Greenhouse gas emissions and savings of current residual biomass applications (Source: Swinda et. al 2019)
Residual biomass from vegetation management can be used for a variety of applications. We calculated and compared the greenhouse gas impacts of current applications. Two types of residual biomass were analysed: grassy and woody biomass. We considered 13 biomass uses, including bioenergy, biomaterials, grazing and biomass left behind at the maintenance site.
Findings and implications to practice
Our results help clarify which biomass uses are beneficial to counteract climate change. We found that some applications result in great greenhouse gas emissions and should be avoided from a climate change perspective. All bioenergy applications save greenhouse gas emissions. Grazing and leaving biomass behind causes greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions of biomaterial applications differ strongly from the greatest benefit (compost used to replace peat in the production of growth media) to the second greatest burden (compost applied on agricultural fields). This new data can help water managers decide what biomass applications to choose.
Residual Biomass: A Silver Bullet to Ensure a Sustainable Bioeconomy?
Using residual biomass, such as grass and wood chips, as a resource instead of treating it as waste is not automatically more sustainable.
20/12/2018 by Swinda Pfau et al.
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Last modified: 24/01/2019