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1. chinaXiv:201605.00534 [pdf]

An integrated assessment of the potential of agricultural and forestry residues for energy production in China

Ji Gao; Aiping Zhang; Shu Kee Lam; Xuesong Zhang; Allison M. Thomson; Erda Lin; Kejun Jiang; Leon E. Clarke; James A. Edmonds; Page G. Kyle; Sha Yu; Yuyu Zhou; Sheng Zhou
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant ecology, plant geography

Biomass has been widely recognized as an important energy source with high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing environmental pollution. In this study, we employ the Global Change Assessment Model to estimate the potential of agricultural and forestry residue biomass for energy production in China. Potential availability of residue biomass as an energy source was analyzed for the 21st century under different climate policy scenarios. Currently, the amount of total annual residue biomass, averaged over 2003–2007, is around 15 519 PJ in China, consisting of 10 818 PJ from agriculture residues (70%) and 4701 PJ forestry residues (30%). We estimate that 12 693 PJ of the total biomass is available for energy production, with 66% derived from agricultural residue and 34% from forestry residue. Most of the available residue is from south central China (3347 PJ), east China (2862 PJ) and south-west China (2229 PJ), which combined exceeds 66% of the total national biomass. Under the reference scenario without carbon tax, the potential availability of residue biomass for energy production is projected to be 3380 PJ by 2050 and 4108 PJ by 2095, respectively. When carbon tax is imposed, biomass availability increases substantially. For the CCS 450 ppm scenario, availability of biomass increases to 9002 PJ (2050) and 11 524 PJ (2095), respectively. For the 450 ppm scenario without CCS, 9183 (2050) and 11 150 PJ (2095) residue biomass, respectively, is projected to be available. Moreover, the implementation of CCS will have a little impact on the supply of residue biomass after 2035. Our results suggest that residue biomass has the potential to be an important component in China's sustainable energy production portfolio. As a low carbon emission energy source, climate change policies that involve carbon tariff and CCS technology promote the use of residue biomass for energy production in a low carbon-constrained world.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits2398Downloads719 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201605.00497 [pdf]

Cellulosic feedstock production on Conservation Reserve Program land: potential yields and environmental effects

Stephen D. LeDuc; Xuesong Zhang; Christopher M. Clark; R. César Izaurralde
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant ecology, plant geography

Producing biofuel feedstocks on current agricultural land raises questions of a ‘food-vs.-fuel’ trade-off. The use of current or former Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land offers an alternative; yet the volumes of ethanol that could be produced and the potential environmental impacts of such a policy are unclear. Here, we applied the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model to a US Department of Agriculture database of over 200?000 CRP polygons in Iowa, USA, as a case study. We simulated yields and environmental impacts of growing three cellulosic biofuel feedstocks on CRP land: (i) an Alamo-variety switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.); (ii) a generalized mixture of C4 and C3 grasses; (iii) and no-till corn (Zea mays L.) with residue removal. We simulated yields, soil erosion, and soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks and fluxes. We found that although no-till corn with residue removal produced approximately 2.6–4.4 times more ethanol per area compared to switchgrass and the grass mixture, it also led to 3.9–4.5 times more erosion, 4.4–5.2 times more cumulative N loss, and a 10% reduction in total soil carbon as opposed to a 6–11% increase. Switchgrass resulted in the best environmental outcomes even when expressed on a per liter ethanol basis. Our results suggest planting no-till corn with residue removal should only be done on low slope soils to minimize environmental concerns. Overall, this analysis provides additional information to policy makers on the potential outcome and effects of producing biofuel feedstocks on current or former conservation lands.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits890Downloads514 Comment 0

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