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The potential role of biochar in combating climate change in Scotland: an analysis of feedstocks, life cycle assessment and spatial dimensions

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  • Sohel Ahmed
  • Jim Hammond
  • Rodrigo Ibarrola
  • Simon Shackley
  • Stuart Haszeldine
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    Abstract

    Pyrolysis-super-1 biochar systems (PBS) could assist in meeting the Scottish Government's target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to 1990. Drawing on literature review of land use and biomass availability in Scotland at present and in the future, and using established life cycle assessment models, we find that biochar could contribute between 0.4 and 2 MtCO 2 equivalent (e) abatement per year in Scotland now (2009), increasing to between 1.4 and 4.2 MtCO 2e/yr by 2030 and to between 1.5 and 4.8 MtCO 2e/yr by 2050. The practicalities of such biochar deployment are explored further through spatial analysis. Through multi-criteria decision analysis, various factors are weighed up and traded-off against one another to show optimum locations for pyrolysis biochar facilities. The factors considered include proximity to sources (feedstock for biochar production), sinks (for biochar application), and proximity to transport infrastructure etc. Preliminary results show that most of the potentially suitable sites are around the central belt extending into Fife.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09640568.2011.608890
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

    Volume (Year): 55 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 487-505

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:55:y:2012:i:4:p:487-505

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