Recent European Directives promoted the development of biofuels, requesting mandatory limits to their emissions ot greenhouse gases (GHG). Second-generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic biomass are prime candidates but their GHG emissions are variable and uncertain. Agro-ecosystem modeling can capture them and the performance of biofuel feedstocks.
This study aimed at optimizing feedstock supply for a bioethanol unit in France, from agricultural residues, annual and perennial crops. Their productivity and environmental impacts were modelled on a regional scale using geo-referenced data on soil properties, crop management, land-use and future weather data. Several supply scenarios were tested. Cereal straw was the most efficient feedstock but had a low availability, and only miscanthus could meet the bioethanol plant’s demand.
Sorghum combined poor yields and high GHG emissions compared by miscanthus and triticale. A mix of three biomass sources used less than 3% of the regional agricultural land while abating GHG emissions by 60%.
Agro-ecosystem modeling can aid in the optimization of biomass feedstock supply Karine Dufossé, Jean-Louis Drouet, Benoît Gabrielle, INRA, AgroParisTech, EcoSys Joint Research Unit, Université Paris-Saclay, F-77850 Thiverval-Grignon, France .
Environmental Modelling & Software Volume 85, November 2016, Pages 139–155