Title: Biomass for Transport, Heat and Electricity, Scientific Challenges
Citation: Management of Environmental Quality vol. 21 no. 4 p. 523-547
Publisher: Emerald
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC56029
ISSN: 1477-7835
URI: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1864345&show=abstract
DOI: 10.1108/14777831011049142
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to discuss some scientific challenges related to the production and use of biomass for transport, heat and electricity. Specific attention is paid to the environmental assessment of liquid biofuels for transport and to the discussion of causes of uncertainties in the assessment. Three main topics are taken as examples in order to illustrate the complexity of environmental assessment of biofuels and the difficulty to reduce uncertainties are: 1) agro-environmental impact of bioethanol (from sugar cane) in Brazil and biodiesel (from palm oil) in Malaysia. These two tropical countries were selected due to their role of leader at world level and their strong export potential to the European Union), 2) N2O (Nitrous oxide) emissions related to biofuels cultivation and land use change and 3) GHG emissions and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of biodiesel from palm oil in Malaysia. These three topics are discussed and complemented by considerations about water use for feedstock production and biomass conversion issues. Recommendations are formulated in order to reduce scientific uncertainty, for example through the development of internationally agreed sustainability certification systems with corresponding verification measures or further research on emissions and indirect land use change.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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