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Sustainable use of Miscanthus for biofuel

Code: 9781838799359
Paul Robson, University of Aberystwyth, UK; Astley Hastings, University of Aberdeen, UK; John Clifton-Brown, University of Aberystwyth, UK; and Jon McCalmont, University of Exeter, UK

Chapter synopsis: 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.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2019.0027.15
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

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