Title
Energy and climate benefits of bioelectricity from low-input short rotation woody crops on agricultural land over a two-year rotation
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Barking ,
Subject
Physics
Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Applied energy. - Barking
Volume/pages
111(2013) , p. 862-870
ISSN
0306-2619
ISI
000325834900080
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) are a promising means to enhance the EU renewable energy sources while mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, there are concerns that the GHG mitigation potential of bioelectricity may be nullified due to GHG emissions from direct land use changes (dLUCs). In order to evaluate quantitatively the GHG mitigation potential of bioelectricity from SRWC we managed an operational SRWC plantation (18.4 ha) for bioelectricity production on a former agricultural land without supplemental irrigation or fertilization. We traced back to the primary energy level all farm labor, materials, and fossil fuel inputs to the bioelectricity production. We also sampled soil carbon and monitored fluxes of GHGs between the SRWC plantation and the atmosphere. We found that bioelectricity from SRWCs was energy efficient and yielded 200227% more energy than required to produce it over a two-year rotation. The associated land requirement was 0.9 View the MathML sourcem2kWhe-1 for the gasification and 1.1 View the MathML sourcem2kWhe-1 for the combustion technology. Converting agricultural land into the SRWC plantation released 2.8 ± 0.2 t CO2e ha−1, which represented ∼89% of the total GHG emissions (256272 g CO2e View the MathML sourcekWhe-1) of bioelectricity production. Despite its high share of the total GHG emissions, dLUC did not negate the GHG benefits of bioelectricity. Indeed, the GHG savings of bioelectricity relative to the EU non-renewable grid mix power ranged between 52% and 54%. SRWC on agricultural lands with low soil organic carbon stocks are encouraging prospects for sustainable production of renewable energy with significant climate benefits.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/240519/5c85988f.pdf
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