Evaluating alternative low carbon fuel technologies using a stakeholder participation-based q-rung orthopair linguistic multi-criteria framework

Zaoli Yang, Salman Ahmad, Andrea Bernardi, Wen long Shang, Jin Xuan, Bing Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


It is widely believed that alternative low carbon fuels (ALCF) can be instrumental in achieving the transportation sector's decarbonization goal. Unlike conventional fossil-based fuels, ALCF can be produced through a combination of different chemical processes and feedstocks. The inherent complexity of the problem justifies the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach to support decision-making in the presence of multiple criteria and data uncertainty. In this paper, we propose a novel stakeholder participation-based MCDM framework integrating experts' perspectives on ALCF production pathways using the analytics hierarchy process (AHP) and the q-rung orthopair linguistic partition Bonferroni mean (q-ROLPBM) operator. The key merit of our approach lies in treating criteria of different dimensions as heterogeneous indicators while considering the mutual influence between criteria within the same dimension. The proposed framework is applied to evaluate four ALCF production pathways against 13 criteria categorised under economic, environmental, technical, and social dimensions for the case of the United Kingdom (UK). Our analysis revealed the environmental and the economic dimensions to be the most important, followed by the social and technical evaluation dimensions. The e-fuel followed by the e-biofuel are found to be the two top-ranked production pathways that utilise the electrochemical reduction process and its combination with anaerobic digestion. These findings, along with our recommendations, provide decision-makers with guidelines on ALCF production pathway selection and formulate effective policies for investment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120492
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date17 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • Alternative low carbon fuels (ALCF)
  • Analytics hierarchy process (AHP)
  • e-fuels
  • MCDM
  • q-rung orthopair linguistic partition Bonferroni mean operator
  • UK transportation sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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