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Renewable energy from pyrolysis using crops and agricultural residuals: An economic and environmental evaluation

Chih-Chun Kung () and Ning Zhang ()

Energy, 2015, vol. 90, issue P2, 1532-1544

Abstract: This study examines pyrolysis-based electricity generation and ethanol production using various crops and agricultural residuals in Taiwan. It analyzes the net economic and environmental effects within the framework of the Extended Taiwanese Agricultural Sector Model by incorporating ongoing and potential gasoline, coal and GHG (greenhouse gas) prices. The study discusses the effects of agricultural shifts, which have several important implications for the Taiwanese bioenergy development. First, the cost of collecting rice straw is much lower than the production cost of other energy crops, implying that the efficient use of agricultural waste may eventually result in positive social effects in terms of farmers' revenue, the renewable energy supply and GHG emissions offset. Second, farmers with idle land usually suffer a lower steady income. Encouraging the development of the renewable energy industry increases the demand of raw feedstocks, which involves converting the idle land into cultivation and increasing farmers' revenue. Third, agricultural waste is usually burned and emits CO2, which accelerates the global climate shift. Approximately one third of emissions could be offset by rice straw-based bioenergy in certain cases. Turning this waste into bioenergy, which offsets net GHG emissions, has positive effects on the climate change mitigation.

Keywords: Agricultural waste; Biochar; Pyrolysis; Renewable energy; Mathematical programming (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/

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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:90:y:2015:i:p2:p:1532-1544