Sustainable use of Miscanthus for biofuel

Authors Organisations
Type Chapter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAchieving Carbon Negative Bioenergy Systems from Plant Materials
EditorsChris Saffron
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherBurleigh Dodds Science Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1786762528, 1786762528
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameBurleigh Dodds Series in Agricultural Science
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Biomass removes carbon dioxide (CO2) 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 (GHG) emissions biomass crops should generate high yield from minimal input energy while minimising environmental impacts that could make crop production less sustainable. The biomass crop Miscanthus has a number of characteristics that make it particularly well suited to sustainably displace fossil fuels. These include C4 photosynthesis combined with cold tolerance, high energy output/input ratios, efficient nutrient recycling and high yield from a perennial crop that requires minimal agronomic input. Life cycle assessment has shown Miscanthus generates beneficial GHG and sustainability impacts compared to fossil fuels and other crop systems. The diversity of Miscanthus available suggests domestication of this new crop has great potential for use as a biofuel feedstock.