). Forecasts predict that shipping
activities in the Arctic will increase by more than 50% between 2012
and 2050, causing increases of local air pollution and contributing to
regional climate change (Fridell 2019). Furthermore, the international
shipping transportation sector is one of the highest consumers of fossil
fuels, accounting for approximately 4% of global oil demand, which
equates to 300 Mtonne of fuel annually (IEA, 2014). HFO is one of the
main fuels used in this sector, accounting for 80% of the fuel used (Hsieh
and Felby, 2017). In the case of an oil spill or a marine accident, the
release of HFO into the waters can have catastrophic effects on marine
ecosystems (Fridell, 2019).
As a result, extensive efforts have been made in the search for po-
tential alternative fuels for the shipping sector. Hsieh and Felby (2017)
suggested that the shipping industry should use sustainable shipping
practices to reduce carbon emissions by using low-carbon emission fuels
and implementing energy-efcient ship design and operation. Marine
gas oil (MGO) is being used as an alternative to HFO due to its lower
sulphur content (0.1% wt instead of 1% wt for HFO). Recently, PAME
(2020) reported that, in Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment
(PAME) 2019, of a total of 1725 ships entering the Polar Code area, 61%
of them used MGO and 10% used HFO. Furthermore, types of marine
biofuels may be produced as feasible and environmentally-friendly
alternative to conventional marine fuels. It is practical to take advan-
tage of the existing infrastructure (e.g. marine engines, fuel transport
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (D.M.M. Yacout).
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Received 14 September 2020; Received in revised form 3 June 2021; Accepted 17 June 2021
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
pipelines, bunkering) and produce a fuel compatible with that already in
place. Such drop-in fuels t into the existing infrastructure and do not
require a large investment in changes to engines or infrastructure. That
marine diesel engines can operate with a wide variety of fuels means
there can be development of new biofuel processes that combine
different grades and types of biofuels (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). Brynolf
et al., (2014); Tanzer et al., (2019) and Gilbert et al., (2018) examined
the potential of using biofuels, such as liqueed biogas and
bio-methanol, as alternative fuels for the shipping industry. They agreed
that it is important to take into consideration the environmental per-
formance of such fuels using life cycle assessment (LCA) along the entire
fuel value chain. Gilbert et al., (2018) and Sia (2018) strongly recom-
mended taking into consideration the availability of alternative fuels
along with environmental performance. The introduction of biofuels for
transportation has many economic and social benets. Biofuels contri-
bution was 2.1 trillion euros in 2013 to the EU economy, creating more
than 659,600 jobs (Calder´
on et al., 2018). Hansson et al., (2019)
assessed the prospects for seven alternative fuels for the shipping sector
to use in 2030, including an assessment of economic, technical, envi-
ronmental, and social aspects. They did not, however provide any rm
conclusion on the potential for different marine biofuels.
In 2011, Sweden developed a strategy for the Arctic region which
involved three top priority areas: climate and the environment, eco-
nomic development, and the human dimension (Government of Swe-
den, 2011). Since then, several steps have been taken to develop these
areas. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels seems to be a promising move
that will help these three strategic areas. At the same time, the use of
forest biomass as a replacement for fossil fuels and products is becoming
increasingly relevant as a means to mitigate climate change (Røyne,
2016). Forest biomass represents a valuable feedstock that can be used
to produce different biofuel products for marine shipping. At present,
the pulp and paper industry is one of the largest industries worldwide.
Sweden, 2018 is one of the top global producers and exporters of paper
with a total production of 10.2 million tonnes of paper in 2017. The
production and expansion of this industry is associated with several
environmental and sustainability concerns (Gopal et al., 2019;
Mohammadi et al., 2019). The side streams generated from this industry
can be a valuable resource if used properly. Currently in Northern
Sweden, the Swedish chemical company Sekab, together with the Dutch
chemical company Vertoro, are building the rst plant in the world to
produce biofuel for shipping from the residues of the paper and pulp
industry (Cavka, 2020). Another example is the ongoing production of
biodiesel for transportation from tall oil, another side stream from pulp
and paper mills, produced by SunPine AB, Sweden (Hsieh and Felby,
Given all this, a system analysis perspective is needed to achieve
production of biofuels in a sustainable way (Hansson et al., 2019).
System analysis perspective provides the opportunity to understand the
different impacts of the product throughout its entire life cycle, helping
policy and decision makers in making sustainable decisions (ISO 14044,
Fig. 1. Different marine fuels production routes investigated in the study.
Fig. 2. System boundary of the study showing the different scenarios (S1 S4).
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
This study addresses the concerns of Swedens strategy for the Arctic
region related to the generated emissions to air from HFO and MGO used
in the Arctic shipping (Government of Sweden, 2011 and 2020). In order
to nd a potential solution, we assessed the environmental impacts of
producing forest-based biofuels from Swedish pulp and paper mills for
Arctic marine shipping and compared them to the environmental im-
pacts of producing business as usual fuels from conventional fossil fuels.
Future projection scenarios were based on the regulations set to reduce
fossil fuels use in Arctic (PAME, 2020). The study results provide support
to both policy makers in Sweden and decision makers in the marine
shipping industry when adopting strategies to achieve Arctic
2. Materials and methods
LCA was used to assess the different environmental impact of two
routes of biofuel production using forest-based material from the pulp
and paper industry as feedstock, and to compare them with the envi-
ronmental impact of two business as usual routes for producing marine
fuels using crude oil as feedstock. Fuel characteristics and properties are
described in Table S1 in the supporting information (SI). The difference
in energy content in fuels and the weight of fuel that must be carried
were accounted for when calculating energy per tkm (Table S1). The
LCA used here followed the method described in International Organi-
zation for Standardization (ISO) 14040/44, which has four phases: (1)
goal and scope denition, (2) life cycle inventory, (3) life cycle impact
assessment, and (4) interpretation (ISO 14040, 2006). LCA modelling
was carried out using SimaPro 8.5.2 software (SimaPro, 2018). The
environmental impact assessment was carried out in accordance with
the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) 2011
Midpoint version 1.01.
2.1. Goal, scope and system boundary
The goal of the investigation was to assess the environmental impacts
of two production routes in Sweden for forest-based biofuel, using
feedstock from the pulp and paper industry. The biofuel was meant as an
alternative to MGO and HFO for marine shipping (Figs. 1 and 2). Liq-
ueed natural gas (LNG) was not included in the study as the two pro-
posed alternatives (biodiesel and bioethanol) can be used as
replacements for diesel fuel (MGO and HFO) with the same existing
infrastructure (marine engines, fuel transport pipelines, bunkering)
(Hsieh and Felby, 2017). LNG infrastructure is different to that needed
for biofuel and diesel fuel. For example, LNG requires on-board storage
vessels that are heavier than the conventional fuel storage tanks. There
are still only a few related fuelling stations, and proper LNG storage
facilities at ports are also limited (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). According to
PEMA (2020), only 3 vessels operating in the Arctic region used LNG in
2019, which represents 0.17% of the fuel currently used in the region.
Oxygen content is a big difference between biofuels and petroleum
feedstock, biofuels have oxygen levels from 10 to 45% while LNG has
essentially none, making the chemical properties of biofuels different
(Table S1) (Demirbas, 2009). Demirbas, (2009) stated that "oxygenates
have a structure that provide a reasonable antiknock value, as they
contain oxygen, fuel combustion is more efcient, reducing hydrocar-
bons in exhaust gases. The only disadvantage is that oxygenated fuel
contents less energy". Water content in biofuels is another important
difference, biofuels can incorporate water during the production pro-
cess, transportation and storage. It is important to remove their water
content to adjust the biofuel to standards for commercialization and to
avoid corrosion of storage tanks and injection equipment in diesel en-
gines, which can be done by heating, a vacuum ash or using hydrogel
adsorbents (Fregolente et al., 2015)
The scope of the study was established as a well-to-wheels approach,
starting from the extraction of raw materials, taking into consideration
the production phase and the usage phase. System boundaries are shown
in Fig. 2. The following scenarios were modelled and compared:
Scenario 1 (S1), A business-as-usual scenario for production of MGO
Scenario 2 (S2), A business-as-usual scenario for production of HFO
Scenario 3 (S3), Biodiesel production as an alternative renewable
energy source to MGO and HFO, via Biomass to Liquid (BTL) route,
by that converts crude tall oil into biodiesel (BD)
Scenario 4 (S4), Bioethanol production as another renewable energy
source alternative to MGO and HFO, via another BTL route that
converts wood biomass by fermentation to bioethanol (BE)
More details about the production and usage phase of the different
scenarios are presented in Section 2.3. Scenario description.
2.2. Life cycle inventory, functional unit and data collection
Life cycle inventory analysis (LCI) was carried out using SimaPro 8.5.
Inventory data and related assumptions are described in SI Tables S2S5.
Background data for the analysis were collected from the annual reports
of Swedish pulp and paper companies, experimental results and litera-
ture. Foreground data were created using eco-proles from the
Fig. 3. Production process of biodiesel from Tall oil.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
Ecoinvent 3.5 database for all of the necessary input materials and
processes. The case study and inventory data represents the geograph-
ical location in Sweden as part of the emission control areas (SECA)s in
northern Europe English Channel, North Sea, and Baltic Sea. The study
includes all activities from raw material extraction to the release of
waste to the environment. Manufacture of capital goods is not included
in this study, for example, the manufacture of the vessel, the catalytic
converter, and the scrubber.
As used by Bengtsson et al., (2011), the functional unit used was 1
tonne of cargo transported 1 km in a well-to-wheels study. The inventory
data for the LCA were created using this functional unit. The environ-
mental impacts relating to the production phase of the different sce-
narios were assessed according to this functional unit, then added to the
environmental impacts of the use phase. The use phase for the different
fuels was built upon using the fuel consumption for 1 tonne cargo
transportation over a total shipping distance of 145,611 ×10
km, this
being the total shipping distance of all shipping vessels in the Arctic in
2020 (Winther et al., 2014a; PEMA 2020).
Allocation of inventory data for crude oil rening and natural gas
production was made on the basis of the energy content (lower heating
value) of the products. Inventory data allocation related to the paper
mill are shown in the production process in Fig. 3 (Aro and Fatehi,
2017). Although pulp is the main product of the pulp mill, co-production
of turpentine, black liquor, electricity and steam takes place. Both
electricity and steam are recovered as on-site energy sources in the pulp
mill. Crude tall oil (CTO) is extracted from the black liquor and part of it,
tall oil fatty acids, are converted into tall oil diesel (Fig. 3). Panda Pitch
fuel is a by-product of tall oil diesel production, and can be recovered for
use as on-site fuel (Fig. 3) (Aro and Fatehi, 2017), used to produce ste-
rols, such as phytosterols and phytostanols, used as rubber softeners, or
used as asphalt uid for road applications (Shahidi, 2006; Board, 2002).
In this study mass allocation was considered based on the average yield
of 50 kg CTO per tonne of produced pulp and 5% of paper mill impacts
were attributed to tall oil (S¨
a et al., 2018). Similarly, Fridrihsone
et al., (2020) used a mass balance allocation when conducting an LCA
screening of tall oil based polyols for rigid polyurethane foams. In case of
Franklin (2013) who studied GHG and energy LCA of pine chemicals
derived from CTO, an economic allocation was considered.
For BE production, the inventory model was chosen to represent
Sweden and the inventory data used refer to the production of 1 kg of
hydrated ethanol 95% (dry basis, i.e. 1.05 kg hydrated ethanol 95% wet
basis), and 1 kWh of electricity from wood (u =70%, i.e. 59% dry
matter). The multi-output process wood, in distillery delivers the by-
products ethanol, 95% in H
O, from wood, at distilleryand elec-
tricity, from wood, at distillery(Ecoinvent 3.5).
2.3. Scenarios description
2.3.1. Scenario 1 (S1), Marine Gas oil (MGO)
This scenario represents the current business-as-usual practice for
MGO production from crude oil, the most common fuel used by Arctic
marine shipping at present (PEMA, 2020) (SI Table S2, Fig. 2). The
scenario starts with the production phase, from crude oil extraction,
rening and production of MGO, and concludes with the use phase
where the fuel is used in Arctic marine shipping over a total shipping
distance of 145,611 ×10
2.3.2. Scenario 2 (S2), Heavy Fuel oil (HFO)
This scenario represents the current business-as-usual practice for
HFO production from crude oil (SI Table S2, Fig. 2) (Hsieh and Felby,
2017). The scenario production phase runs from crude oil extraction to
rening and production of HFO, then the use phase where the HFO is
used as fuel by Arctic marine shipping as previously described.
2.3.3. Scenario 3 (S3), biomass to liquid - Biodiesel (BD)
Biodiesels can be used in marine diesel engines and blended with
distillate fuels (Bengtsson, 2011; Hsieh and Felby, 2017). Biodiesel for
marine shipping can be produced from tall oil. Tall oil is a secondary
by-product from pulp and paper mills, and is a dark viscous liquid
produced during kraft pulping after treating the spent cooking liquor/
black liquor. It is a low-sulphur biofuel that can be used in communal
and industrial boilers instead of MGO and HFO, and can also be blended
with diesel fuel and used for marine shipping (Winnes et al., 2019).
Currently, the primary feedstock for extraction of tall oil is derived from
Scandinavian forests, e.g. pine, spruce, and birch. The global pulp and
paper industry recovers about 450,000 tons of CTO annually (Bajpai,
2018). The production process for biodiesel from tall oil is shown in
Fig. 3 (Aro and Fatehi, 2017). This process has several advantages, it
helps in making traditional kraft processes more advanced and
economically competitive, while having a lower environmental impact
(Aro and Fatehi, 2017).
In scenario S3, biodiesel for marine shipping is produced from tall oil
as an alternative to MGO and HFO (SI Tables S3 and S4, Fig. 2). This
scenario is based on the idea of tall oil extraction from pulp and paper
mills on an industrial scale. At present in Sweden, this process is used by
SunPine AB, a company specialising in fuel and chemical production
from the by-products of the forestry industry (Hsieh and Felby, 2017).
The company was founded in 2006 and, currently, their CTO interme-
diate product is further processed at the Preem renery to upgrade the
tall oil diesel to a higher quality drop-in fuel (Hsieh and Felby, 2017;
SunPine, 2020). In the production process (Fig. 3), CTO is mixed with
sulphuric acid and methanol. An esterication reaction occurs between
acids in the tall oil (mainly fatty acids) and methanol in an acidic me-
dium, producing the tall oil-based biodiesel. The mixture is then sent to a
distillation tower, where the components are distilled, generating both
biodiesel and pitch fuel, a wood-based fuel. Pitch fuel can be considered
as a by-product of the distillation process, and can be sent back to the
pulp mill for recovery as an on-site fuel (Aro and Fatehi, 2017).
The modelling starts with the production phase: pulp production
using forest wood incorporates transportation of the forest wood to the
pulp mill, pulp production from wood using kraft technology, drying, as
well as the production of tall oil and turpentine as by-products, and
steam and electricity generation as side streams. The production phase
then includes tall oil conversion and distillation for production of bio-
diesel and pitch fuel as a by-product. Infrastructure is not included. Then
the use phase is modelled as the use of this biodiesel as a fuel for 1 tonne
cargo shipping transportation over a total distance of 145,611 ×103 km
(Winther et al., 2014a; PAME, 2020). Inventory data for the modelling
are presented in SI Tables S3 and S4.
2.3.4. Scenario 4 (S4), biomass to liquid bioethanol (BE)
Bioethanol derived from wood biomass is another potential alter-
native to MGO and HFO. It is the biofuel most used for transportation,
with its use reducing GHG emissions and lowering carbon footprints is
possible (Giebel et al., 2011). In the marine shipping sector, it can be
used in multi-fuel engines (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). In this scenario S4,
the potential environmental impacts of bioethanol produced from forest
wood biomass using fermentation, was explored (SI Tables S2 and S5,
and Fig. 2). S4 starts with pulp production using forest wood, including
the processing of wood (u =70%) into hydrated ethanol (95%) and
electricity. Dehydration to anhydrous ethanol is not included in this
scenario. Bioethanol is produced by dilute acid pre-hydrolysis and
simultaneous saccharication and co-fermentation of lignocellulosic
biomass. A supply of heat and power for the process is provided by the
combustion of unconverted solids. Excess electricity is exported to the
power grid. Emissions from the use of bioethanol by marine shipping in
the Arctic during 2020 was included as well as a use phase.
2.4. Impact assessment
Ten impact categories related to ILCD 2011 were evaluated and
compared in this work. These categories cover both global, as well as
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
local and regional, environmental impacts.
2.4.1. Global environmental impacts
The global environmental impacts described in Section 3.1. represent
the impacts on climate change (CC) due to gas emissions into the air that
will be represented by global warming potential at global scale. Impacts
on CC over a time horizon of hundred years are used in this study, as
recommended by the IPCC (2015). Although these emission gures are
for global emissions, they can be used for Arctic LCA as the annual
average sensitivities for Arctic emissions are similar to the global
average (Ødemark et al., 2012).
2.4.2. Local environmental impacts
The local environmental impacts described in Section 3.2. cover nine
impact categories in Sweden which is part of the Arctic region. These
categories describe human health and ecosystem quality: Human
toxicity non-cancer effects (HTX), Human toxicity cancer effects (CE),
Particulate matter (PM), Photochemical ozone formation (POF), Acidi-
cation potential (AP), Terrestrial eutrophication (TE), Freshwater
Eutrophication (FE), Marine eutrophication (ME) and Freshwater Eco-
toxicity (FEC) (Bengtsson et al., 2014). The effect of each category was
calculated according to ILCD 2011 (Benini et al., 2014). These categories
were chosen because they are considered to be environmentally relevant
to the study and internationally accepted in accordance with ISO
Fig. 4. Environmental impact assessment of the four scenarios (Unites per total shipping distance in Arctic 2020 of 145,611 ×103 km).
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
Three methods were used to produce the LCA results. ILCD 2011
characterisation factors were used to calculate the impact results. Nor-
malisation references were calculated as the magnitudes of the category
indicators (Tables S21). Weighting sets were produced where results
were dependant on the relative importance of the category indicators
(Stranddorf et al., 2005), (Table S22).
2.4.3. Uncertainty and distance analysis
Data uncertainty in this study may arise due to the electricity source
used for BD production from tall oil (S3). The electricity source in this
scenario (S3) was assumed to be from the grid. However, in the case of
Swedish pulp and paper mills, many strategies have been developed to
use alternative energy sources for more sustainable and competitive
production. On-site electricity production, as well as electricity gener-
ation from wind power, are two alternative sources of electricity used by
Swedish pulp and paper mills (Ericsson et al., 2011; SCA 2020). In the
uncertainty analysis, both types of electricity sources used for BD pro-
duction from tall oil were considered, and the related environmental
impacts were modelled then compared.
Additionally, transportation can be a major factor that inuences the
overall environmental impact. A distance analysis was carried out in the
alternative scenario S3, with a range of transport distance 0 to 100 km
and two different transportation methods were considered: trans-
portation by diesel truck and diesel railway.
2.5. Future projections
In order to reduce the impacts of NO
and GHG emissions from
shipping trafc in Arctic, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
set a number of regulations (PEMA, 2020):
i) As of January 2020, the limit for Sulphur in fuel oil used on
boardships operating outside designated emission control areas is
reduced to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass)
ii) starting from 2029, use of HFO by ships in Arctic region will be
iii) By 2050 GHG emissions from international shipping will be
reduced by 50% compared to 2008. An initial strategy was
adopted in order to achieve that target (PPR 7, 2020; PEMA
Future projections were set based on these regulations, in order to
assess the impact of using forest-based biofuels by shipping in the Arctic
region in 2030 and 2050. The current status scenario for 2020 was based
on shipping fuel consumption in the Arctic as reported by PEMA, (2020).
The projections and assumptions were chosen following IMO regulations
to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping with a view to
phasing them out altogether no later than 2050 (PEMA 2020) and pre-
vious projection studies for shipping activities in the Arctic by Winther
et al. (2014a), Smith et al., (2014). A summary of the different projec-
tion scenarios is shown in SI Table S6. The scenarios were:
a) 2020, a scenario that represents the current status of Arctic shipping,
where 61% of the fuel used was MGO, 10% was HFO and the rest was
residual marine fuel with a viscosity ISO-F10-80 and IFO-F-80 - 180
(PEMA, 2020).
b) 2030, a scenario where there is a transition to biofuels and they start
to be used on a commercial scale in the shipping industry, so 60% of
the fuel used is MGO and 40% is forest-based biodiesel (PEMA,
c) 2050, a scenario where biofuels have completely replaced fossil fuels
and the shipping industry is completely dependant on forest-based
3. Results and discussion
The overall environmental impact scores of the LCA results are given
in SI Tables S7S9 and Figs. 4 and 5. LCI results for emissions in the
different scenarios and related impacted categories are shown in SI
Table S10. Each impact category and its relevance to the Arctic is dis-
cussed in detail in the following sub-Sections 3.1. and 3.2.
It can be noticed from the results in Fig. 5 that the highest impacted
category in both alternative scenarios S3 and S4 was human toxicity.
HTX for S3 was impacted by emissions generated during the production
of methyl alcohol (methanol) used in biodiesel production from tall oil.
For S4, the impacts are almost three times higher than S3, the main
contributor to this category being Zn emissions into the air and soil from
Fig. 5. Environmental impact assessment of the four scenarios, normalisation.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
the y ash generated as a by-product of biomass combustion processes in
the pulp and paper mill. These potential impacts can be mitigated by
proper handling of y ash or reusing it, for example, as road construc-
tion material (Br¨
annvall, 2013). Furthermore, HFO production in S2 had
a greater impact on climate change potential (CC). This is in agreement
with similar previous studies carried out by Bengtsson et al., (2014),
who compared the environmental impacts of HFO, marine gas oil, BTL,
rapeseed methyl ester, LNG and liqueed biogas for marine shipping at
local and regional scales in Northern Europe.
3.1. Global environmental impacts
In this study, within the CC impact category, focus was given to
potential reductions of GHG emissions, results show that the replace-
ment of MGO and HFO with forest-based biofuels in S3 and S4 signi-
cantly reduced GHG emissions (SI Tables S7S10, Figs. 4 and 5). These
emission levels are global ones, however, according to Ødemark et al.,
(2012), the annual average sensitivities for Arctic emissions are similar
to the global average. Global warming has resulted in shrinking of the
Arctic sea ice and the opening of the Arctic Ocean (Pettersen and Song,
2017), so reducing GHG emissions is essential for mitigating this impact.
In this study, bioethanol production from woody biomass using
fermentation in S4 had the lowest impacts in this category, thus this
production route can help to mitigate CC impacts signicantly. Similar
ndings were also reported by Sandin et al. (2015), who assessed
climate change impacts of forest-based biofuels in Sweden, Bengtsson
et al., (2011) and Tsalidis et al., (2017) who evaluated the environ-
mental performance of biofuel production from wood, torreed wood,
and straw pellets circulating uidised bed gasication for H
, synthetic
natural gas, or FischerTropsch (FT) diesel production and use. In
agreement with Tsalidis et al., (2017) amongst the evaluated biomass
systems, the wood-based systems show the best performance in terms of
GHG reduction, furthermore, the biofuel conversion stage revealed a
high mitigation potential due to the excess electricity that is exported to
the grid. Electricity mix in ecoinvent 3.5 was considered the reference
system used for the avoided emissions.
However, in agreement with Bengtsson et al., (2011), forest-based
biofuels have lower impacts on CC than MGO and HFO, but their
overall performance is poorer, mainly due to NOx emissions from
combustion in marine diesel engines being higher. A holistic view is
needed since the production of bioethanol via this route has great im-
pacts in other environmental categories.
3.2. Local environmental impacts
3.2.1. Human toxicity
Heavy metals are associated with natural and industrial sources.
Metal contamination of food and water resources is a known public
health issue in sub-Arctic communities in north Sweden due to their
close proximity to industrial sites (Perryman et al., 2020). Human
toxicity potentials from non-cancerous effects (HTX) and cancerous ef-
fects (CE) with related major emissions to this study are shown in
Tables S7S10 and Figs. 4 and 5. The main contributors to both HTX and
CE impacts are Cr, Zn, Pb and Cd emissions generated from the com-
bustion of MGO and HFO in S1 and S2, respectively. For S3, the emis-
sions generated during the production of methyl alcohol (methanol)
used in biodiesel production from tall oil are the main contributors to
these impact categories. For S4, the y ash generated as a by-product of
biomass combustion processes in pulp and paper mills is used as landll
cover and sometimes as soil amendment. The direct application of this
y ash requires special safety precautions due to its undesirable
handling and spreading properties, and associated health risks which
may cause high toxicity potential (Cherian and Sumi, 2019; Kuokkanen
et al., 2008). These potential impacts can be mitigated by proper
handling of y ash or reusing it, as road construction material
annvall, 2013).
The model used for this impact category, as described in the Euro-
pean Commissions ILCD handbook USETox (Rosenbaum et al., 2008),
aims to calculate characterisation factors for human and ecotoxicolog-
ical impacts of chemicals, including environmental fate, exposure and
effect parameters (Rosenbaum et al., 2008). The model operates on four
site-generic scales: indoor environment, urban scale, continental scale
and global scale. Spatial differentiation of the location of emissions is
not considered, which may result in uncertainties in the Arctic LCA
(Pettersen and Song, 2017). In agreement with Pettersen and Song
(2017) this gap needs to be addressed by developing a site-specic
ecotoxicity methodology that takes into consideration the Arctics
location and related characteristics.
3.2.2. Particulate matter (PM)
PM is a local and regional impact category associated with human
health. LCA results related to PM impacts are presented in Figs. 4 and 5
and SI Tables S7S10. In agreement with Bengtsson et al., (2011), the
main contributors to this impact category are particulates <2.5 um of
SOx and NOx emitted into the air. For S1 and S2, the source of these
emissions is the incomplete combustion of MGO and HFO. When
comparing the total amount of PM generated in business-as-usual sce-
narios with the two forest-based alternatives, the results show that the
amount generated in S3 and S4 is higher than in S1 and S2. For S3, the
emissions are generated during the production of methanol needed in
the conversion of tall oil to biodiesel. In this scenario, methanol is
produced from wood biomass using syngas. For S4, the main contribu-
tors are the emissions generated during the production of ethanol by
fermentation route. The high impact in this category is due to the low
heat value of forest-based bioethanol the fuel consumed for trans-
portation of 1 tonne of cargo 1 km when using bioethanol is almost 1.5
times higher than when using MGO or HFO. In order to reduce these
impacts, the environmental impacts of using blended fuels could be
considered. Bioethanol is usually blended with gasoline for use in petrol
engines (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). Use of such a blend will change the
overall environmental performance: this option should be more deeply
investigated and discussed in future studies.
According to Pettersen and Song (2017), PM impacts are signi-
cantly affected by the population density, and are a function of location
emission (indoor, urban area, rural area, or remote area with a popu-
lation density of 1 person per km
). Applying the generic assessment
method used for the Arctic LCA could lead to signicantly different re-
sults. In agreement with Pettersen and Song (2017), this is an area that
needs to be addressed by LCA experts, with an Arctic-specic impact
assessment developed. This specic Arctic life cycle impact assessment
will increase the credibility of LCA as an environmental decision-making
support tool for Arctic sustainability. In spite of that, the current results
can serve as an indicator for the potential impacts of PM emissions and
possible methods to mitigate them.
3.2.3. Photochemical ozone formation (POF)
The POF category is affected mainly by NO
, non-methane volatile
organic compounds (NMVOCs), SOx emissions and ultraviolet radiation
intensity. The effects may occur at a local or regional level, depending on
the reactivity of the different emissions. Preiss (2015) stated that Due to
the highly non-linear dependence of ozone formation on background
concentration of reactants and site-specic meteorological conditions
(e.g., temperature, sunlight, relative humidity, and wind), modelled
impacts of human-induced ozone are subject to large variability and
uncertainty. In spite of that, the European Commissions ILCD hand-
book for LCIA recommends the use of this modelling method to assess
the related POF impacts (EC-JRC, 2011). Local ozone production pro-
duces signicant impacts in the Arctic region. Ozone is an active element
that has signicant impact on human health, vegetation and ecosystems
(Stroud et al., 2004; Nuvolone et al., 2018; Mills et al., 2018).
In this study, the related emissions are given in Figs. 4 and 5 and SI
Tables S7S10. It should be noted that the impacts in this environmental
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
category were signicantly lower for BD production and usage (S3), and
were higher for BE (S4) compared to MGO and HFO in S1 and S2,
respectively. NO
emissions from the combustion of the different fuels
during the usage phase are the main contributor to the impacts of this
category in all scenarios. Their contribution is 65.2%, 64.8%, 80.9% and
67.5% for S1, S2, S3 and S4, respectively. Similar results were reported
by Bengtsson et al., (2014). Additionally, Righi et al., (2011) stated that
aerosol emissions (black carbon, organic matter, sulphate) from inter-
national shipping have a large impact on the Earths radiation budget,
directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation and indirectly by
altering cloud properties. They simulated the aerosol emissions from
fossil fuel (MGO) and biofuels (palm and soy bean oil) as a substitute for
HFO in the shipping eet and compared their climate impact. Their
simulations suggested that ship-induced surface level concentrations of
sulphate aerosol were strongly reduced, up to about 4060% in
high-trafc regions. Such reductions in aerosol loading can lead to a
decrease of a factor of 3 4 in the indirect global aerosol effect induced
by emissions from international shipping.
3.2.4. Acidication potential (AP)
Emission Control Areas (ECAs) have been set up in coastal waters in
the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, North America, and Asia. According to
IMO regulation to control emissions from marine shipping vessels in the
Arctic, within these areas, only 0.1% low-sulphur fuels are allowed and,
from 2020, ships sailing in non-ECA areas need to use less than 0.5%
sulphur in their fuel (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). In this study, AP is mainly
attributed to SOx and NOx emissions. When MGO and HFO production
and usage in S1 and S2 were replaced with S3, the impacts in this
environmental category decreased by almost 10% due to the use of tall
oil in biodiesel production. The main source of these emissions in sce-
narios S1, S2 and S3 is the use of the fuels (MGO, HFO and BD) for
transportation in the use phase. Thus, there is an opportunity to reduce
the potential impacts related to acidication in the Arctic region and
meet emissions regulations in the ECAs (Figs. 4 and 5 and SI
Tables S7S10). For S4, the emissions generated by bioethanol pro-
duction were an additional source of environmental emissions.
AP is a local impact indicator whose effect depends on local
biochemistry and biology, with acidication possibly leading to biodi-
versity changes (Van Zelm, 2010). For this impact indicator in relation
to the Arctic LCA, it can be expected that NOx and SO
fate factors for
Russia, Scandinavian countries, Greenland and Canada are either similar
or higher than the corresponding continental factors (Pettersen and
Song, 2017).
3.2.5. Eutrophication potential (TE, ME and FE)
TE and ME are impacted mainly by NO
and NH
emissions into the
air. FE is impacted by PO
emissions into water. These emissions have
increased in the Arctic region due to human activities, particularly the
use of fossil fuels by marine shipping (NRC, 2015). The regulations
enforced in ECAs will assist in reducing the impacts related to these
emissions. When MGO and HFO are replaced with BD and BE, the
environmental impacts in these categories changed as shown in Figs. 4
and 5 and SI Tables S7S10. TE and ME increased signicantly in the
case of BE production (S4) due to the emissions generated during
ethanol production using the fermentation process. At the same time,
the use of BD (S3) is a preferable alternative as it reduced the related
FE signicantly increased in S3 and S4 compared to S1 and S2. This
can be attributed to the PO
emissions generated from biosludge com-
bustion in the on-site boilers in pulp and paper mills. Biosludge is a side
stream generated from the different processes in a pulp and paper mill. It
is produced in huge quantities and is rich in carbonaceous organic
matter, phosphorus and calcium (Pokhrel and Viraraghavan 2004;
axtanalys, 2016). The use of blended fuels, based on forest-based
bioethanol blended with other fuels, could be a potential solution for
changing these impacts.
Eutrophication is a site-dependant impact indicator, occurring
mainly from agricultural run-off and emissions from wastewater treat-
ment into different aquatic streams. Previous studies have shown a
variation between Arctic and non-Arctic countries when modelling this
impact. Furthermore, the available modelling methods do not include
seasonal variation, and spatial resolution is limited for the evaluation of
marine impacts. The marine environment is not completely covered and
does not include major processes in an Arctic coastal and near-shore
context. These gaps in the current modelling methods need to be
addressed in order to provide more accurate Arctic LCA studies (Pet-
tersen and Song, 2017).
3.2.6. Freshwater ecotoxicity (FEC)
In this study, bioethanol production in S4 had the highest impacts
due to Zn emissions into the air, water and soil (Figs. 4 and 5 and SI
Tables S7S10). This can be attributed to the emissions generated during
the process of wood conversion into hydrated ethanol, and wood com-
bustion for on-site electricity generation. These impacts can be reduced
by using an alternative source of electricity in the pulp and paper mill,
such as wind energy. This is now being implemented in some Swedish
pulp and paper mills (SCA, 2020). Further discussion of this point is
given in the section on uncertainty analysis.
As previously mentioned for the HTX impact category, the USETox
model, used in the ILCD method for calculating the characterisation
factors for human and ecotoxicological impacts, uses site-specic data
which may result in uncertainties in the Arctic LCA. (Rosenbaum et al.,
2008). It is important for ecotoxicity assessments of Arctic emissions in
future studies that site-specic conditions are considered in toxicity
testing and characterisation modelling (Pettersen and Song, 2017).
4. Contribution analysis
The impacts of different stages (raw materials, biofuel production
and use phase) for both forest-based biofuels on the different
Fig. 6. Contribution analysis of different stages for the ten environmental impact categories.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
environmental categories were analysed and are shown in Fig 6. The
emissions generated by the manufacture of the raw materials methyl
alcohol and sulphuric acid, used in biodiesel production, were the main
contributors to CC, HTX, CE, PM, AP, FE and FEC. For methyl alcohol, it
is the carbonylation of methanol to methyl formate that creates these
impacts (Capello et al., 2009). For sulphuric acid, the fact that it is a
mineral acid causes these impacts (Capello et al., 2009).
The overall environmental impacts from biodiesel production can be
improved by optimising both the manufacturing process of the raw
materials used, as well as the biodiesel production process from tall oil.
Biodiesel from tall oil is a potential alternative to conventional fuels,
however, further studies are required in order to optimise and increase
the efciency of its production process.
The production process for bioethanol using fermentation was the
main contributor to the different environmental categories. The reuse of
lignocellulosic biomass in the process helps in mitigating climate change
impacts by avoiding the production of activated carbon (Pierobon et al.,
2018). At the same time, it has higher impacts on the rest of the envi-
ronmental categories due to the emissions generated during bioethanol
production using dilute acid pre-hydrolysis and simultaneous sacchari-
cation and co-fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass (Pierobon et al.,
2018). An alternative production process for forest-based bioethanol is a
subject for future research.
Fig. 7. Environmental impact assessment of the different electricity sources used for BD production, characterisation.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
5. Uncertainty analysis
The environmental impacts of using three different electricity sour-
ces (electricity from the grid, on-site electricity production, and elec-
tricity generated from wind power) for biofuel production from tall oil,
and its usage by Arctic marine shipping for a total shipping distance of
145,611 ×10
km were modelled. The datasets for the three electricity
sources represent the geographic location of Sweden. Related results are
shown in Figs. 7 and 8 and SI Tables S11S13. Usage of electricity from
on-site production had the lowest impacts on climate change, but had
the highest impacts in most of the other environmental categories. In the
on-site production scenario, the dataset for Electricity, onsite boiler,
hardwood mill, average, SE/kWh/RNAfrom Ecoinvent 3.5 was used. In
this dataset, it was assumed that the energy is generated by an on-site
boiler using both self-generated and purchased wood fuel. Trans-
portation of fuels was included. For further investigations, pitch fuel
could be used instead as an energy source, as shown in Fig. 3, as this will
reduce the overall environmental impacts.
Using wind power as an energy source had the highest environ-
mental impacts on climate change because the whole system of gener-
ation was included in the dataset. The dataset Electricity from wind
power, AC, production mix, at wind turbine, <1kVis based on the
model of a 300 MW wind power plant, consisting of 182 wind turbines,
and related electrical gear and external cables which connect the power
plant to the existing power grid. The phases considered were: produc-
tion, transportation, erection, operation, dismantling and removal of the
wind turbines and electrical gear. Operational life of the wind turbines
and cables was 20 years. Maintenance was included as well as the
change of service materials such as oil for the generator. Optimising
process conditions for biodiesel production from tall oil is recommended
as this will reduce the overall environmental impacts and produce a
potential alternative for the use of MGO and HFO in marine shipping.
6. Distance analysis
Modelling results of BD transportation for a distance range 0 to 100
km by diesel driven truck and by diesel driven railway are shown in
Fig. 9 and Tables S14S16. Pettersson and Grahn (2013) agreed with
Ahlgren et. al. (2013) that feedstock transportation is one of the critical
data choices when conducting an environmental evaluation for biofuel
production. Pettersson and Grahn (2013) also point out the importance
of reference system choice. They stated that In systems analyses with
the purpose of assessing global fossil GHG emissions, a baseline or
reference system must be dened.
In this study, results of S3 BD production at the bio-renery without
transportation (0 km) were considered the baseline. When comparing
the two transportation alternatives, it was found that BD production and
transfer using diesel driven railway had a better overall environmental
performance than transportation by diesel truck. The emissions emitted
from diesel combustion in case of BD transportation by diesel truck,
present a higher addition durned on the different environmental cate-
gories. For example, in case of CC impact, the transfer of 1 tonne BD by
railway for 100 km distance generated approx. 2.74 kg CO
eq compare
to 19.07 kg CO
eq when using diesel truck (Fig. 9 and Table S14). The
additional impacts from using transportation by diesel railway reected
on the following environmental categories: CC, PM, POF, AP, TE, FE and
ME. At the same time, low additional impacts were added to HTX, CP
and FE.
7. Future projections
The environmental impacts of future projections for 2030 and 2050
were modelled and compared with environmental impacts for 2020 (SI
Table S6). Results in Figs. 10 and 11 and SI Tables S17S19 show a
better overall environmental performance and a decrease in the emis-
sions generated by Arctic shipping in 2030, once biofuels are used in
combination with MGO. The use of blends of MGO with biodiesel will
lead to lower CO2, NOx and SOx emissions, which is reected across the
different environmental categories. This overall improvement impact
can be mainly attributed to the use of biodiesel by 40% of the total fuels
in 2030 scenario instead of HFO and residual marine fuel in 2020 sce-
nario. As for MGO, in spite of taking into consideration the trafc scaling
factor of 1 (Table S6), its usage had close impacts in the present and
2030 scenario. MGO use represented 60% and 61% of the total fuel in
2020 and 2030 scenarios, respectively.
Recently, Arya and Kraft (2021) investigated global CTO availability
and the inuence of regional energy policies on its value chain. Ac-
cording to them, over the past decade CTO production has been around
1.5 to 1.8 million tonnes per year. A global expansion is expected in the
pulp and paper industry in 2030. This expansion will be associated with
an increase in CTO production, most likely to over 2 million tonnes per
year. In spite of that, CTO global demand may exceed its global supply in
the upcoming years, due to the growing demand for biofuels in the
transportation sector and legislation for usage of biofuels especially in
EU countries. Furthermore, Arya and Kraft (2021) found that a global
market analysis estimated a 0.6% supply decit of CTO by the end of
2020. This global decit will rise to 8%, which is 0.18 million tonnes by
2030. They also estimated that CTO supply in EU is to be 0.67 million
tonnes per year by 2020, a large portion of that amount 0.56 million
tonnes per year will be required as input for the major biofuel
Fig. 8. Environmental impact assessment of the different electricity sources used for BD production, normalisation.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
production companies in Sweden and Finland (Arya and Kraft, 2021). In
this study, based on the future projection scenario 2030 (Table S6), it
was estimated that the total amount of CTO required to supply the Arctic
shipping with biodiesel will be 0.84 million tonnes.
In view of the results of the environmental impact assessment for the
projection scenarios in this study, and the expected shortfall in CTO
production, the use of blends of biodiesel and conventional fuels is
suggested as a feasible and environmentally-friendly alternative.
8. Further consideration and future studies
At present, biofuels are available in certain ports and used in several
applications (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). They can be used in existing in-
stallations without the need for major technical modications to the
infrastructure. They can be used as drop-in fuels, or blended with con-
ventional fuels as a complete replacement for conventional fossil fuels
(PAME, 2019). Both biodiesel and bioethanol can be used in multi-fuel
engines; with the development in engine technologies, their use may
grow signicantly as ships with new engines are introduced (Hsieh and
Fig. 9. Environmental impact assessment of the distance analysis.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
Felby, 2017). Their fuel properties and combustion characteristics are
similar to those of fossil fuels (HFO and MGO) (Kesieme et al., 2019).
Mohd Noor et al. (2018) stated that Biodiesel can be applied in diesel
engines without requiring any changes to the engine systems as their
combustion characteristics are almost similar to the conventional
diesel. Furthermore, Hsieh and Felby (2017) wrote that one of the main
advantages of biodiesel is that it restores lubricity of the engine and
reduces smoke, soot, and burnt diesel odour from engine exhaust, whilst
at the same time protecting against wear in the fuel and injector pumps.
Most marine fuel products are manufactured according to ISO 8217
standards (ISO 8217:2017) but, currently, the standard does not allow
biodiesel composition, although there are plans to do so in the future
(Mohd Noor et al., 2018). At the same time, the ASTM D975-02 2002
standards allow blends of 5% biodiesel, known as B5 fuels, which are
currently available in most countries (Mohd Noor et al., 2018).
According to this study results, it is recommended to use biofuel
blends with conventional fuels to reduce the overall environmental
impacts. Tests using 7% to 100% biofuel blends in ocean-going vessels
show that biofuels can be effectively blended with conventional fuel
with no drastic effects on the engine (Hsieh and Felby, 2017). Table S20
Fig. 10. Environmental impact assessment of the different future projections, log scale and Unites per total shipping distance in Arctic 2020 of 145,611 ×10
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
shows the most common biofuel blends used at present in Europe and
the USA (European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) 2016; Hsieh
and Felby, 2017). Experimental research is required to practically
investigate the performance of BD and BE on marine engines in
ocean-going vessels and related modications. Further investigation is
needed to study the impacts of different blends of BD and BE with
conventional fuels on marine engines, to optimise blend ratios, and to
assess the environmental impacts of these blends.
9. Sustainability of forest-based biomass
Norton et al., (2019) claried that forest biomass is classied as
‘renewablebased on the reasoning that, since biomass carbon came
from atmospheric CO
and regrowth absorbs CO
over time, it can be
regarded as ‘carbon neutral with net emissions over the harvest-
ing/regrowth cycle of zero. Accordingly, in this study the global
warming impact of the long-rotation forestry biomass was assumed to be
However, several authors pointed out that the ‘carbon neutrality
concept is a misrepresentation of the atmospheres CO
balance since it
ignores the slowness of the photosynthesis process which takes several
decades for trees to reach maturity, leading to the opposite effect by
increasing CO
atmospheric levels for substantial periods of time (Nor-
ton et al., 2019; Agostini et al., 2014; Berndes et al., 2016; Fisher et al.,
2012). This misrepresentation was reected in EU policy which classi-
ed woody biomass as ‘renewable energy and recognised it as eligible
for public subsidies (Norton et al., 2019). In order to address this issue,
Norton et al., (2019) suggested to reform the current policy by:
i) not considering forest biomass as a source of renewable energy
unless the replacement of fossil fuels by biomass leads to net re-
ductions in atmospheric concentrations of CO
within a decade
ii) considering feedstock from sources with short payback periods
like organic wastes, genuine agricultural or forestry residues and
certain perennial crops grown on marginal land, this will reduce
the time length of CO
atmospheric levels, and related climate
iii) to reform the rules by United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change which allow imported biomass to be treated as
zero emissions at the point of combustion, since these rules pro-
vide incentives to import biomass with negative climate impacts.
This will directly inuence industrial mills leading to new search
of better alternatives (Norton et al., 2019).
10. Conclusions
In compliance with Swedens strategy for the Arctic region that aims
to preserve the climate, the environment and to achieve the ambitious
climate goal of zero GHG emissions by 2045, reducing the emissions
generated by the marine shipping sector in the Arctic needs to
addressed. Forest-based biofuels are an attractive alternative to fossil
fuels used by marine shipping in the Arctic. Converting side streams
from pulp and paper mills into biofuels for marine shipping affects the
costs and environmental footprints associated with the pulp and paper
industry as well as the marine shipping transportation sector. This LCA
study assessed the potential environmental impacts of two forest-based
biofuels, biodiesel and bioethanol, produced from side streams of
Swedish pulp and paper mills, and their usage as alternatives to MGO
and HFO. The results highlighted that it is very important to take into
consideration the holistic view in such cases. Forest-based biodiesel and
bioethanol have great potential for mitigating climate change impacts
although, at the same time, they have greater impacts on other envi-
ronmental categories.
The production of biodiesel from tall oil has signicant benets
because it utilises an important side stream. This biodiesel production
route can signicantly reduce climate change impacts as well as
photochemical ozone formation, acidication potential, terrestrial
eutrophication, and marine eutrophication. However, it has greater
impacts on human toxicity due to the y ash generated by the on-site
boiler. These impacts can be mitigated with proper handling of y ash
or reusing it as a road construction material. Bioethanol production from
woody biomass using fermentation had the greatest potential for miti-
gating climate change impacts. At the same time, it had signicant im-
pacts on the other environmental categories.
Future projections for a partial transition from fossil fuels to biofuels
in Arctic shipping in 2030, and a full transition in 2050, show a potential
reduction in the generation of CO
, NOx and SOx emission when using
MGO blended with forest-based biodiesel as fuels. Since both biodiesel
and bioethanol can be used as blend fuels in different marine engines,
without major modication to the current infrastructure, the potential
impacts of using a mix of blend fuels that contain forest-based biofuels
with fossil fuels should be investigated in the future.
CRediT author statement
The details of all the authors listed (in order) in the manuscript and
related contribution is provided below
1. Dalia Abdelfattah,First and Corresponding Author
Responsible for ensuring that the descriptions are accurate and
agreed by all authors, conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis,
Writing - Original Draft and Visualization
2. Mats Tysklind, Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing - Review
& Editing
3. Venkata K.K. Upadhyayula, Conceptualization, Methodology,
Supervision, Writing - Review & Editing
Fig. 11. Environmental assessment of projection scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2050, normalisation, log scale.
D.M.M. Yacout et al.
Resources, Conservation & Recycling 174 (2021) 105763
Declaration of Competing Interest
The authors declare that they have no known competing nancial
interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to inuence
the work reported in this paper.
The authors gratefully acknowledge FORMAS grant 2020-00879 for
funding the research work, the Bio4Energ research program at Umeå
University, and the Arctic Research Center at Umeå University (Arcum)
for funding the publication of this work.
Supplementary materials
Supplementary material associated with this article can be found, in
the online version, at doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105763.
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