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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Time-Dependent Climate Effects of Eucalyptus Pellets Produced in Mozambique Used Locally or for Export

Porsö, Charlotta; Mate, Rosta; Vinterbäck, Johan; Hansson, Per-Anders


By using surplus land for biomass production, Mozambique could produce wood pellets for domestic use or export to the European market to meet increasing demand. This study investigated the time-dependent climate effects and energy balance of production and use of pellets from short rotation coppice eucalyptus cultivated on surplus land in Mozambique. Two end-users of the pellets produced were studied: power production in Mozambique and heat and power production in Sweden. A time-dependent life cycle assessment method was used, expressing climate impact as annual temperature change, which highlights the time aspect inherent in bioenergy systems by including annual greenhouse gas fluxes of both fossil and biogenic origins. The results showed an initial cooling effect of the pellet systems studied due to carbon sequestration in soil and biomass, counteracting the temperature warming effect from greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production system. The temperature cooling effect of carbon sequestration increased most in the beginning of the studied time period, while the temperature warming effect from the production system continued to increase, resulting in a net temperature warming effect over time. Local use of the pellets in Mozambique was shown to have a temperature cooling effect during a longer period (39 years) than their export and use in Sweden (27 years). Compared with fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, eucalyptus pellets proved to be better from a climate perspective for both end-users studied.


Temperature change; Life cycle assessment (LCA); Bioenergy; Short rotation coppice (SRC); Pellets; Mozambique

Published in

BioEnergy Research
2016, Volume: 9, number: 3, pages: 942-954
Publisher: SPRINGER