Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an expandable green alternative to crude oil use

Jaiswal, D. and De Souza, A.P. and Larsen, Sø. and Lebauer, D.S. and Miguez, F.E. and Sparovek, G. and Bollero, G. and Buckeridge, M.S. and Long, S.P. (2017) Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an expandable green alternative to crude oil use. Nature Climate Change, 7 (11). pp. 788-792. ISSN 1758-678X

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Reduction of CO 2 emissions will require a transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. Expansion of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol provides one near-term scalable solution to reduce CO 2 emissions from the global transport sector. In contrast to corn ethanol, the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol system may offset 86% of CO 2 emissions compared to oil use, and emissions resulting from land-use change to sugarcane are paid back in just 2-8 years. But, it has been uncertain how much further expansion is possible given increasing demand for food and animal feed, climate change impacts and protection of natural ecosystems. We show that Brazilian sugarcane ethanol can provide the equivalent of 3.63-12.77 Mb d -1 of crude oil by 2045 under projected climate change while protecting forests under conservation and accounting for future land demand for food and animal feed production. The corresponding range of CO 2 offsets is 0.55-2.0 Gigatons yr -1. This would displace 3.8-13.7% of crude oil consumption and 1.5-5.6% of net CO 2 emission globally relative to data for 2014.

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Journal Article
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Nature Climate Change
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Cited By :21 Export Date: 22 July 2019 Correspondence Address: Long, S.P.; Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois UrbanaUnited States; email:
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03 Mar 2020 09:55
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22 Nov 2022 07:51