Comparative analysis of environmental impact of S2P (Sunshine to Petrol) system for transportation fuel production

Jiyong Kim, James E. Miller, Christos T. Maravelias, Ellen B. Stechel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A previous study on Sunshine to Petrol (S2P), a technology framework to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels from CO2 and water using a concentrated solar energy source, focused on process development as well as economic evaluation. The study herein presents results from a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to a comparative analysis of the environmental impacts of S2P-derived and petroleum-derived gasoline. Results reveal that S2P gasoline shows lower impact scores than the conventional gasoline for all evaluated impact categories. Based on the LCA results, we then analyze the environmental benefits including greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and external cost savings. We find that if S2P gasoline could be successfully introduced to satisfy the gasoline demand of a sample city, Victorville in east California, 3.6Mt CO2-eq of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (77% of the total regional emissions) would be mitigated based on the current fleet of vehicles. The lighter impact also corresponds to 4.2M$ annual cost savings from avoided environment damage. More generally, for each million vehicles running on S2P gasoline there would be nearly $30M in savings and 335M gallons of gasoline displaced, which in turn results in nearly 25.8Mt of CO2-eq avoided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1098
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


  • Life cycle assessment
  • Social cost
  • Solar energy
  • Solar fuels


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