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Conference paper, 2012

The effect of Soil Organic Carbon and the Time Frame on the GWP in a Short Rotation Coppice LCA

Ericsson, Niclas; Porsö, Charlotta; Nordberg, Åke; Hansson, Per-Anders


The energy delivered from short rotation coppice willow is expected to increase in Sweden. Expanding the area of willow will lead to land use changes which may affect soil organic carbon stocks. Many previous life cycle assessments on climate impact of willow exclude soil organic stock changes. These studies also use different system time frames, depending on how long the plantation is expected to prevail. In the present work the global warming potential was assessed for a short rotation coppice willow system established on a 20-year old fallow, including and excluding soil organic carbon, using different time frames and functional units. The global warming potential using a time frame of 24 years was -16.3 kg CO2-eq • GJ-1 including soil organic carbon compared to 6.7 kg CO2-eq • GJ-1 when excluded, showing the importance to consider soil organic carbon changes in life cycle assessments of short rotation coppice when a land use change take place. The time frame and the functional unit chosen were also shown to have an influence on the climate impact.

Published in

European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
2012, pages: 2235-2237
ISBN: 978-88-89407-54-7


20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 18-22 June 2012, Milan, Italy