Evaluation of the Effect of Agricultural Management on Energy Yield and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction of Bioenergy Production Chains

Conijn, Sjaak; Corré, Wim; Langeveld, Hans; Davies, Jacques
May 2014
Natural Resources (2158-706X);May2014, Vol. 5 Issue 7, p322
Academic Journal
The role of energy crops in reducing fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emission is much debated. To improve decision making on the use of crops for producing bioenergy, a tool (Energy Crop Simulation Model or E-CROP) has been developed to calculate 1) sustainable crop dry matter yield levels as function of agricultural inputs, and 2) gross and net energy yield and greenhouse gas emission reduction, covering the entire bioenergy production chain from sowing to distribution of bioenergy. E-CROP can be applied to a wide range of crops, soils, climatic conditions, management choices, and conversion technologies. This paper describes E-CROP and focuses on its application on four arable crops, as cultivated on two contrasting sites in the Netherlands (potato and sugar beet for bioethanol, winter oilseed rape for biodiesel and silage maize for bioelectricity) and on the effect of crop management (viz. irrigation and nitrogen fertilisation). In all situations, gross energy output exceeded total energy input. Calculated for an average situation, net energy yield ranged from 45 to 140 GJ·ha-1. Lowering irrigation and/or fertilisation input levels generally resulted in a reduction of net energy yields. The net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the average situation ranged from 0.60 to 6.5 t CO2-eq·ha-1. In general, N2O emission from nitrogen fertiliser caused large variations in the net reduction of greenhouse gas emission, which even became negative in some situations. Lowering nitrogen fertilisation to levels that are suboptimal for net energy yields enhanced the net reduction in greenhouse gas emission, implicating that both goals cannot be optimised simultaneously. Agricultural knowledge is important for optimising the outputs of bioenergy production chains.


Related Articles

  • The significance of nitrous oxide emission from biofuel crops on arable land: a Swedish perspective. Klemedtsson, Â. Kasimir; Smith, K. A. // Biogeosciences Discussions;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p6743 

    The current regulations governing biofuel production in the European Union require that they have to mitigate climate change, by producing >35% less greenhouse gases (GHG) than fossil fuels. There is a risk that this may not be achievable, since land use for crop production inevitably emits the...

  • FIBRE CROPS FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION AND ENERGY SAVING. Schäfer, Winfried // Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on Renewa;2012, p7 

    The photosynthesis process generates beside carbon hydrates also complex chemical compounds. The artificial synthesis of such compounds is often impossible or may require high energy input compared with their heating value. In other words, the entropy of energy crops is low compared with that of...

  • Agronomic and physiological performances of different species of Miscanthus, a major energy crop. A review. Zub, H.W.; Brancourt-Hulmel, M. // Agronomy for Sustainable Development (EDP Sciences);Apr2010, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p201 

    The European Union recommends the use of lignocellulosic biomass to produce biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Miscanthus × giganteus, aC4 perennial and rhizomatous plant, has been identified as a good candidate for biomass production because of its high potential yield,...

  • Greenhouse Gas Potentials of Shrub Willow Biomass Crops Based on Below- and Aboveground Biomass Inventory Along a 19-Year Chronosequence. Pacaldo, Renato; Volk, Timothy; Briggs, Russell // BioEnergy Research;Mar2013, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p252 

    Shrub willow biomass crops (SWBC) have been developed as a biomass feedstock for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts in the northeastern and midwestern USA as well as in Europe. A previous life cycle analysis in North America showed that the SWBC production system is a low-carbon fuel source....

  • Monitoring Greenhouse Gases From Biofuel Crops.  // International Environmental Technology;Nov/Dec2014, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p3 

    The article focuses on the research of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biomass production through FTIR analyser.

  • Worldwatch Report: Mitigating Climate Change through Food and Land Use.  // Sustainability: The Journal of Record;Oct2009, Vol. 2 Issue 5, p312 

    The article focuses on the report made by the Worldwatch Institute entitled "Mitigating Climate Change through Food and Land Use." The report outlines the five major strategies for sequestering and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also emphasizes the role of agriculture and other land uses...

  • Electric drive vehicles, what you need to know.  // Asian Pacific Post;10/10/2013, p19 

    The article reports on the prominence of battery-powered vehicles as automakers have to respond to stringent greenhouse gas regulations and the attractiveness of electric vehicles for the consumers who wish to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their fossil fuel consumption.

  • A life cycle inventory analysis of wood pellets for greenhouse heating: a case study at Macdonald campus of McGill University. Tingting Wu; Mukhopadhyay, Kakali; Thomassin, Paul J. // AIMS Energy;2016, Vol. 4 Issue 5, p697 

    Wood pellets are one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuel in Canada. Using wood pellets for heating allows saving on heating source expenses as compared to fossil fuels. Moreover, direct carbon emissions from wood pellets are regarded as carbon neutral since regrowth of vegetation...

  • Sustainable Intensification a Recipe for Future Food Production.  // Food Logistics;Aug2013, Issue 149, p8 

    The article offers information on a study published in the journal "Environmental Research Letters" that highlights the role played by improving crop yields using sustainable methods in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 12 percent per calorie produced.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics