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

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 7 (June)
    Pages: 1-14

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:7:p:617-:d:73102
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    1. 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.
    2. Lange, Mareike, 2011. "The GHG balance of biofuels taking into account land use change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2373-2385, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    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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