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Impacts of near-future cultivation of biofuel feedstocks on atmospheric composition and local air quality

Ashworth, K. and Folberth, G. and Hewitt, C. N. and Wild, O. (2012) Impacts of near-future cultivation of biofuel feedstocks on atmospheric composition and local air quality. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12 (2). pp. 919-939. ISSN 1680-7316

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    Abstract

    Large-scale production of feedstock crops for biofuels will lead to land use changes. We quantify the effects of realistic land use change scenarios for biofuel feedstock production on isoprene emissions and hence atmospheric composition and chemistry using the HadGEM2 model. Two feedstocks are considered: oil palm for biodiesel in the tropics and short rotation coppice (SRC) in the mid-latitudes. In total, 69 Mha of oil palm and 92 Mha of SRC are planted, each sufficient to replace just over 1% of projected global fossil fuel demand in 2020. Both planting scenarios result in increases in total global annual isoprene emissions of about 1%. In each case, changes in surface concentrations of ozone and biogenic secondary organic aerosol (bSOA) are substantial at the regional scale, with implications for air quality standards. However, the changes in tropospheric burden of ozone and the OH radical, and hence effects on global climate, are negligible. Over SE Asia, one region of oil palm planting, increases in annual mean surface ozone and bSOA concentrations reach over 3 ppbv (+11 %) and 0.4 mu g m(-3) (+10 %) respectively for parts of Borneo, with monthly mean increases of up to 6.5 ppbv (+25 %) and 0.5 mu g m(-3) (+12 %). Under the SRC scenario, Europe experiences monthly mean changes of over 0.6 ppbv (+1 %) and 0.1 mu g m(-3) (+5 %) in June and July, with peak increases of over 2 ppbv (+3 %) and 0.5 mu g m(-3) (+8 %). That appreciable regional atmospheric impacts result from low level planting scenarios demonstrates the need to include changes in emissions of reactive trace gases such as isoprene in life cycle assessments performed on potential biofuel feedstocks.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
    Additional Information: © Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS ; TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST ; TERRESTRIAL ISOPRENE EMISSIONS ; LAND-USE CHANGE ; TROPOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY ; COMPOUND EMISSIONS ; GREENHOUSE GASES ; TRANSPORT MODEL ; EARTH SYSTEM ; OIL PALMS
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
    ID Code: 53409
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 30 Mar 2012 08:53
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:17
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/53409

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