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Biofuels for transport in the 21th century : why fire safety is a real issue

Abstract : Years after pioneering development of sugar cane ethanol in Brazil (started in the mid 70's), with the new century venue we are assisting of a booming industry regarding biofuels for transportation in general, at international level. However, fire safety has not appeared so far as a potential bottleneck for future sustainable development, nor has it been anticipated that fire safety misleading judgements or lack of safety management might act as a non technical barrier for sustainable development. This paper is a first contribution to discuss these issues within the fire safety community aiming at identifying research needs and bring a first overview based on life cycle and whole value chain perspectives of biofuels for transport. This contribution is a first output from a National research program named BIOSAFUEL piloted by INERIS, comprising a first analysis of fire risk typology presented by socalled in Europe 1st generation technologies of biofuels. When the first statement is to consider that fire safety aspects are not likely to be that much critical on a technical point of view, the analysis is showing that safety related issues -and more especially fire safety related issues- with biofuels are not correctly summarized by simply saying that fuel ethanol is a flammable product whereas biodiesel is not, from a regulatory point of view. A more in-depth analysis is needed, that will, in addition, have to consider significant changes in biofuel technologies in the future.
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Guy Marlair, Patricia Rotureau, Hervé Breulet, Sylvain Brohez. Biofuels for transport in the 21th century : why fire safety is a real issue. 11. International Conference fire and material, Jan 2007, San Francisco, United States. pp.NC. ⟨ineris-00976177⟩

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