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New GHG analysis tool for biomass to ethanol and electricity pathways

Life Cycle Associates has developed a greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis tool for four default bioenergy pathways based on the agricultural feedstocks switch grass, miscanthus, and corn stover under contract with the Council of Sustainable Biomass Production (CSBP). The GHG analysis tool is an integral part of the sustainability standard and guidance for second-generation biomass that the CSBP worked on over the past three years and submitted to the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The developed GHG analysis tool allows biomass producers to track their energy inputs and emissions on a life cycle basis. The collection of farm level fertilizer and tractor activity allow for the calculation of GHG emissions associated with the crop and the continued improvement in monitoring inputs and the reduction in emissions over time, an important element of sustainability.

GHG emissions for the entire biomass to ethanol or electric power pathway—from the initiation of feedstock production through the final production of bioelectricity and the stoichiometric combustion of biofuels—are accounted for and modeled. The results are presented as the carbon intensity of each pathway, which include the life cycle GHG emissions from feedstock production to vehicle fuel combustion.

The analysis is based on input parameters from GREET default values, DAYCENT model results for agricultural emissions, as well as supplemental data from other published studies; and provides the basis for the development of an online tool.



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