Greenhouse-gas emissions from biofuel use in Asia.

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Biomass is a primary fuel for much of the world's population. In some developing countries it can contribute 80-90% of total primary energy consumption. In Asia as a whole we estimate that biomass contributes about 22 EJ, almost 24% of total energy use. Much of this biomass is combusted in inefficient domestic stoves and cookers, enhancing the formation of products of incomplete combustion (PIC), many of which are greenhouse gases. An inventory of the combustion of biofuels (fuelwood, crop residues, and dried animal waste) in Asia is used to develop estimates of the emissions of carbon-containing greenhouse gases (CO{sub 2},CO, ... continued below

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10 p.

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Streets, D. G. & Waldhoff, S. T. July 6, 1999.

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Biomass is a primary fuel for much of the world's population. In some developing countries it can contribute 80-90% of total primary energy consumption. In Asia as a whole we estimate that biomass contributes about 22 EJ, almost 24% of total energy use. Much of this biomass is combusted in inefficient domestic stoves and cookers, enhancing the formation of products of incomplete combustion (PIC), many of which are greenhouse gases. An inventory of the combustion of biofuels (fuelwood, crop residues, and dried animal waste) in Asia is used to develop estimates of the emissions of carbon-containing greenhouse gases (CO{sub 2},CO, CH{sub 4}, and NMHC) in Asian countries. The data are examined from two perspectives: total carbon released and total global warming potential (GWP) of the gases. We estimate that blofuels contributed 573 Tg-C in 1990, about 28% of the total carbon emissions from energy use in Asia. China (259 Tg-C) and India (187 Tg-C) were the largest emitting countries by far. The majority of the emissions, 504 Tg-C, are in the form of CO{sub 2}; however, emissions of non-CO{sub 2} greenhouse gases are significant: 57 Tg-C as CO, 6.4 Tg-C as CH{sub 4}, and 5.9 Tg-C as NMHC. Because of the high rate of incomplete combustion in typical biofuel stoves and the high GWP coefficients of the products of incomplete combustion, biofuels comprise an even larger share of energy-related emissions when measured in terms of global warming potential (in CO{sub 2} equivalents): 38% over a 20-year time frame and 31% over 100 years. Even when the biofuel is assumed to be harvested on a completely sustainable basis (all CO{sub 2} emissions are reabsorbed in the following growing season), PIC emissions from biofuel combustion account for almost 5% of total carbon emissions and nearly 25% of CO{sub 2} equivalents in terms of short-term (20-year) GWP.

Physical Description

10 p.

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OSTI as DE00012428

Medium: P; Size: 10 pages

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  • 2nd International Symposium on Non-CO{sub 2} Greenhouse Gases, Noordwijkerhout (NL), 09/08/1999--09/10/1999

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  • Report No.: ANL/DIS/CP-98264
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 12428
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623955

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  • July 6, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 6:55 p.m.

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Streets, D. G. & Waldhoff, S. T. Greenhouse-gas emissions from biofuel use in Asia., article, July 6, 1999; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623955/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.