Life-Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels and Biomass Electricity

Authored by: Alphonse Anderson , Gregory Keoleian

Handbook of Bioenergy Crop Plants

Print publication date:  March  2012
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439816844
eBook ISBN: 9781315099255
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11711-13

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Abstract

Biofuels have caused a great deal of controversy in recent years. Opponents point to studies indicating that biofuels have increased global food prices and can cause adverse land-use changes, whereas proponents point out domestic economic benefits and increased energy security. Policy-makers are responsible for passing laws that will guide society either toward or away from biofuels. Ideally, the direction would be chosen with complete understanding of the economic, social, and environmental impacts associated with biofuel production. Similarly, biomass electricity generation has the potential to scale significantly and its impacts must be understood. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating the environmental impacts of biofuels and biomass electricity.

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