Richard Emmanuel Cabrera Jiménez

DRIVING TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY: DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS TO GUIDE THE ENERGY TRANSITION IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR

This thesis endeavors to address emerging challenges within the transportation sector and facilitate a sustainable energy transition by providing guidance for effective sustainability policies. Despite the substantial challenges associated with the use of biofuels, the thesis recognizes their significant potential for environmental improvement compared to current fuels. In response to this recognition, the study emphasizes the importance of informed decision making among various stakeholders, including research centers, companies, and policymakers. To navigate the intricate landscape surrounding biofuels, the thesis addresses three specific challenges related to biofuel adoption, offering practical examples that demonstrate the effective utilization of specific tools for informed decision-making.
Firstly, it addresses the selection of optimal biofuel alternatives for light-duty vehicles. Multicriteria Decision-Making (MCDM) tools, particularly Data Envelopment Analysis, are employed, guided by a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach.
The second area of focus delves into the optimal design of a biofuel production process, with a specific focus on the emerging technology of microalgae-based biofuels for heavy transport. In this stage, simulation tools are employed to understand factors such as raw material use, energy consumption, and emissions. released This analysis is further enriched by incorporating an Absolute Environmental Sustainability Assessment (AESA) method, utilizing the Planetary Boundary (PB) framework.
The third area involves formulating environmental policies to maximize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within the transport sector, accounting for anticipated technological advancements. The thesis centers on road freight transport, examining the viability of biofuel-powered trucks and electric trucks as alternatives to diesel trucks. Through ex-anteLCA techniques, the study provides a comprehensive understanding of the global impact of these transportation alternatives, contributing valuable insights to the ongoing discourse on sustainable transport.

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