Climate change impacts on life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings of biomethanol from corn and soybean

Nasir Anka Garba, Les John Duckers, William John Hall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess and calculate the potential impacts of climate change on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction potentials of combined production of whole corn bioethanol and stover biomethanol, and whole soybean biodiesel and stalk biomethanol. Both fuels are used as substitutes to conventional fossil-based fuels. The product system includes energy crop (feedstock) production and transportation, biofuels processing, and biofuels distribution to service station. Methods The methodology is underpinned by life cycle thinking. Crop system model and life cycle assessment (LCA) model are linked in the analysis. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer – crop system model (DSSAT-CSM) is used to simulate biomass and grain yield under different future climate scenarios generated using a combination of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. Historical weather data for Gainesville, Florida, are obtained for the baseline period (1981–1990). Daily minimum and maximum air temperatures are projected to increase by +2.0, +3.0, +4.0, and +5.0 °C, precipitation is projected to change by ±20, 10, and 5 %, and atmospheric CO2 concentration is projected to increase by +70, +210, and +350 ppm. All projections are made throughout the growing season. GaBi 4.4 is used as primary LCA modelling software using crop yield data inputs from the DSSAT-CSM software. The models representation of the physical processes inventory (background unit processes) is constructed using the ecoinvent life cycle inventory database v2.0. Results and discussion Under current baseline climate condition, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings per hectare from corn-integrated biomethanol synthesis (CIBM) and soybean-integrated biomethanol synthesis (SIBM) were calculated as −8,573.31 and −3,441 kg CO2-eq. ha−1 yr−1, respectively. However, models predictions suggest that these potential GHG emissions savings would be impacted by changing climate ranging from negative to positive depending on the crop and biofuel type, and climate scenario. Increased atmospheric level of CO2 tends to minimise the negative impacts of increased temperature. Conclusions While policy measures are being put in place for the use of renewable biofuels driven by the desire to reduce GHG emissions from the use of conventional fossil fuels, climate change would also have impacts on the potential GHG emissions reductions resulting from the use of these renewable biofuels. However, the magnitude of the impact largely depends on the biofuel processing technology and the energy crop (feedstock) type.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)806-813
    JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
    Volume19
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

    Fingerprint

    biofuel
    soybean
    savings
    greenhouse gas
    life cycle
    maize
    climate change
    energy crop
    crop
    decision support system
    climate
    software
    climate conditions
    crop production
    crop yield
    fossil fuel
    growing season
    air temperature
    temperature
    fossil

    Bibliographical note

    This paper is not yet available on the repository

    Keywords

    • Biodiesel
    • Bioethanol
    • Biomethanol
    • Climate change
    • DSSAT-CSM
    • GaBi 4.4
    • GHG savings
    • LCA (life cycle assessment)

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    Climate change impacts on life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings of biomethanol from corn and soybean. / Garba, Nasir Anka; Duckers, Les John; Hall, William John.

    In: International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 19, No. 4, 04.2014, p. 806-813.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    keywords = "Biodiesel, Bioethanol, Biomethanol, Climate change, DSSAT-CSM, GaBi 4.4, GHG savings, LCA (life cycle assessment)",
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    T1 - Climate change impacts on life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings of biomethanol from corn and soybean

    AU - Garba, Nasir Anka

    AU - Duckers, Les John

    AU - Hall, William John

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    N2 - Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess and calculate the potential impacts of climate change on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction potentials of combined production of whole corn bioethanol and stover biomethanol, and whole soybean biodiesel and stalk biomethanol. Both fuels are used as substitutes to conventional fossil-based fuels. The product system includes energy crop (feedstock) production and transportation, biofuels processing, and biofuels distribution to service station. Methods The methodology is underpinned by life cycle thinking. Crop system model and life cycle assessment (LCA) model are linked in the analysis. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer – crop system model (DSSAT-CSM) is used to simulate biomass and grain yield under different future climate scenarios generated using a combination of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. Historical weather data for Gainesville, Florida, are obtained for the baseline period (1981–1990). Daily minimum and maximum air temperatures are projected to increase by +2.0, +3.0, +4.0, and +5.0 °C, precipitation is projected to change by ±20, 10, and 5 %, and atmospheric CO2 concentration is projected to increase by +70, +210, and +350 ppm. All projections are made throughout the growing season. GaBi 4.4 is used as primary LCA modelling software using crop yield data inputs from the DSSAT-CSM software. The models representation of the physical processes inventory (background unit processes) is constructed using the ecoinvent life cycle inventory database v2.0. Results and discussion Under current baseline climate condition, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings per hectare from corn-integrated biomethanol synthesis (CIBM) and soybean-integrated biomethanol synthesis (SIBM) were calculated as −8,573.31 and −3,441 kg CO2-eq. ha−1 yr−1, respectively. However, models predictions suggest that these potential GHG emissions savings would be impacted by changing climate ranging from negative to positive depending on the crop and biofuel type, and climate scenario. Increased atmospheric level of CO2 tends to minimise the negative impacts of increased temperature. Conclusions While policy measures are being put in place for the use of renewable biofuels driven by the desire to reduce GHG emissions from the use of conventional fossil fuels, climate change would also have impacts on the potential GHG emissions reductions resulting from the use of these renewable biofuels. However, the magnitude of the impact largely depends on the biofuel processing technology and the energy crop (feedstock) type.

    AB - Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess and calculate the potential impacts of climate change on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction potentials of combined production of whole corn bioethanol and stover biomethanol, and whole soybean biodiesel and stalk biomethanol. Both fuels are used as substitutes to conventional fossil-based fuels. The product system includes energy crop (feedstock) production and transportation, biofuels processing, and biofuels distribution to service station. Methods The methodology is underpinned by life cycle thinking. Crop system model and life cycle assessment (LCA) model are linked in the analysis. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer – crop system model (DSSAT-CSM) is used to simulate biomass and grain yield under different future climate scenarios generated using a combination of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. Historical weather data for Gainesville, Florida, are obtained for the baseline period (1981–1990). Daily minimum and maximum air temperatures are projected to increase by +2.0, +3.0, +4.0, and +5.0 °C, precipitation is projected to change by ±20, 10, and 5 %, and atmospheric CO2 concentration is projected to increase by +70, +210, and +350 ppm. All projections are made throughout the growing season. GaBi 4.4 is used as primary LCA modelling software using crop yield data inputs from the DSSAT-CSM software. The models representation of the physical processes inventory (background unit processes) is constructed using the ecoinvent life cycle inventory database v2.0. Results and discussion Under current baseline climate condition, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings per hectare from corn-integrated biomethanol synthesis (CIBM) and soybean-integrated biomethanol synthesis (SIBM) were calculated as −8,573.31 and −3,441 kg CO2-eq. ha−1 yr−1, respectively. However, models predictions suggest that these potential GHG emissions savings would be impacted by changing climate ranging from negative to positive depending on the crop and biofuel type, and climate scenario. Increased atmospheric level of CO2 tends to minimise the negative impacts of increased temperature. Conclusions While policy measures are being put in place for the use of renewable biofuels driven by the desire to reduce GHG emissions from the use of conventional fossil fuels, climate change would also have impacts on the potential GHG emissions reductions resulting from the use of these renewable biofuels. However, the magnitude of the impact largely depends on the biofuel processing technology and the energy crop (feedstock) type.

    KW - Biodiesel

    KW - Bioethanol

    KW - Biomethanol

    KW - Climate change

    KW - DSSAT-CSM

    KW - GaBi 4.4

    KW - GHG savings

    KW - LCA (life cycle assessment)

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    M3 - Article

    VL - 19

    SP - 806

    EP - 813

    JO - International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

    JF - International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

    SN - 0948-3349

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    ER -