Type: Chapter

Sustainable use of Miscanthus for biofuel


Paul Robson

University of Aberystwyth

Astley Hastings

University of Aberdeen

John Clifton-Brown

University of Aberystwyth

Jon McCalmont

University of Exeter

Publication date:

23 December 2019

ID: 9781838799359

E-Chapter format

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Biomass removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during growth and, if converted to biofuel, has the potential to be carbon negative, especially if combined with carbon capture and storage. To achieve ambitious targets for global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, biomass crops should generate high yield from minimal input energy while minimising environmental impacts that could make crop production less sustainable. This chapter focuses on research demonstrating that Miscanthus embodies a range of attributes (e.g. C4 photosynthesis combined with cold tolerance, high energy output/input ratios, efficient nutrient recycling and high yield from minimal agronomic input) that make it an ideal sustainable biomass crop for biofuels. Sections on both nutrient use efficiency and water use/water use efficiency are included. The authors also discuss carbon flux and various life cycle assessments for different end uses. Traits for improved sustainability are also presented. The chapter concludes with a discussion on future research priorities.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 The energy balance
3 Nutrient-use efficiency
4 Water use/water-use efficiency
5 Carbon flux
6 Life cycle assessment (LCA) for different end uses
7 Traits and/or agronomy for improved sustainability
8 Conclusion and future trends
9 Acknowledgements
10 Where to look for further information
11 References