Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




CLIMATE SCIENCE
Caution needed with new greenhouse gas emission standards
by Staff Writers
Calgary, Canada (SPX) Jul 18, 2012


Policies such as low-carbon fuel standards and a focus on reducing oil sands operating emissions alone is an initial step but will not be sufficient to achieve meaningful long-term environmental policy goals, the researchers said in the study.

Policy makers need to be cautious in setting new 'low-carbon' standards for greenhouse gas emissions for oil sands-derived fuels as well as fuels from conventional crude oils University of Calgary and University of Toronto researchers say in a paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

The researchers, using for the first time confidential data from actual oil sands operations, did a 'well-to-wheel' lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels produced by Alberta oil sands operations compared with conventional crude oils.

They found that lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions vary widely across both actual surface mining and in situ oil sands operations and conventional crude cases reported in the scientific literature, depending on individual project operating conditions, technology used and other factors.

"Our study suggests it is not productive to get bogged down in a debate over whether fuels derived from the oil sands emit five per cent or 20 per cent more GHG emissions than fuels produced from conventional oils," says Joule Bergerson, who led the University of Calgary group for the study, with Heather MacLean who led the University of Toronto group.

"We need to focus instead on finding a transparent, consistent and reliable way of accounting for and reporting well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions across the industry and the entire economy."

The research team developed a new model called GHOST (GreenHouse gas emissions of current Oil Sands Technologies), which accounted for the 'upstream' GHG emissions associated with the recovery, extraction, dilution, transportation and upgrading of bitumen.

This data was combined with information in the scientific literature on 'downstream' emissions from refining, fuel delivery, vehicle refueling and vehicle use, to arrive at the comprehensive lifecycle analysis.

The team's findings overall supported the widespread perception that the production of transportation fuels from the oil sands is more GHG-intensive than production of fuels from conventional crude oil.

However, the findings also show that some lower-emitting oil sands operations actually can outperform higher-emitting conventional crude cases in terms of GHG emissions intensity (the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per barrel of fuel produced).

"The key message here is that there are large, and overlapping, ranges of potential well-to-wheel GHG emissions performance of both oil sands and conventional crudes. Therefore, ranges rather than point estimates should be utilized to represent this performance," says Bergerson, an assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering in the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy and the Schulich School of Engineering.

Policies such as low-carbon fuel standards and a focus on reducing oil sands operating emissions alone is an initial step but will not be sufficient to achieve meaningful long-term environmental policy goals, the researchers said in the study.

Vehicle operation, say researchers, made up 64 to 74 per cent of the wheel-to-well GHG emissions in the oil sands operations. California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which requires a reduction in the state's transportation fuels of at least 10 per cent by 2020, "will be complicated by the overlapping ranges of emissions associated with oil sands and conventional crude pathways."

The wide range of potential emissions intensities for oil sands and conventional crude oils suggests that treating all oil sands, whether surfacing mining or in situ, or all conventional crudes as having the same level of emissions may lead to "unintended consequences," say researchers.

Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environment Solutions, Natural Resources Canada, Carbon Management Canada, AUTO 21 NCEs (Ontario Centres of Excellence), and Oil Sands Industry Consortium funded this study.

.


Related Links
University of Calgary
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CLIMATE SCIENCE
Nuclear weapons' surprising contribution to climate science
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 17, 2012
Nuclear weapons testing may at first glance appear to have little connection with climate change research. But key Cold War research laboratories and the science used to track radioactivity and model nuclear bomb blasts have today been repurposed by climate scientists. The full story appears in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE. In his article for the July-August iss ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
Two China workers killed in Singapore tunnel accident

A 'Phoenix' rises from Haiti quake ashes

Japan govt, media colluded on nuclear: Nobel winner

Japan pushes ASEAN to lift export restrictions

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Heat is Source of 'Pioneer Anomaly'

To Extinguish a Hot Flame, DARPA Studied Cold Plasma

Sailing with nerves of glass

Scientists from northern Germany produce the lightest material in the world

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Faroe Islands blast threat of EU sanctions in mackerel war

Viruses linked to algae that control coral health

Call for sanctions in mackerel war 'propaganda': Reykjavik

Global warming harms lakes

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Greenland glacier loses ice

The challenges facing the vulnerable Antarctic

5.5-mile-long landslide spotted in Alaska

Antarctica faces major threats in the 21st century, says Texas A and M researcher

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Helping pigs to digest phosphorus

Glyphosate-resistant 'superweeds' may be less susceptible to diseases

Pioneering self-contained 'smart village' offers world model for rural poverty relief

A shortcut to sustainable fisheries

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Japan warily eyes typhoon

Typhoon dumps rain on flood-weary Japan

Flood-battered Japan warily eyes typhoon

Hurricane Fabio, in Pacific, 'likely' to weaken

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Sudan rebels claim Darfur helicopter shoot-down

Nigeria increases defense spending

Afro-Japanese fusion music puzzles traditionalists

Hundreds flee Nigerian villages ahead of army raid: official

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Endangered languages get a Google protection plan

Paisley Caves yield 13,000-year old Western Stemmed points, more human DNA

Pregnant new CEO for Yahoo! stirs US debate on working moms

New Au. sediba fossils discovered in rock




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement