Biomass

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Wood pellets Wood pellets-small huddle PNrdeg0108.jpg
Wood pellets

Biomass is plant or animal material used for energy production, heat production, or in various industrial processes as raw material for a range of products. [1] It can be purposely grown energy crops (e.g. miscanthus, switchgrass), wood or forest residues, waste from food crops (wheat straw, bagasse), horticulture (yard waste), food processing (corn cobs), animal farming (manure, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus), or human waste from sewage plants. [2]

<i>Miscanthus giganteus</i> species of plant

Miscanthus giganteus is a sterile hybrid of Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus. It can grow to heights of more than 4 metres (13 ft) in one growing season. Just like Pennisetum purpureum and Saccharum ravennae it is also called elephant grass.

<i>Panicum virgatum</i> species of plant

Panicum virgatum, commonly known as switchgrass, is a perennial warm season bunchgrass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55°N latitude in Canada southwards into the United States and Mexico. Switchgrass is one of the dominant species of the central North American tallgrass prairie and can be found in remnant prairies, in native grass pastures, and naturalized along roadsides. It is used primarily for soil conservation, forage production, game cover, as an ornamental grass, in phytoremediation projects, fiber, electricity, heat production, for biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and more recently as a biomass crop for ethanol and butanol.

Contents

Burning plant-derived biomass releases CO2, but it has still been classified as a renewable energy source in the EU and UN legal frameworks because photosynthesis cycles the CO2 back into new crops. In some cases, this recycling of CO2 from plants to atmosphere and back into plants can even be CO2 negative, as a relatively large portion of the CO2 is moved to the soil during each cycle.

Cofiring with biomass has increased in coal power plants, because it makes it possible to release less CO2 without the cost associated with building new infrastructure. Co-firing is not without issues however, often an upgrade of the biomass is beneficiary. Upgrading to higher grade fuels can be achieved by different methods, broadly classified as thermal, chemical, or biochemical (see below).

IUPAC definition
Biomass: Material produced by the growth of microorganisms, plants or animals. [3]

Biomass feedstocks

Biomass plant in Scotland. Steven's Croft Biomass Plant - geograph.org.uk - 800207.jpg
Biomass plant in Scotland.
Wood waste outside biomass power plant. Waste wood 1.JPG
Wood waste outside biomass power plant.
Bagasse is the remaining waste after sugar canes have been crushed to extract their juice. Iznaga-Bagasse.jpg
Bagasse is the remaining waste after sugar canes have been crushed to extract their juice.
Miscanthus x giganteus energy crop, Germany. Miscanthus Bestand.JPG
Miscanthus x giganteus energy crop, Germany.

Historically, humans have harnessed biomass-derived energy since the time when people began burning wood fuel. [4] Even in 2019, biomass is the only source of fuel for domestic use in many developing countries. All biomass is biologically-produced matter based in carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The estimated biomass production in the world is approximately 100 billion metric tons of carbon per year, about half in the ocean and half on land. [5]

Wood fuel

Wood fuel is a fuel, such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and sawdust. The particular form used depends upon factors such as source, quantity, quality and application. In many areas, wood is the most easily available form of fuel, requiring no tools in the case of picking up dead wood, or few tools, although as in any industry, specialized tools, such as skidders and hydraulic wood splitters, have been developed to mechanize production. Sawmill waste and construction industry by-products also include various forms of lumber tailings. The discovery of how to make fire for the purpose of burning wood is regarded as one of humanity's most important advances. The use of wood as a fuel source for heating is much older than civilization and is assumed to have been used by Neanderthals. Today, burning of wood is the largest use of energy derived from a solid fuel biomass. Wood fuel can be used for cooking and heating, and occasionally for fueling steam engines and steam turbines that generate electricity. Wood may be used indoors in a furnace, stove, or fireplace, or outdoors in furnace, campfire, or bonfire.

Wood and residues from wood, for instance spruce, birch, eucalyptus, willow, oil palm, remains the largest biomass energy source today. [4] It is used directly as a fuel or processed into pellet fuel or other forms of fuels. Biomass also includes plant or animal matter that can be converted into fuel, fibers or industrial chemicals. There are numerous types of plants, including corn, switchgrass, miscanthus, hemp, sorghum, sugarcane, and bamboo. [6] The main waste energy feedstocks are wood waste, agricultural waste, municipal solid waste, manufacturing waste, and landfill gas. Sewage sludge is another source of biomass. There is ongoing research involving algae or algae-derived biomass. [7] Other biomass feedstocks are enzymes or bacteria from various sources, grown in cell cultures or hydroponics. [8] [9]

Spruce genus of plants

A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal (taiga) regions of the Earth. Spruces are large trees, from about 20–60 m tall when mature, and have whorled branches and conical form. They can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needles (leaves), which are four-sided and attached singly to small persistent peg-like structures on the branches, and by their cones, which hang downwards after they are pollinated. The needles are shed when 4–10 years old, leaving the branches rough with the retained pegs. In other similar genera, the branches are fairly smooth.

Birch genus of plants

A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae, which also includes alders, hazels, and hornbeams. It is closely related to the beech-oak family Fagaceae. The genus Betula contains 30 to 60 known taxa of which 11 are on the IUCN 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. They are a typically rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in northern areas of temperate climates and in boreal climates.

<i>Eucalyptus</i> genus of plants

Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Along with other genera in the tribe Eucalypteae, they are commonly known as eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark that is either smooth, fibrous, hard or stringy, leaves with oil glands, and sepals and petals that are fused to form a "cap" or operculum over the stamens. The fruit is a woody capsule commonly referred to as a "gumnut".

Based on the source of biomass, biofuels are classified broadly into two major categories:

First-generation biofuels are derived from food sources, such as sugarcane and corn starch. Sugars present in this biomass are fermented to produce bioethanol, an alcohol fuel which serve as an additive to gasoline, or in a fuel cell to produce electricity. [10]

Second-generation biofuels, also known as advanced biofuels, are fuels that can be manufactured from various types of non-food biomass. Biomass in this context means plant materials and animal waste used especially as a source of fuel.

Sugarcane group of cultivated plants

Sugarcane, or sugar cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea, and used for sugar production. It has stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. The plant is two to six metres tall. All sugar cane species can interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum, and many forage crops.

Fuel cell Device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity

A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel and an oxidizing agent into electricity through a pair of redox reactions. Fuel cells are different from most batteries in requiring a continuous source of fuel and oxygen to sustain the chemical reaction, whereas in a battery the chemical energy usually comes from metals and their ions or oxides that are commonly already present in the battery, except in flow batteries. Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as fuel and oxygen are supplied.

Second-generation biofuels utilize non-food-based biomass sources such as perennial energy crops (low input crops), and agricultural/municipal waste. There is huge potential for second generation biofuels but the resources are currently under-utilized. [11]

Biomass conversion

Thermal conversions

Straw bales Stacks and stacks of bales - geograph.org.uk - 566481.jpg
Straw bales

Thermal conversion processes use heat as the dominant mechanism to upgrade biomass into a better and more practical fuel. The basic alternatives are torrefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification, these are separated principally by the extent to which the chemical reactions involved are allowed to proceed (mainly controlled by the availability of oxygen and conversion temperature). [12]

There are other less common, more experimental or proprietary thermal processes that may offer benefits, such as hydrothermal upgrading. [13] Some have been developed for use on high moisture content biomass, including aqueous slurries, and allow them to be converted into more convenient forms.

Chemical conversion

A range of chemical processes may be used to convert biomass into other forms, such as to produce a fuel that is more practical to store, transport and use, or to exploit some property of the process itself. Many of these processes are based in large part on similar coal-based processes, such as the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. [14] Biomass can be converted into multiple commodity chemicals. [15]

Biochemical conversion

As biomass is a natural material, many highly efficient biochemical processes have developed in nature to break down the molecules of which biomass is composed, and many of these biochemical conversion processes can be harnessed. In most cases, microorganisms are used to perform the conversion process: anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and composting. [16]

Glycoside hydrolases are the enzymes involved in the degradation of the major fraction of biomass, such as polysaccharides present in starch and lignocellulose. Thermostable variants are gaining increasing roles as catalysts in biorefining applications, since recalcitrant biomass often needs thermal treatment for more efficient degradation. [17]

Electrochemical conversion

Biomass can be directly converted to electrical energy via electrochemical (electrocatalytic) oxidation of the material. This can be performed directly in a direct carbon fuel cell, [18] direct liquid fuel cells such as direct ethanol fuel cell, a direct methanol fuel cell, a direct formic acid fuel cell, a L-ascorbic Acid Fuel Cell (vitamin C fuel cell), [19] and a microbial fuel cell. [20] The fuel can also be consumed indirectly via a fuel cell system containing a reformer which converts the biomass into a mixture of CO and H2 before it is consumed in the fuel cell. [21]

Environmental impact

On combustion, the carbon from biomass is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). After a period of time ranging from a few months to decades, the CO2 produced from combustion is absorbed from the atmosphere by plants or trees. However, the carbon storage capacity of forests may be reduced overall if destructive forestry techniques are employed. [22] [23] [24] [25]

All biomass crops sequester carbon. For example, soil organic carbon has been observed to be greater below switchgrass crops than under cultivated cropland, especially at depths below 30 cm (12 in). [26] For Miscanthus x giganteus, McCalmont et al. found accumulation rates ranging from 0.42 to 3.8 tonnes per hectare per year, [27] with a mean accumulation rate of 1.84 tonne (0.74 tonnes per acre per year), [28] or 20% of total harvested carbon per year. [29] The grass sequesters carbon in its continually increasing root biomass, toghether with carbon input from fallen leaves. Typically, perennial crops sequester more carbon than annual crops because the root buildup is allowed to continue undisturbed over many years. Also, perennial crops avoid the yearly tillage procedures (plowing, digging) associated with growing annual crops. Tilling induces soil aeration, which accelerates the soil carbon decomposition rate, by stimulating soil microbe populations. Also, tilling makes it easier for the oxygen (O) atoms in the atmosphere to attach to carbon (C) atoms in the soil, producing CO2). [30]

GHG / CO2 / carbon negativity for Miscanthus x giganteus production pathways. GHG (CO2 and N2O) life cycle emissions for Miscanthus x giganteus and SRC Poplar.jpg
GHG / CO2 / carbon negativity for Miscanthus x giganteus production pathways.
Relationship between above-ground yield (diagonal lines), soil organic carbon (X axis), and soil's potential for successful/unsuccessful carbon sequestration (Y axis). Basically, the higher the yield, the more land is usable as a GHG mitigation tool (including relatively carbon rich land.) Relationship between existing amount of soil organic carbon and soil's potential for carbon sequestration (for Miscanthus x giganteus).jpg
Relationship between above-ground yield (diagonal lines), soil organic carbon (X axis), and soil's potential for successful/unsuccessful carbon sequestration (Y axis). Basically, the higher the yield, the more land is usable as a GHG mitigation tool (including relatively carbon rich land.)

The simple proposal that biomass is carbon-neutral put forward in the early 1990s has been superseded by the more nuanced proposal that for a particular bioenergy project to be carbon neutral, the total carbon sequestered by a bioenergy crop's root system must compensate for all the emissions from the related, aboveground bioenergy project. This includes any emissions caused by direct or indirect land use change. Many first generation bioenergy projects are not carbon neutral given these demands. Some have even higher total GHG emissions than some fossil based alternatives. [31] [32] [33] Transport fuels might be worse than solid fuels in this regard. [34]

Some are carbon neutral or even negative, though, especially perennial crops. The amount of carbon sequestrated and the amount of GHG (greenhouse gases) emitted will determine if the total GHG life cycle cost of a bio-energy project is positive, neutral or negative. Whitaker et al. estimates that for Miscanthus x giganteus, GHG neutrality and even negativity is within reach. A carbon negative life cycle is possible if the total below-ground carbon accumulation more than compensates for the above-ground total life-cycle GHG emissions.

The graphic on the right displays two CO2 negative Miscanthus x giganteus production pathways, represented in gram CO2-equivalents per megajoule. The yellow diamonds represent mean values. [35] Successful sequestration is dependent on planting sites, as the best soils for sequestration are those that are currently low in carbon. The varied results displayed in the graph highlights this fact. [36] For the UK, successful sequestration is expected for arable land over most of England and Wales, with unsuccessful sequestration expected in parts of Scotland, due to already carbon rich soils (existing woodland) plus lower yields. Soils already rich in carbon includes peatland and mature forest. Grassland can also be carbon rich, however Milner et al. argues that the most successful carbon sequestration in the UK takes place below improved grasslands. [37] The bottom graphic displays the estimated yield necessary to compensate for the disturbance caused by planting plus lifecycle GHG-emissions for the related above-ground operation.

Forest-based biomass projects has received criticism for ineffective GHG mitigation from a number of environmental organizations, including Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Environmental groups also argue that it might take decades for the carbon released by burning biomass to be recaptured by new trees. Biomass burning produces air pollution in the form of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates and other pollutants. [38] [39] [40] In 2009 a Swedish study of the giant brown haze that periodically covers large areas in South Asia determined that two thirds of it had been principally produced by residential cooking and agricultural burning, and one third by fossil-fuel burning. [41] The use of wood biomass as an industrial fuel has been shown to produce fewer particulates and other pollutants than the burning seen in wildfires or open field fires. [42]

See also

Related Research Articles

Bioenergy Europe

Bioenergy Europe is a European trade association open to national biomass associations and bioenergy companies active in Europe. It was founded in 1990 under the leadership of french senator Michel Souplet with the aim to promote energy generation from biomass - in all its forms: biopower, bioheat or biofuels for transport. Bioenergy Europe is the umbrella organisation of the European Pellet Council (EPC), and the International Biomass Torrefaction Council (IBTC).

Biofuel type of biological fuel from which energy is derived

A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biological matter. If the source biomatter can regrow quickly, the resulting fuel is said to be a form of renewable energy.

Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol produced from cellulose rather than from the plant's seeds or fruit. It is a biofuel produced from grasses, wood, algae, or other plants. The fibrous parts of the plants are mostly inedible to animals, including humans, except for ruminants.

Bioenergy renewable energy

Bioenergy is renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. Biomass is any organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. As a fuel it may include wood, wood waste, straw, and other crop residues, manure, sugarcane, and many other by-products from a variety of agricultural processes. By 2010, there was 35 GW (47,000,000 hp) of globally installed bioenergy capacity for electricity generation, of which 7 GW (9,400,000 hp) was in the United States.

Biomass to liquid is a multi-step process of producing synthetic hydrocarbon fuels made from biomass via a thermochemical route. Such a fuel has been called grassoline.

Energy forestry is a form of forestry in which a fast-growing species of tree or woody shrub is grown specifically to provide biomass or biofuel for heating or power generation.

Energy crop

Energy crops are crops grown solely for energy. Commercial energy plantations are typically densely planted and high-yielding. The crops are processed into solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, which are later burned to generate power or heat.

Biochar Lightweight black residue, made of carbon and ashes, after pyrolysis of biomass

Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration, as it has the potential to help mitigate climate change. It results in processes related to pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS). Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils, increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Regarding the definition from the production part, biochar is defined by the International Biochar Initiative as "The solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment".

Short rotation coppice Short rotation coppice

Short rotation coppice (SRC) is coppice grown as an energy crop. This woody solid biomass can be used in applications such as district heating, electric power generating stations, alone or in combination with other fuels. Currently, the leading countries in area planted for energy generation are Sweden and the UK.

Biofuelwatch is a non-governmental environmental organization based in the United Kingdom and the United States, which works to raise awareness of the negative impacts of industrial biofuels and bioenergy, on biodiversity, human rights, food sovereignty and climate change, human rights abuses, the impoverishment and dispossession of local populations, water and soil degradation, loss of food sovereignty and loss of food security. It opposes the expansion of industrial monocultures driven by demand for bioenergy, and instead advocates for food sovereignty, agroecological farming practices, ecosystem and biodiversity protection and human rights.

Sustainable biofuel is biofuel produced in a sustainable manner.

There are various social, economic, environmental and technical issues with biofuel production and use, which have been discussed in the popular media and scientific journals. These include: the effect of moderating oil prices, the "food vs fuel" debate, poverty reduction potential, carbon emissions levels, sustainable biofuel production, deforestation and soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, effect on water resources, the possible modifications necessary to run the engine on biofuel, as well as energy balance and efficiency. The International Resource Panel, which provides independent scientific assessments and expert advice on a variety of resource-related themes, assessed the issues relating to biofuel use in its first report Towards sustainable production and use of resources: Assessing Biofuels. In it, it outlined the wider and interrelated factors that need to be considered when deciding on the relative merits of pursuing one biofuel over another. It concluded that not all biofuels perform equally in terms of their effect on climate, energy security and ecosystems, and suggested that environmental and social effects need to be assessed throughout the entire life-cycle.

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a potential greenhouse gas mitigation technology which produces negative carbon dioxide emissions by combining bioenergy (energy from biomass) use with geologic carbon capture and storage. The concept of BECCS is drawn from the integration of trees and crops, which extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as they grow, the use of this biomass in processing industries or power plants, and the application of carbon capture and storage via CO2 injection into geological formations. There are other non-BECCS forms of carbon dioxide removal and storage that include technologies such as biochar, carbon dioxide air capture and biomass burial and enhanced weathering.

Indirect land use change impacts of biofuels

The indirect land use change impacts of biofuels, also known as ILUC, relates to the unintended consequence of releasing more carbon emissions due to land-use changes around the world induced by the expansion of croplands for ethanol or biodiesel production in response to the increased global demand for biofuels.

Biosequestration

Biosequestration is the capture and storage of the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by biological processes.

Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) is a proposed carbon sequestration technology that can mitigate climate change while improving soil fertility. It is discussed as a promising technology for greenhouse gas removal.

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  27. «[…] it seems likely that arable land converted to Miscanthus will sequester soil carbon; of the 14 comparisons, 11 showed overall increases in SOC over their total sample depths with suggested accumulation rates ranging from 0.42 to 3.8 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. Only three arable comparisons showed lower SOC stocks under Miscanthus, and these suggested insignificant losses between 0.1 and 0.26 Mg ha-1 yr-1.» McCalmont, J. P., Hastings, A. , McNamara, N. P., Richter, G. M., Robson, P. , Donnison, I. S. and Clifton‐Brown, J. (2017), Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK. GCB Bioenergy, 9, page 493. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12294 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  28. «The correlation between plantation age and SOC can be seen in Fig. 6, […] the trendline suggests a net accumulation rate of 1.84 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 with similar levels to grassland at equilibrium.» McCalmont, J. P., Hastings, A. , McNamara, N. P., Richter, G. M., Robson, P. , Donnison, I. S. and Clifton‐Brown, J. (2017), Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK. GCB Bioenergy, 9, page 496. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12294 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  29. Given the EU average yield of 18.8 tonnes dry matter per hectare per year (see Clifton-Brown, above), and 48% carbon content (see Kahle et al,, above).
  30. «Any soil disturbance, such as ploughing and cultivation, is likely to result in short-term respiration losses of soil organic carbon, decomposed by stimulated soil microbe populations (Cheng, 2009; Kuzyakov, 2010). Annual disturbance under arable cropping repeats this year after year resulting in reduced SOC levels. Perennial agricultural systems, such as grassland, have time to replace their infrequent disturbance losses which can result in higher steady-state soil carbon contents (Gelfand et al., 2011; Zenone et al., 2013).» McCalmont, J. P., Hastings, A. , McNamara, N. P., Richter, G. M., Robson, P. , Donnison, I. S. and Clifton‐Brown, J. (2017), Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK. GCB Bioenergy, 9, page 493. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12294 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  31. «The environmental costs and benefits of bioenergy have been the subject of significant debate, particularly for first‐generation biofuels produced from food (e.g. grain and oil seed). Studies have reported life‐cycle GHG savings ranging from an 86% reduction to a 93% increase in GHG emissions compared with fossil fuels (Searchinger et al., 2008; Davis et al., 2009; Liska et al., 2009; Whitaker et al., 2010). In addition, concerns have been raised that N2O emissions from biofuel feedstock cultivation could have been underestimated (Crutzen et al., 2008; Smith & Searchinger, 2012) and that expansion of feedstock cultivation on agricultural land might displace food production onto land with high carbon stocks or high conservation value (i.e. iLUC) creating a carbon debt which could take decades to repay (Fargione et al., 2008). Other studies have shown that direct nitrogen‐related emissions from annual crop feedstocks can be mitigated through optimized management practices (Davis et al., 2013) or that payback times are less significant than proposed (Mello et al., 2014). However, there are still significant concerns over the impacts of iLUC, despite policy developments aimed at reducing the risk of iLUC occurring (Ahlgren & Di Lucia, 2014; Del Grosso et al., 2014).» Whitaker, J. , Field, J. L., Bernacchi, C. J., Cerri, C. E., Ceulemans, R. , Davies, C. A., DeLucia, E. H., Donnison, I. S., McCalmont, J. P., Paustian, K. , Rowe, R. L., Smith, P. , Thornley, P. and McNamara, N. P. (2018), Consensus, uncertainties and challenges for perennial bioenergy crops and land use. GCB Bioenergy, 10: 150-164. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12488 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  32. «The impact of growing bioenergy and biofuel feedstock crops has been of particular concern, with some suggesting the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of food crops used for ethanol and biodiesel may be no better or worse than fossil fuels (Fargione et al., 2008; Searchinger et al., 2008). This is controversial, as the allocation of GHG emissions to the management and the use of coproducts can have a large effect on the total carbon footprint of resulting bioenergy products (Whitaker et al., 2010; Davis et al., 2013). The potential consequences of land use change (LUC) to bioenergy on GHG balance through food crop displacement or ‘indirect’ land use change (iLUC) are also an important consideration (Searchinger et al., 2008).» Milner, S. , Holland, R. A., Lovett, A. , Sunnenberg, G. , Hastings, A. , Smith, P. , Wang, S. and Taylor, G. (2016), Potential impacts on ecosystem services of land use transitions to second‐generation bioenergy crops in GB. GCB Bioenergy, 8: 317-333. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12263 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  33. «While the initial premise regarding bioenergy was that carbon recently captured from the atmosphere into plants would deliver an immediate reduction in GHG emission from fossil fuel use, the reality proved less straightforward. Studies suggested that GHG emission from energy crop production and land-use change might outweigh any CO2 mitigation (Searchinger et al., 2008; Lange, 2011). Nitrous oxide (N2O) production, with its powerful global warming potential (GWP), could be a significant factor in offsetting CO2 gains (Crutzen et al., 2008) as well as possible acidification and eutrophication of the surrounding environment (Kim & Dale, 2005). However, not all biomass feedstocks are equal, and most studies critical of bioenergy production are concerned with biofuels produced from annual food crops at high fertilizer cost, sometimes using land cleared from natural ecosystems or in direct competition with food production (Naik et al., 2010). Dedicated perennial energy crops, produced on existing, lower grade, agricultural land, offer a sustainable alternative with significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon sequestration when produced with appropriate management (Crutzen et al., 2008; Hastings et al., 2008, 2012; Cherubini et al., 2009; Don- dini et al., 2009a; Don et al., 2012; Zatta et al., 2014; Rich- ter et al., 2015).» McCalmont, J. P., Hastings, A. , McNamara, N. P., Richter, G. M., Robson, P. , Donnison, I. S. and Clifton‐Brown, J. (2017), Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK. GCB Bioenergy, 9, page 490. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12294 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  34. «Significant reductions in GHG emissions have been demonstrated in many LCA studies across a range of bioenergy technologies and scales (Thornley et al., 2009, 2015). The most significant reductions have been noted for heat and power cases. However, some other studies (particularly on transport fuels) have indicated the opposite, that is that bioenergy systems can increase GHG emissions (Smith & Searchinger, 2012) or fail to achieve increasingly stringent GHG savings thresholds. A number of factors drive this variability in calculated savings, but we know that where significant reductions are not achieved or wide variability is reported there is often associated data uncertainty or variations in the LCA methodology applied (Rowe et al., 2011). For example, data uncertainty in soil carbon stock change following LUC has been shown to significantly influence the GHG intensity of biofuel production pathways (Fig. 3), whilst the shorter term radiative forcing impact of black carbon particles from the combustion of biomass and biofuels also represents significant data uncertainty (Bond et al., 2013).» Whitaker, J. , Field, J. L., Bernacchi, C. J., Cerri, C. E., Ceulemans, R. , Davies, C. A., DeLucia, E. H., Donnison, I. S., McCalmont, J. P., Paustian, K. , Rowe, R. L., Smith, P. , Thornley, P. and McNamara, N. P. (2018), Consensus, uncertainties and challenges for perennial bioenergy crops and land use. GCB Bioenergy, 10: 150-164. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12488 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  35. «A life‐cycle perspective of the relative contributions and variability of soil carbon stock change and nitrogen‐related emissions to the net GHG intensity (g CO2‐eq MJ−1) [gram CO2-equivalents per megajoule] of biofuel production via select production pathways (feedstock/prior land‐use/fertilizer/conversion type). Positive and negative contributions to life‐cycle GHG emissions are plotted sequentially and summed as the net GHG intensity for each biofuel scenario, relative to the GHG intensity of conventional gasoline (brown line) and the 50% and 60% GHG savings thresholds (US Renewable Fuel Standard and Council Directive 2015/1513); orange and red lines, respectively. Default life‐cycle GHG source estimates are taken from Wang et al. (2012) and Dunn et al. (2013); direct N2O emissions from Fig. 1; and soil carbon stock change (0–100 cm depth) from Qin et al. (2016). See Appendix S1 for detailed methods.» Whitaker, J. , Field, J. L., Bernacchi, C. J., Cerri, C. E., Ceulemans, R. , Davies, C. A., DeLucia, E. H., Donnison, I. S., McCalmont, J. P., Paustian, K. , Rowe, R. L., Smith, P. , Thornley, P. and McNamara, N. P. (2018), Consensus, uncertainties and challenges for perennial bioenergy crops and land use. GCB Bioenergy, 10: 150-164. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12488 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  36. «Whilst these values represent the extremes, they demonstrate that site selection for bioenergy crop cultivation can make the difference between large GHG savings or losses, shifting life‐cycle GHG [green house gas] emissions above or below mandated thresholds. Reducing uncertainties in ∆C [carbon increase or decrease] following LUC [land use change] is therefore more important than refining N2O [nitrous oxide] emission estimates (Berhongaray et al., 2017). Knowledge on initial soil carbon stocks could improve GHG savings achieved through targeted deployment of perennial bioenergy crops on low carbon soils (see section 2). […] The assumption that annual cropland provides greater potential for soil carbon sequestration than grassland appears to be over‐simplistic, but there is an opportunity to improve predictions of soil carbon sequestration potential using information on the initial soil carbon stock as a stronger predictor of ∆C [change in carbon amount] than prior land use.» Whitaker, J. , Field, J. L., Bernacchi, C. J., Cerri, C. E., Ceulemans, R. , Davies, C. A., DeLucia, E. H., Donnison, I. S., McCalmont, J. P., Paustian, K. , Rowe, R. L., Smith, P. , Thornley, P. and McNamara, N. P. (2018), Consensus, uncertainties and challenges for perennial bioenergy crops and land use. GCB Bioenergy, 10: 150-164. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12488 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
  37. «Fig. 3 confirmed either no change or a gain of SOC [soil organic carbon] (positive) through planting Miscanthus on arable land across England and Wales and only a loss of SOC (negative) in parts of Scotland. The total annual SOC change across GB in the transition from arable to Miscanthus if all nonconstrained land was planted with would be 3.3 Tg C yr−1 [3.3 million tonnes carbon per year]. The mean changes for SOC for the different land uses were all positive when histosols were excluded, with improved grasslands yielding the highest Mg C ha−1 yr−1 [tonnes carbon per hectare per year] at 1.49, followed by arable lands at 1.28 and forest at 1. Separating this SOC change by original land use (Fig. 4) reveals that there are large regions of improved grasslands which, if planted with bioenergy crops, are predicted to result in an increase in SOC. A similar result was found when considering the transition from arable land; however for central eastern England, there was a predicted neutral effect on SOC. Scotland, however, is predicted to have a decrease for all land uses, particularly for woodland due mainly to higher SOC and lower Miscanthus yields and hence less input.» Milner, S. , Holland, R. A., Lovett, A. , Sunnenberg, G. , Hastings, A. , Smith, P. , Wang, S. and Taylor, G. (2016), Potential impacts on ecosystem services of land use transitions to second‐generation bioenergy crops in GB. GCB Bioenergy, 8: 317-333. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12263 CC-BY-icon-80x15.png  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license. (The CC BY 4.0 licence means that everyone have the right to reuse the text that is quoted here, or other parts of the original article itself, if they credit the authors. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license)
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