Bangor University says miscanthus the way to go while other feedstocks are bad

March 5, 2015 |

In the UK, in a paper just released in the leading bioenergy journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy, researchers from Bangor University and the Thünen Institute in Germany conclude that crop-biogas and liquid biofuels are at best inefficient options for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, per hectare of land used and per £ public subsidy required. At worst these options could actually lead to higher global GHG emissions owing to indirect land use change caused by displacement of food production. In comparison, waste-biogas and Miscanthus (woody grass) heating pellets achieve at least ten times more GHG mitigation per ton of dry matter biomass and per hectare of land used, respectively, leading to cost-effective GHG mitigation.

Bio-electricity feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) are encouraging the use of crops to produce biogas in large scale anaerobic digestion plants, whilst mandatory biofuel blend targets are driving the production of liquid biofuels from food crops. There is concern that these policy measures do not target the most sustainable bioenergy options to reduce dependence on polluting fossil fuels, and to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to climate change.

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Category: Fuels

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