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Comparative Advantage of Maize- and Grass-Silage Based Feedstock for Biogas Production with Respect to Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Meyer-Aurich

    () (Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany)

  • Yulia Lochmann

    () (Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany)

  • Hilde Klauss

    () (Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany)

  • Annette Prochnow

    () (Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
    Faculty of Life Sciences, Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Hinter der Reinhardtstr. 8-18, 10115 Berlin, Germany)

Abstract

This paper analyses the comparative advantage of using silage maize or grass as feedstock for anaerobic digestion to biogas from a greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation point of view, taking into account site-specific yield potentials, management options, and land-use change effects. GHG emissions due to the production of biogas were calculated using a life-cycle assessment approach for three different site conditions with specific yield potentials and adjusted management options. While for the use of silage maize, GHG emissions per energy unit were the same for different yield potentials, and the emissions varied substantially for different grassland systems. Without land-use change effects, silage maize-based biogas had lower GHG emissions per energy unit compared to grass-based biogas. Taking land-use change into account, results in a comparative advantage of biogas production from grass-based feedstock produced on arable land compared to silage maize-based feedstock. However, under current frame conditions, it is quite unrealistic that grass production systems would be established on arable land at larger scale.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Meyer-Aurich & Yulia Lochmann & Hilde Klauss & Annette Prochnow, 2016. "Comparative Advantage of Maize- and Grass-Silage Based Feedstock for Biogas Production with Respect to Greenhouse Gas Mitigation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-14, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:7:p:617-:d:73102
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lange, Mareike, 2011. "The GHG balance of biofuels taking into account land use change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2373-2385, May.
    2. Andreas Meyer-Aurich & Jørgen Olesen & Annette Prochnow & Reiner Brunsch, 2013. "Greenhouse gas mitigation with scarce land: The potential contribution of increased nitrogen input," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(7), pages 921-932, October.
    3. Britz, Wolfgang & Delzeit, Ruth, 2013. "The impact of German biogas production on European and global agricultural markets, land use and the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1268-1275.
    4. Cherubini, Francesco, 2010. "GHG balances of bioenergy systems – Overview of key steps in the production chain and methodological concerns," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1565-1573.
    5. Lange, Mareike, 2011. "The GHG Balance of Biofuels Taking into Account Land Use Change (Power Point)," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114406, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Meyer-Aurich, Andreas & Schattauer, Alexander & Hellebrand, Hans Jürgen & Klauss, Hilde & Plöchl, Matthias & Berg, Werner, 2012. "Impact of uncertainties on greenhouse gas mitigation potential of biogas production from agricultural resources," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 277-284.
    7. Thamsiriroj, T. & Nizami, A.S. & Murphy, J.D., 2012. "Why does mono-digestion of grass silage fail in long term operation?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 64-76.
    8. Meyer-Aurich, Andreas, 2005. "Economic and environmental analysis of sustainable farming practices - a Bavarian case study," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 190-206, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:710-:d:134879 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marco Rebhann & Yusuf Nadi Karatay & Günther Filler & Annette Prochnow, 2016. "Profitability of Management Systems on German Fenlands," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-21, October.
    3. Andreas Kiesel & Moritz Wagner & Iris Lewandowski, 2016. "Environmental Performance of Miscanthus, Switchgrass and Maize: Can C4 Perennials Increase the Sustainability of Biogas Production?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biogas; silage maize; grassland; greenhouse gases; land-use change; life cycle asssessment;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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