Measurement and Analysis of bioenergy greenhouse gases: Integrating GHGs into LCAs and the UK Bioenergy Value Chain Modelling Environment
MAGLUE is a collaborative project funded through the SUPERGEN bioenergy hub, EPSRC, and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme to research the effects of bioenergy crop growth and their impacts on GHG emissions. The project kicked-off in March 2015.
The UK is committed to an 80 % reduction of CO2 emissions relative to 1990 emissions levels by 2050 (1) and such dedicated second-generation bioenergy crops will contribute to the UK’s renewable energy generation (2) with a resulting change in land-use (3-5). Our previous projects, Carbo-BioCrop and ETI-ELUM, provided information to quantify how the land-use change to SRC or Miscanthus would influence soil carbon and GHG emissions. This provided key data to under-pin the production of ‘carbon opportunity maps’ for the UK and to identify the GHG balance when land identified as optimal for conversion is converted to SRC or Miscanthus. There remains knowledge gaps on the GHG emissions related to land-use change and the MAGLUE project aims to fill these remaining knowledge gaps. From the measurement of GHGs in our established field sites, analysis of our sites and data from non-UK sites and integration of data into modelling systems, we hope to integrate all information to help inform policy making procedures.
Gail Taylor is the lead investigator of the Maglue project and as such is involved in all work packages but Taylorlab are key researchers on work packages 1 and 3. Work package 1 will focus on GHG ‘hotspots’ in the bioenergy crop life-cycle, previously un-qualified and contributing significant uncertainty to the GHG balance of bioenergy systems. The primary hotspots that we have identified are land-use conversions, reversion, and large temporal variability in GHG emissions following management interventions.
Work package 3 aims to gain a better quantification of GHG balance and soil carbon impacts for several overseas feedstock types of relevance to the UK. Working with established working relationships with a wide range of bioenergy specialists across the world, we are measuring GHG balance and soil carbon in a wide range of bioenergy feedstocks. We will model GHG emission and soils carbon for the following areas, as datasets become available: 1) North American forest, 2) South American sugar cane, 3) Eastern European SRC and Miscanthus and 4) South east Asian oil palm.
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