Title: Nitrous oxide's impact on net greenhouse gas savings from biofuels: life-cycle analysis comparison

Authors: A.R. Mosier, P.J. Crutzen, K.A. Smith, W. Winiwarter

Addresses: 1494, Oakhurst Dr., Mount Pleasant, SC 29466, USA. ' Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, P.O. Box 3060, D-55020 Mainz, Germany. ' School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, UK. ' International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria; AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Abstract: We discuss the likely impact of agricultural fertiliser N use on the global nitrous oxide (N2O) budget, as described by Crutzen et al. (2008). We then project the impact of full N2O accounting in biofuel net Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions using the life-cycle analyses from Farrell et al. (2006) (ERG Biofuels Analysis Meta-Model (EBAMM)), Liska et al. (2008) (Biofuel Energy Systems Simulator (BESS)) for corn-based ethanol production and Smith et al. (2006) (Bioethanol GHG Calculator (BGGC)) for wheat-based ethanol. USA biofuel production, even if nominally fulfilling the requirements, may trigger a net increase in global warming.

Keywords: biofuels; biotechnology; corn-based ethanol; GHG emissions; greenhouse gases; life-cycle analysis; N2O; nitrous oxide; wheat-based ethanol; global warming.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2009.028100

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2009 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.60 - 74

Published online: 05 Sep 2009 *

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