GHG profiles for distillate fuels produced from conventional petroleum, oil sands, shale oil and XtL

TitleGHG profiles for distillate fuels produced from conventional petroleum, oil sands, shale oil and XtL
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMarano, JJ
JournalEnergy Procedia
ISBN Number1876-6102
KeywordsCO2 capture, Gas separation membranes, IGCC, sequestration

The potential impacts of climate change, recent world events, and a dramatic rise in oil prices have resulted in renewed interest in alternative transportation fuels. When considering the many options, tradeoffs exist between environmental, energy security and economic concerns. A portfolio of multiple alternatives that balances these concerns may turn out to be the most prudent. In particular, the coupling of conventional and non-conventional fossil resources with carbon sequestration and renewable biomass may mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil carbon-intensive resources, while providing economic and security benefits. To achieve this result, it is very desirable that all resources employed produce fungible fuel blending components, so that single, specificationfuels can be easily supplied. As a first step in examining the alternatives, it is necessary to establish baseline lifecycle greenhouse-gas emissions profiles for current and future alternative-transportation fuel supply-chains. JM Energy Consulting has been working with clients involved in development of alternative fuels technology to establish such baselines. This paper presents some results from these analyses, which examine both conventional and non-conventional resources for the production of jet and automotive diesel fuels. The primary focus here is on the upgrading/refining step that converts the energy resource as produced into finished distillate fuels. A bottom-up approach is taken to estimating GHG emissions using process-level data and models. This approach not only allows the carbon footprint of the various fuel chains to be distinguished, but also provides valuable insights relative to the carbon intensity of the various upgrading and refining steps required to produce specification distillate fuel blends. Resources considered here are seven classes of conventional crude oils, bitumen, shale oil, and three XtL feedstocks, natural gas, bituminous and subbituminous coal. Also briefly discussed are opportunities for co-processing of sustainable biomass resources and the capture and sequestration of CO2 generated during processing.