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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

150 7 Annex Summer smog

150 7 Annex Summer smog – The Netherlands g ethen. eq./MJ useful energy 0,16 0,14 0,12 0,1 0,08 0,06 0,04 0,02 0 willow heat natural gas heat Processing & utilisation Agriculture/forestry part Fossil fuel life cycle Agricultural reference system Miscanthus heat natural gas heat hemp electricity natural gas electricity sugar beet ETBE transport MTBE transport biogas electricity + heat natural gas electricity + heat All biofuels cause a smaller effect on summer smog than the reference system. In general, this is caused by a higher emission of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the fossil fuel chain. Replacing natural gas by biogas as an energy source gives the largest result in lowering summer smog. In the agricultural part of the reference for biogas the impact on summer smog is very high compared to the impact of biogas and to other chains. This is caused by the emission of methane during storage and spreading of non-fermented manure which does not occur when the manure is fermented to biogas. Compared with the other energy crops, Miscanthus gives only a minor advantage compared with the reference. This is due to a higher emission of pollutants like VOCs and benzene during the combustion of Miscanthus compared with the combustion of willow and hemp.

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 151 Nitrous oxide – The Netherlands g N2O/MJ useful energy 0,04 0,035 0,03 0,025 0,02 0,015 0,01 0,005 0 willow heat natural gas heat Miscanthus heat natural gas heat hemp electricity natural gas electricity Processing & utilisation Agriculture/forestry part Fossil fuel life cycle Agricultural reference system sugar beet ETBE transport MTBE transport biogas electricity + heat natural gas electricity + heat The figure shows that using energy crops as biofuel causes more ozone depletion by N2O than using fossil fuels. Especially for hemp, which causes a ten times higher emission of N2O than using natural gas for producing electricity. For willow, hemp and sugar beet for ETBE this difference is mainly due to a high N2O emission during the agricultural part. This is caused by more intensive fertilisation of the energy crops in comparison with fallow. For Miscanthus the difference is caused by the agricultural part as well as the energy production part. Combustion of Miscanthus causes a 10 times higher N2O emission than the combustion of the cleaner natural gas. Finally, the use of biogas leads to zero emission of N2O.

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