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Assesing GHG impacts of establishing biomass and biofuel crops.

Dominika Krol

Dominika Król 

kroldj@tcd.ie

Supervisors: Prof. Mike Jones, Dr. Mike Williams and Dr. Gary Lanigan

Both national and EU legislation (Biofuels Directive 2003/ 30/ EC) assigns ambitious aims for Irish energy sector by setting high thresholds for the use of biomass in electricity generation. To solely meet co-firing targets the conversion of 55000 ha of agricultural land is required. The most likely scenario is that pasture will be converted to biomass cultivation, as 90% of agricultural land is grassland. However this land use change can lead to modifications in greenhouse gases emissions due to C loss during ploughing, differences in management and soil- plant relations. Currently little is known about the role of energy crops in GHG emissions and sinks. Therefore, the objective of this study is to assess the GHG balance of establishing bioenergy crops like Miscanthus, Canary grass and Hemp. The projects is divided into two parts, of which one is to assess CO2 emissions using the eddy covariance technique and the second (this project) to study the emissions of N2O and CH4 and N-cycling by a system of static chambers.

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Last updated 14 December 2009 botany@tcd.ie.