Biomass Storage Processes

The increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, associated with the combustion of fossil fuels causing increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, raised growing interest in renewable energy sources. In all scenarios for future, energy fuels from biomass - so-called biofuels - and/or other energy sources from biomass (i.e. biogas, thermal recycling), play an important role. To what extent, however, biomass can contribute to a significant regional and global reduction of GHG emissions depends critically on several factors such as land availability and land use conflicts, sustainable crop production management, cost and actual carbon neutrality and environmental safety.

Short rotation coppice (SRC) with fast-growing tree species is an increasingly used method to produce woody biomass. To ensure the sustainability of SRC, a comprehensive accounting of the trace gas exchange in these production systems is required. In this project we aim to completely determine the trace gas exchange in poplar SRC. Trace gas emissions, however, plays not only a role as a part of the biomass production itself. A significant proportion biomass is lost in gaseous form (CO2, NOx, VOCs) by microbial and fungal degradation again depending on the down-stream production chain of energy of biofuels. Therefore, we focus on the determination of trace gas fluxes from wood chips under different environmental conditions after the harvest. 

Selected publications

Schweier J, Molina-Herrera S, Ghirardo A, Grote R, Díaz-Pinés E, Kreuzwieser J, Butterbach-Bahl K, Rennenberg H, Schnitzler JP, Becker (2017): Environmental impacts of bioenergy wood production from poplar short rotation coppice grown at a marginal agricultural site in Germany. GCB Bioenergy 9, 1207-1221

Díaz-Pinés E, Molina-Herrera S, Dannenmann M, Braun J, Haas E, Willibald G, Arias-Navarro C, Grote R, Wolf B, Saiz G, Aust C, Schnitzler JP, Butterbach-Bahl K (2016) Nitrate leaching and soil nitrous oxide emissions diminish with time in a hybrid poplar short-rotation coppice in southern Germany. GCB Bioenergy 9, 613-626.

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