Sustainable biofuels information

Biofuels vary in the way they are produced with differing impacts on climate change, the environment and people. To provide New Zealanders with confidence that they are using sustainable biofuels, EECA have established a framework which allows biodiesel producers and retailers to report on the environmental credentials of their products.

 Biofuels

Biofuel sellerBlend/FuelBiofuel feedstock Feedstock originGreenhouse gas emissions compared to petrol / diesel
Anchor Ethanol Ltd  100% bioethanol  Whey New Zealand 20% reduction on an energy equivalent basis
Green Fuels NZ 100% biodiesel (Biogold™NZ100) Used cooking oil
New Zealand  Greater than 80% reduction
Green Fuels NZ  5% biodiesel blend (Biogold™NZ5)  Used cooking oil 
New Zealand 4% reduction 
Gull New Zealand Up to 5% biodiesel (Gull Diesel Max)  Used cooking oil  New Zealand  4% reduction 
Gull New Zealand  up to 10% bioethanol (Gull Force 10) Whey
New Zealand 
2% reduction 
Gull New Zealand 85% bioethanol (E85) (Gull Force Pro)  Whey
New Zealand
18% reduction

Calculations

The information in the table is calculated by comparing the emissions from the biofuel, with the emissions of mineral diesel or petrol. The lifecycle emissions for the biofuel is calculated using greenhouse emissions factors that have been derived for EECA plus from data provided to EECA by biofuel producers and retailers. These have been independently checked. The biofuel emissions value is compared against that for the use of mineral diesel or petrol.

Carbon dioxide from the combustion of the biofuel is not counted in this calculation. This is because this combustion-derived carbon dioxide is effectively cancelled out by the carbon dioxide that was recently absorbed from the atmosphere by the base feedstock of the biofuel, for example by the plants from which the oils are derived in the case of biodiesel. Greenhouse gases emitted during farming, manufacture and transportation of the biofuel are counted.

The greenhouse gas emissions factors for biodiesel and bioethanol are based on the following URS reports.

URS report - Life cycle greenhouse gas emission model for New Zealand biodiesels - EECA website

Peer review of URS report on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions model for New Zealand biodiesel - EECA website

URS report - Greenhouse gas life cycle analysis of ethanol from whey - EECA website

Peer review of URS report on greenhouse gas life cycle analysis of ethanol from whey - EECA website

Fuel company statements

Anchor Ethanol Ltd

Anchor Ethanol sustainably produces bioethanol from a yeast fermentation of lactose contained in acid casein serum or permeate, which are by-products of milk processing. The steam used in distillation is generated from biogas or is produced during generation of electricity. Acid whey permeates and serum have a high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) which makes them difficult to dispose of to land or to dispose of via biological wastewater treatment plants - most of the COD is converted to bioethanol during the fermentation process. The residues from the fermentation and distillation processes are used as a fertiliser on adjacent arable pasture where their valuable nutrient components, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are used to grow grass with reduced use of mineral fertilisers.

Fonterra website

Green Fuels NZ

Green Fuels NZ biodiesel is produced from used cooking oil, collected in New Zealand,graded for optimum use, and canola oil (oilseed rape) from rapeseed grown in New Zealand.

Green Fuels website  

Gull New Zealand

Gull uses whey-derived bioethanol supplied by Anchor Ethanol.  Anchor Ethanol developed their process as a way to better manage the otherwise waste whey from dairy processing.

Gull website