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Title: Approaches to greenhouse gas accounting methods for biomass carbon
Contributor(s): Downie, Adriana (author); Lau, David (author); Cowie, Annette  (author); Munroe, Paul (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.11.009
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Abstract: This investigation examines different approaches for the GHG flux accounting of activities within a tight boundary of biomass C cycling, with scope limited to exclude all other aspects of the lifecycle. Alternative approaches are examined that a) account for all emissions including biogenic CO₂ cycling - the biogenic method; b) account for the quantity of C that is moved to and maintained in the non-atmospheric pool - the stock method; and c) assume that the net balance of C taken up by biomass is neutral over the short-term and hence there is no requirement to include this C in the calculation - the simplified method. This investigation demonstrates the inaccuracies in both emissions forecasting and abatement calculations that result from the use of the simplified method, which is commonly accepted for use. It has been found that the stock method is the most accurate and appropriate approach for use in calculating GHG inventories, however short-comings of this approach emerge when applied to abatement projects, as it does not account for the increase in biogenic CO₂ emissions that are generated when non-CO₂ GHG emissions in the business-as-usual case are offset. Therefore the biogenic method or a modified version of the stock method should be used to accurately estimate GHG emissions abatement achieved by a project. This investigation uses both the derivation of methodology equations from first principles and worked examples to explore the fundamental differences in the alternative approaches. Examples are developed for three project scenarios including; landfill, combustion and slow-pyrolysis (biochar) of biomass.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Biomass & Bioenergy, v.60, p. 18-31
Publisher: Pergamon
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1873-2909
Field of Research (FOR): 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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