Carbon intensity (CI), sometimes used interchangeably with emission intensity, refers to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of product such as fuels, electrical power, or materials. The CI is calculated on a life cycle bases such that it includes the emissions associated with the production of materials and fuels used in the process. (Actually, the terms “carbon intensity” and “emission intensity” are technically not the same as the former excludes pollutants other than carbon – such as particulate emissions. Another commonly used term is “carbon intensity per kilowatt-hour (CIPK)”. This refers to the emissions from different sources of electrical power.
The CI is calculated on a life cycle bases such that it includes the emissions associated with the production of materials and fuels used in the process. CI values may also be used to compare materials such as chemicals, foods, and consumer goods. Typically, the CI of a bioproduct is compared to petroleum base or conventional products. Examples of carbon intensity would include things like the grams of carbon dioxide released per megajoule of energy produced or the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions produced to gross domestic product. The CI expressed in grams CO2 equivalent per megajoule is the unit of measure used in the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). These emission intensities are used to derive estimates of air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions, based on things like how much fuel was used. These carbon intensities may also be used to compare things like the environmental impacts of different fuels or activities.
Every fuel has a CI and LCFS credits are generated based on the difference in CI for alternative fuel and the LCFS target, which varies by year. CI values are also used under the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard as well as the European Renewable Energy Directive. Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in the more common areas like of bio and renewable fuels, biomaterials, biomass and biomass power, biomaterials, biochemicals, and biotechnologies. But, they also have expertise in a wide variety of specialty services like carbon intensity, techno-economic analysis, due diligence, feasibility studies, budgeting, project management, technology assessment, insurance, due diligence, risk management, benchmarking, intellectual property, HAZOP, financial modeling, competitor analysis, and assistance with RIN and Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) matters. These firms should also be able to assist with other things like Aspen plus, logistics, bioreactor design, municipal solid waste remediation, syngas, and bio-based product development, carbon credits, climate change analysis, environmental permitting, equipment sales, experimental validations, grant writing, IP strategy, life cycle analysis (LCA), plant operations, plant sales and auctions, expert witness testimony, and risk analysis (FMEA).
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